I'm an only child. So I'm rather close to my parents. My parents are close to their siblings. I'm also the youngest of my first generation cousins. So growing up I was always the baby of the family. Most of my cousins are at least 10 years older than me. There was a generation gap between me and them. But I do have a few cousins that are closer to my age.
Growing up my parents and I lived an hour away from the others. But we visited them very frequently. Between holidays and birthdays, there was and is always something to do. We still gather together for birthdays, no matter how old you are, that persons birthday somehow snowballs into a larger crowd.
Some of my cousins have children, which make them my second cousins. These second cousins are much older in ages ranging from 21 to 7. My 18 month old son falls well below the age bracket in the family.
My husband and I live further away from where my parents still live. We're even farther from the family I used to visit frequently as a child. Over the years our traditions have changed but since having a baby I see the family is trying to keep traditions for the sake of the new generation: my son.
Since I grew up an only child and the youngest member in the family, there were always 'older' people around. When there were kids at a party, I felt it was awkward to socialize with them. But I got along just fine.
Despite the distance I have with my family, I hope my son feels just as close as I had with my family growing up. I hope he is able to develop special bonds and memories during the time we do spend together.
Somehow I feel he's establishing that bond already with my parents. We try to see them once a month and sometimes we see them twice a month. But almost every day my kid talks about his Bumpa and Nana. He plays pretend and calls them on the phone. We look at their pictures hanging on the fridge and he squeals with glee... BUMPA! NA-NA! And he smiles.