"Cousins are your very first friends." - Unknown
I, The Cheeky Daddy, was a bit of a wall flower as youngster. I didn't attend dances, and remained on the quieter side around my friends who were all louder and more ready to fight for their airtime amongst each other. The only place I felt like I could be myself and be appreciated for it, was around my cousins. Friends from the first, cousins became a place to feel at home and comfortable in my own skin. Bound by blood, there is an inherent bond that exists between cousins, and I thought in my youth that it was only me that felt it, and only me that it happened to.
Recently, our children got to spend some time around their cousins. It had been a while since our kids got to be around these particular children, and when we hooked up, it was as if no time had passed since our last visit. Fun was had, secrets were told, tents were put up in the basement, and so on. Rocks were thrown in ponds, bikes were ridden, and a stack of new memories were created. The Wife and I looked on in admiration of what was happening, and also in fond memory of what we both experienced ourselves back in the day.
I know each family is different. Time, distance, and a host of other factors play into why we can or cannot create memories with extended family. I feel fortunate that my children are getting to participate in that part of family life. It certainly takes effort and work to get 'er done, but it's well worth it if possible. As a sister-in-law put it, "We've all got something that makes us different than everyone else, but if we can't put that aside and ignore it, we as a family will have a great time." She's right. Cousins can be the ultimate BFF. I hope we can keep the tradition going.