This past summer, my husband Kevin and I moved our little family into a home down the street from my parents’ house the same month that my grandmother moved in with them. Four generations, all within a quarter-mile radius.
While in some ways moving back to the neighborhood I grew up in has made my world feel smaller, in most meaningful ways it has gotten infinitely larger. Our toddler treats my parents’ house as an extension of ours, and my parents as an extension of Kevin and me. My grandmother, whom I previously only saw a couple times a year, fawns over our four-month-old’s every minor development. And though our little family still spends most evenings at home, it’s comforting to know that my parents are just a quick walk away—and that if ever I want to go for a quick walk, I can call my mom for company.
This week, we’re talking a lot about family and community. We’ll consider how we can stay close to our families even when they’re geographically distant (but if you do live near yours, look for a roundup of board games you might want to consult before your next family gathering). One mother reflects on what it truly means to be “maternal,” while another acknowledges the merits of imperfectly captured memories in a culture of share-worthy photoshoots. Today, we get a glimpse of what’s inside our collective kitchen pantries (plus a few related recipes to feed you and yours) and a playlist to facilitate reflection on the people and places that built us.
As always, we’re grateful for you, the irreplaceable members of our Verily community. If you ever have a thought you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you.