My World Turned Upside Down, In a Really, Really Good Way

Something very big is happening to our family–something hugely, remarkably wonderful.  I haven’t talked about it much, and I haven’t written about it at all, because I hardly have the words to express my excitement. 

In two days, my parents are closing on a house and will begin the process of moving in.  The house is one mile from mine.   

My parents have lived in the same little town where I grew up for ages–my dad has spent his entire life there, except for a few short years during and right after college.  This is a huge change for them.  They’re going into semi-retirement and moving to Our City, starting over with a new house and new friends and new drivers’ licenses and new dry cleaners and all the other "beginnings" that come with an inter-state move.

And I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself.  Except for a brief time, years ago, when our younger siblings lived in our city, Hubs and I have never had family in town–certainly not grandparents.  I have looked with envy at my friends whose parents are nearby.  For my parents to see the kids’ plays or soccer matches or church programs has been a huge undertaking, requiring planning and overnight visits.   Not anymore. 

More than a couple of my friends have raised their eyebrows when I’ve told them parents will be living so close to us.  "Is that going to be, um, okay?" they ask skeptically.  It will.  I’m blessed with parents who are really good at being parents to their adult kids.  They have become our friends, our cheerleaders, our sounding boards.  They give generously of their time while still maintaining healthy boundaries.  Hubs and I are very blessed. 

And we’re very proud.  It’s no small thing to start over the way they are.  They’ve reasoned (wisely) that it makes sense for them to live near their adult kids, and it makes even more sense to do it when they’re young and healthy enough to build a life for themselves. 

And so, with much excitement, we’re all embarking on a new adventure, learning to navigate life with grandparents (*squeal*) just a few streets away.  Once they’re settled, they will move my grandmother here as well.  We’ll have a town full of family, and we couldn’t be happier about it. 

69 thoughts on “My World Turned Upside Down, In a Really, Really Good Way

  1. Jessica says:

    That is so exciting. I am green with envy!My son is just a toddler, but I am already trying to move or get my parents to move a mile away from me instead of 100’s of miles.

  2. hogphan says:

    Hi there, this is Shannon’s dad. We’re awfully excited too! We are looking forward to being able to invest some time, when invited and/or appropriate, in the lives of our children and grandchildren. Frankly, we could quite possibly be making this move even if the Dryer family wasn’t there. We’re ready to take on a new life and the challenges and opportunites it brings. Being able to watch the plays, recitals, soccer games, school activities, etc of our grandchildren is an added bonus beyond compare! And, we have two more grandchildren less than 2 hours from the Dryers! We’re the generation of the 1960’s and new ideas and change are invigorating to us. We’re tickled the Dryers seem pleased we want to do this. Hope they still feel that way in six months! πŸ™‚

  3. meredithm says:

    That’s great. My husband’s mother lives just 5 miles away, and I woudn’t want it any other way, if not a little closer, as she can’t drive…

  4. Linds says:

    This is such super news for you all! My parents moved countries to be near us, and my Mum now lives with us. It works well for us all, and she has been able to be a part of her grandchildren’s lives in the best of ways. My daughter lives in NZ and so help me, if all my kids lived there, I would be packing my bags as I speak.I don’t look for an “old age” of sameness, but rather of adventures still to come so who knows where I will be in 6 years or 16…… watch this space!I really like your Dad’s comment!

  5. Lari says:

    That’s great! My parents moved near us in December of last year…from living 8hrs away. It’s the first time in our 13 yrs of marriage we’ve lived this close to family. It’s been wonderful. They’ve joined our church and we see them almost everyday. Enjoy!

  6. Jill says:

    How awesome that your dad commented! This sounds like such a great thing for all of you. Congratulations!!! Have fun!

  7. Deena says:

    What a blessing! I loved living in the same town as my parents. They were able to stay involved in my kids’ lives, and the kids grew up so close to them. We lived across town from them until my son was born…then we moved a half hour drive away…it never was the same…but I’m grateful that I did still live close enough to visit lots. So happy for you:-)

  8. Jen says:

    I am so happy for you!!! Enjoy it! I used to live next door to my sister’s family, her two girls and my daughter were together all the time…and my parents lived within a couple of miles. Then I had to move about an hour away, and I SOOO miss being near them, although now we are near dh’s parents. I wish you all the happiness in the world and fun times with your family!

  9. Jeana says:

    Oh, that’s so exciting! I wish my parents could live closer but unfortunately the school systems here were not sympathetic to my kids’ need for a Mimi and Pepaw fix more often. (No job offers) Congrats!

  10. Maggie says:

    Wonderful! I was crushed when my oldest son was a year and a half and the weekend of my 30th birthday and my parents moved out of my home town due to my Dad’s transfer and my MIL moved back to Chicago the same weekend. Three years later my MIL moved back. My parents will retire back here. I an hoping my Father in law will retire nearby. It is wonderful having Grammy nearby. Apart formt he emergency babysitter, she does enjoy attending soccer and baseball games. DS11 can help her out by mowing her lawn. I enjoy having her close.

  11. An Ordinary Mom says:

    How exciting! I am come from a family of 9 siblings and all 8 of them live in the same area … my husband and I are far away since he is pursuing his PhD. The closest family we live to is about 14 hours away.
    Have fun!

  12. Diatribal says:

    I am terribly jealous. As it stands now, both sets of grandparens live an hour away from the big thriving metropolis that is home for us here in AR. We have been oh so spoiled to be able to see them dote on their precious grandbaby.Unfortunatly, we are having to move close to 1000 miles away from SEC Hog Country to Big 10 Wolverine Country. Nana and Paw can’t come.
    I certainly hope that you enjoy your family being close by. It has been a lifesaver for us on many occasions. Your dad seems like a sweetheart! Have Fun!

  13. Laura says:

    I am thrilled for you and so happy to see that you are so excited about it. My parents moved just last year to the other side of Canada and it is still so very painful. Please enjoy every moment of it!!

  14. Big Mama says:

    My parents moved a mile away from us almost two years ago, and let me just say, it has been, singlehandedly, THE GREATEST thing that has ever happened to us.
    The free babysitting…I mean, them being able to attend school plays, etc. is just so nice.

  15. Heth says:

    You are going to love it Shannon. My parents live about a mile away from us and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Get ready for some good times!

  16. henry and greta's mommy says:

    my parents are moving to our City in a couple of months too. i don’t know about you, but a couple of years ago (when i was in high school or college), i would not have wanted my parents within 100 miles of me. gosh, how embarrassing. and now having children and having a friendship with your parents — can’t be beat. yay for you guys!

  17. FL Grandma says:

    Your parents are close to me in age and I’m envious of THEM! Our only three grandchildren live across the country from us and we’ve seen them twice a year. Now our son (their daddy) is in training for a job that will take the entire family to an overseas post, which could be just about anywhere in the world. We enjoy travel, but…. Our other son, still unmarried, works and lives in Europe. We didn’t live near either set of grandparents when our children were young; I always wished we could have. You are indeed blessed!

  18. mimi2six says:

    I’m Shannon’s mom. We are so excited we can hardly stand it!! This really is a dream come true for us. We are looking forward to being there for our grandchildren’s activities and for those sit around and talk times. We are blessed that Shannon and her wonderful hubs are our friends, as well as our kids. We are excited about watching Razorback games on TV together….cooking burgers in the backyard….babysitting so they can have regular date nights….the list goes on and on. We have been amazed at how invigorating this change is for us….like we just got married and are starting our life. We ARE starting a new life…after 37 years of marriage!!! It’s much more fun at this stage/age!

  19. Lynne says:

    We live right next door to my daughter and son-in-law. We planned this when we both bought new homes 3 years ago. We even have our two backyards fenced as one big yard. They don’t have any children, but my other daughter and her younger daughter live about 40 minutes away. And my oldest granddaughter lives with us.
    Enjoy having your family close by!

  20. chris says:

    I’m so excited for your KIDS!!!!!!!! Some of my favorite memories from my childhood have my grandparents in the picture.
    Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!
    Chris from Canada

  21. Mama Duck says:

    That’s so exciting!! I love having my parents nearby and my little guy just adores it, of course!! I hope the move goes smoothly for them!

  22. Emily says:

    Shannon, how wonderful! It really is a blessing to have parents nearby – I have a friend who is lucky enough to live in the same town as BOTH her parents and in-laws, and it has made me thoroughly jealous. πŸ™‚
    I’m impressed that your parents are so wise as to make this decision before it is too difficult to start over. Good for them!

  23. laughing mommy says:

    And thank you for putting into words what I’ve been trying to say for years… “healthy boundaries”.
    That is what parents of adult children should strive for.

  24. Stacey says:

    That is so exciting! I can’t imagine not having family in town. We have both my family and my husband’s family living just miles away. You’re gonna have such a blast!!

  25. Trixie says:

    I am so happy for you!!!!
    Both my parents and George’s are also great about being parents to us as grow ups. They do not in any way interfere with the way we live our lives, yet offer the best encouragement and companionship. What a blessing it is πŸ™‚

  26. Jessica says:

    hurray! My folks and my husband’s mom both live in our city, and we love it. Even more than that, our kids love it. Here’s wishing you many good, BIG family dinners and many more hours of free babysitting!
    peace of Christ to you,

  27. Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity says:

    Oh I’m so jealous… my parents are 5 hours away and VERY active in my kids’ lives… however, there are times, she says, that she would like to just pick up the phone and say “I’m coming to take the kids to the movies”… she doesn’t understand that I would love for her to be able to do that…
    I don’t have any family here and sometimes I wish I did…
    I am so very very very happy for you and your family! πŸ™‚

  28. Liza says:

    I am soooo happy for you and your family!
    I’m petitioningmy parents to be able to come to the US and LIVE WITH US. Their immigration interview is on Friday. i am very excited!
    It’s good to have families around πŸ™‚

  29. Heather L. says:

    My in-laws live just 10 houses away from us. It is so wonderful because my oldest is old enough to “ride to Grandma’s” by himself and we can walk there or ride bikes there in the summer. We can have each other over for dinner easily. It will be so nice for you!

  30. annie says:

    My parents live a block away. I smile everytime I see them out taking a walk by the house or dad walking up to visit the kids. It is so wonderful for our children.

  31. Shelly says:

    My mom live 3 tenths of a mile down the street from us and I am so glad. There are long weeks during wrestling season when I spend hours everyday with her. And since my father passed away it is nice for my husband to be handy for things like tilling the garden or fixing the lights. I try not to abuse the free babysitting but having her close is a gift from God. It does take a family to raise a child. Nana rocks!

  32. Carrie says:

    That’s great!
    My parents are about 5 miles away and the only other way I’d have it was if they were right next door. When we were looking for a house to buy, they were actually looking too – for a fixer-upper big house with a smaller one on the same property that we could move into – just so we wouldn’t end up an hour away. πŸ™‚
    I’m still hoping we can get next door to them sometime (sooner = better).
    To your friends who cast doubts on the situation, they don’t know what they’re missing, and obviously aren’t mature enough themselves to get out of the “yuk – MIL” mindset OR they’re still too childish themselves to see their parents as friends. So a big HMPH to them – they’ll be green with envy after 6 months or so.
    And to your Mom & Dad – hey, very cool to see you dropping by! You two should get a blog too, and chronicle all of this!

  33. Krissy says:

    Shannon – that is exactly the situation I keep hoping for myself! We give lots of hints to my parents – my father is in semi-retirement and my mother works in a bank. We have the only grandchildren in the family (3) and would just love to have them closer. Many blessings to your parents as they move to your area – I hope they get plugged into a great church and church family so they feel well-connected.

  34. Melene says:

    I am so happy for you and your family. You are definitely blessed. We lived 2 miles from my mom and step dad at our last assignment and there were many positive things about it. It took some getting used to when we moved from NC to TX One of the great things being, I think I paid a sitter about 4 times out of those 3 years! But there were so many more positives that are more important than that…..

  35. Danni says:

    That’s exciting. There nothing like having a family so close. It would mean more visits and talks just like having them in the house living together. Have a wonderful life.

  36. Pass the Torch says:

    I’m so happy for all of you. Good for your parents to recognize that is a smart decision for everyone involved.
    We’re seriously considering moving to a larger town where our parents live, because we’re missing a sense of community and really want our kids to be close to their grandparents. I think it could make a huge difference in our lives, in ways we can’t even predict.
    But so much depends on so much else. I guess we just have to wait and decide what fate has in store for us.
    I truly feel happy for you, Shannon. I know what a difference that will make in your life.

  37. Aimee says:

    Yay! It is so exciting to be near family. One of the primary perks of the end of my husband’s Navy career has been the move back home to PA to be near grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. We desperately missed that when we were moving every 2-3 years.
    My parents are an hour away, and I wish they were even closer. It is so wonderful for the kids to see their grandparents often, and the kids are a tonic for my parents’ health.
    Best wishes for the move and the “settling in.”

  38. Karen says:

    Woo Hoo! My parents are the same way…it is such an incredible blessing that my kids have gotten to spend time with their grandparents on a weekly basis (something I never had). They are building memories that will last a lifetime…I’m chronicling it with photos too since I have a 2 year old and my parents are elderly (mom is 76 and step dad is 86).
    Enjoy…I’m truly excited for you guys!

  39. Sally says:

    My husband and I live in the same town where I grew up and my parents still live here too. Our girls have been blessed by living so close to their only grandparents and having them attend all of their school events, etc. And I love having my parents nearby.

  40. proverbs31 says:

    Hooray!!! I’m so happy for you. My mom lives in the same town and my mother in law lives in the next town over and my grandmother lives in another neighbor town! It’s great to have so many grandmas around and to be able to have them come to birthday parties and recitals. Hip Hip Hooray!!!

  41. Antique Mommy says:

    Yay for you indeed. We have no family nearby and I so wish we did. Maybe you can get your mom to start a blog and then we can abduct, I mean induct her into our cult, I mean club. πŸ™‚

  42. Goslyn says:

    Oh, I am so excited for you! I wish I had family close by. My in-laws are 3 hours from us, which is nice, but I would love them to be closer. We miss out on so much of each other’s lives.
    Yay for the Dryer family!

  43. Karla says:

    You are so blessed for this to be happening, Shannon! Our family lives all over the country. (Closest family member is 2.5 hours away) What we wouldn’t do to be closer to them!

  44. Karen says:

    We live right next door to my folks. As they have gotten older, our time together has become more precious. Our children love to go over to visit and they love coming over as often as they can. There is much blessing on both sides! There has been things to work out…but that is where new growth comes in for everyone. (:

  45. elizabeth says:

    A) My parents are so jealous. We just drove by your old new house and your parents are packing up to head out!
    B) I hear your parents had a very cute realtor.
    C) I’ll never again be able to walk up the steps of my own front porch without looking back now that I know your dad is moving to our town.

  46. J.Fergie says:

    What a blessing! That is so great. We are miles and miles away from any family of ours and wish (almost daily) that we could be closer. Enjoy!

  47. Carrie says:

    That’s great. More quality time with family is always good for better relationships. Much like our relationship with our folks who lives not more than a mile a way.

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