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Playing with Cousins – why it’s important!

Playing with Cousins – why it’s important!

Some people say that cousins are your first friends. Coming from a large family with lots and lots of extended family members has me in agreement. Whole-hearted agreement. I waited every summer – and some christmases- to see my cousins on my mom’s side. I grew up next door to all my cousins on my dad’s side.

On my dad’s side, my cousins were quite a bit older than me, and boys, so they, of course, did not want their little girl cousin around. They considered each other brothers though, they were the same age, and they grew up together. I had an older girl cousin, Shanna, who was my idol. She was beautiful, smart, and always so nice and graceful. But also older than me. I had little cousins who were younger than me too. Three girl cousins, two boy cousins. They moved when we were little, and I missed them so much. It was like losing best friends.

On my mom’s side, my cousins were all around the same age as my sisters and I, and we all grew up as brothers and sisters. We were together all summer, and some christmases. We created some pretty awesome memories through the years.

In a nutshell, there’s really nothing I wouldn’t do for any of my cousins. They were my first friends. Even my older cousins. Now that we are older, we get to hang out a lot more, in a more mutually respected arena, that usually includes lots of wine. My older cousins were always like older brothers of mine. Grumpy, older brothers. But now they’re married, and I love their wives.

My two boys now have their own set of cousins on both sides of the family, and they love their cousins as their own brothers and sisters. As they should. I encourage it tremendously, and I love that they have each other. I love watching them create their own memories as they play, fight, and show love and support for one another. They have also created bonds with my cousins children, so it’s nice to watch the play together, like we used to.

Cousins are a blessing in life. When school is tough, and you don’t want to be around peers, you should always have the chance to come home and see your cousins on the weekends. Go on adventures, create great memories, make messes, break things, get into a little trouble. It’s what childhood is all about. Without cousins to share all this with, its really not as much fun!

Think about it…who did you get into the most trouble with while growing up? Who did you play with while hanging out at Grandma and Grandpa’s house? Who did you hang out with during holiday’s? Family parties, get togethers, and celebrations, definitely would have a lot different without cousins, right?

Even as teens and young adults, my cousins and I were hanging out and going on adventures. We were exploring our freedom as soon as the oldest cousin got his license AND a car. We were hanging out at the beach, going to the mall, meeting up with other friends, but always as a group. There are strength in numbers, and there were tons of us always together. We varied in age from as old as as 17 to 7, and we traveled as a squad. Hanging out with your cousins was the ultimate #squadgoals growing up. We went to the little mall in Lihue, Kauai and hung out like rockstars. We never disrespected the older cousins, and were always kept in line. But we loved being able to hang out and go anywhere at all. The transformation from children to young adults were fully underway and it was magnificent.

Now as older adults, with families of our own, it’s hard to imagine life without my cousins. I go to them in times of need, when I need to vent, and my sisters and I just love being around them. It’s still so much fun, and we all have a piece of history in each other’s life. We know secrets, past experiences, and when we lost grandma, we all mourned the same. It’s like having the best of both worlds, friends that are family.

 

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