It is an interesting part of life, when a child becomes an adult and then has children of their own. When two people leave their father and mother and cleave unto each other; when those two people start to grow together and become one. SpecialK and I have now been married for seven years. We have had the pleasure of living close to family as well as far away. I think our years living far away from family and anyone we knew made us stronger. It required us to lean on each other because each other was all we had. The times we lived thousands of miles away from our families allowed us to become our own people. We were influenced equally by our surroundings and each other. We talked a lot about what we wanted, how we wanted to parent and who we ultimately wanted to be. We haven't always done the best with sticking to our "plans" and often we've been thrown surprises. In the end though we are still us and we are still working toward who we want to be. I think what pushes us the hardest is our children. We want to raise them the best we can, which means we need to be the best we can. It's not easy, but we are trying.
We have found that living away from family has it's advantages and disadvantages. Living close ultimately outweighs living away, but we have found that living close requires more of us. We have to constantly remember our goals and make sure our decisions are not influenced by what our families might wish for us. When we lived far away we only had the influences of our families a few times a year for short periods of time. Now that we live close again we visit often. That changes things. Our family rules have to be fought for because they are challenged more. I guess you will always find disagreement when you put multiple families together. Not everyone is going to see things the way you do. It is always my prayer that no matter what our family decides to do verse someone else in our family that everyone can respect each others decision and no contention will arise. But I am quickly finding out which members of my family are peacemakers and which are not.