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Cousins, outside of siblings they are the first friends we know in life. I have 8 amazing cousins scattered across the country. Now that we are grown I cherish family reunions, weddings and birthday celebrations with them. But these become harder to coordinate as we all grow and have children of our own. Yet, when we are together it is a seamless transition into conversations about our lives now and laughter about times shared when we were still kids.
My daughter knows most of her cousins well-they live in NJ just around the corner. We have family dinners, celebrate birthdays and spend summers in the pool together. But my sisters both live far away and though she had been introduced to her cousin Tripp via Skype they had never actually met. When I stopped to think about it I realized Ms. M is 15 mths old and Tripp is 21/2 and yet they had never played together. It broke my heart.
So we flew to Texas. It was a week full of laughter as we watched the two of them get to know each other. A little timid at first, they quickly warmed to one another. Tripp immediately stepped into the role of “older brother” and would gently take Maddie’s hand and announce “no no Mad-e-Line” when she would wander out of the room. He would responsibly select doughnuts for the two of them to eat at their table every morning. And even though every time he wasn’t looking Maddie would try to steal his (I suppose she must of thought they looked better) he would patiently explain that she had her own...”over there”.
Maddie had someone older to look up to and she relished every moment. She would follow Tripp everywhere and would imitate everything he would do. They are so much alike and to finally see it first hand made my heart sing. They smile with their eyes the same way, they focus on tasks with the same determination and they both love to dance. Man do they love to dance!
So to everyone, hug your cousins---they are a mirror of who we are and a window that looks both to our past and to our future.