Even with all of that, I was always a tiny bit jealous of people who lived in the same town as their extended family. I never had cousins who played on the same soccer team as me, or aunts who lived around the corner when I wanted to run away. Sundays were not spent at Grandma's house and family gatherings were few and far between.
As I watch Addie and Rylan together I often wonder what their relationship will be. Will they be friends or competitors? Will they have each others' backs or will they pretend not know each other?
Even now as they battle over Grandma's and Aunt Nikki's attention, over Mater, over the guitar, over the sandbox, I am apt to believe that they will be loyal friends. That they will always protect each other. That they will be each others' biggest cheerleaders. That they will offer each other a shoulder to lean on.
She has the best of both worlds, extended family in her backyard and extended family to provide her with adventures.