My husband and I moved away from all our family about 12 years ago. At the time, it was solely to follow a job (for him) and, we figured, after he got some experience, we'd come "home." 12 years later, we both agree that moving away was one of the best decisions we've ever made. He and I became closer as a couple, were more confident in our parenting abilities without constant "advice" from my 2 MIL's, and have a much better quality of life due to the cost of living differences.
That said, we love having company! None of my husband's family visits much, so when his stepsister decided to bring her family over for the weekend, we were thrilled! Her kids are around our kids' ages, and we adults get along smashingly. Between floating the river, swimming in our community pool, and zoo visits, we got those kiddos good and worn out. The adults even got to stay up late and drink beer, without interruption!
Could those kids be any cuter?!
There were, of course, a few incidents between kiddos to handle from time to time. Thankfully, no blood was shed, and no feelings truly hurt. So, all in all, I'd consider that a good visit. :-)
I guess my thoughts today, reflecting on our visit, are that family is nice to have around, if only in small bursts. I try hard not to worry too much about those in the family who are a bit toxic to me and my family. (Yes, we have some toxic relatives, don't you?) I try equally hard to nourish the relationships with those who bring me and my family joy. It's not something I would have spent much time thinking about before cancer, but now I really focus on starving the bad and feeding the good in my life.
And yes, that even goes for family.