We've spent the last 3 weeks with my family in Montana, after spending 2 weeks with Adam's family in Philadelphia. It has been wonderful.
It has been hard to come to terms with moving 22 hours by airplane away from my family. Watching Charis love her aunts and uncles, watching her giggle with my mom and adore my dad makes me tear up nearly every time.
And everyone says, "Skype has changed everything" - and in some ways it has. But I was watching Charis playing with a big bin of toys right next to doors with panes of glass leading to a solarium. she crawled around and then discovered the doors- and then she started standing up, bracing herself against the glass, leaving little fingerprints (which probably won't be cleaned off for a long time after we leave).
And it hit me: Skype doesn't leave fingerprints.
My most wonderful memories of growing up around my extended family were created by how we were able to get together frequently. We left lots of fingerprints on the mirrors and glass, both literally and also leaving figurative fingerprints on each other.
I think about how Charis' growth will be witnessed by my parents, but not experienced.
We're excited for this next phase, but as with each change that comes with life, there is also grief and sadness.