By Amanda Knox
I grew up within walking distance of almost my entire extended family. Oma and Opa, aunts and uncles, Mom and Dad—all were within reach, settled between SW 106th St and the Alaska Junction. This arrangement left a lasting impression on me: my notion of family is not limited to the nuclear unit; interaction is abundant and interdependence is instinctual. I suppose this is equivalent to small town mentality: it may not be much, but here are my people, here is my place.
As such, I’d always imagined I’d stay in West Seattle. I’d travel for sure, live in other cities, other countries even, but I was sure I’d eventually settle close to home, and raise my own kids within walking distance of my mom, sisters, and cousins. Why would I deny my children the great gift I received from my parents and adult relatives: shared time and resources, a formidable network of support to fall back on, unconditional love from so many directions in close proximity? Of course, it never occurred to me that when the time came, I might not be able to afford to do this.