I went home for a funeral this morning. My great aunt Lea passed away. I saw several family members I hadn't seen in several years. I received the usual compliments: "you're so tall like your dad" and "you look just like your mom." It seems every time I go home for something like that and see everyone, I start thinking about all my family members who were born and raised there and have never left. I'm not one of them.
Both sides of my family have deep roots in Perry County. But I've noticed the younger generation is branching out, for the most part. On my dad's side of the family, the majority of my cousins live away from home. On my mom's side, my cousins live within yards of each other and I'm the only one who's not there. It makes me realize that my kids, if I have any, are not going to grow up like I did. They're not going to have their grandparents nearby, their cousins to play with, their aunts and uncles to dote on them. Sure, there will be holidays and we'll visit, but it won't be the same. It won't be how I was brought up, my mom was brought up, my mom's mom was brought up, and so on.
I had every intention of leaving home for as long as I remember. I knew I would never live there as an adult. But I guess it never hit me what that would mean for my children. Again, if I have any. I'm not saying it's a bad thing or a good thing. In fact, I think the Evansville/Newburgh area is a great place to call home and raise a family. But it's weird to think my kids won't bicycle down Catholic Hill and go up to the Cannelton dam with tater wedges they bought from Marvin's Market. Or have their grandpa pick them up on his day off and take them around town. Or get caught behind the floodwall doing things they aren't supposed to be doing, only to have their dad find out the next day. Wait a minute. Maybe that is a good thing.