...Mom & Dad
Thanksgiving is almost here, and it's a time to be with family and hunker down for some great food and company. However, family, to me, isn't just about my kids and husband. It's not even just about my parents, brother, or grandparents. It's also about my aunts, uncles, cousins, and even those once or twice removed.
My father's side of the family is one of those crazy big ones where sometimes we still need a history lesson on connections. And as an aside, it also seems not very inventive with names, making it all the more confusing. I am actually the eldest of 13 first cousins spanning a 20 year age spread!
As a group of cousins, I can't say that while we were growing up, we were always the best of friends, but when we each came into adulthood, our fondness for each other and spending time together blossomed. A glass of wine or pint together is so much more fun then milk & cookies (or maybe even ice cream which was always at my grandparents' house)! As the years have passed, we have all become what I would say as quite close.
Family get-togethers are a blast, never short of entertainment and usually leads to stories repeated year after year after year, that still makes us laugh. Beyond any family resemblances, all 13 of us share a love of games and dancing. It's hard to think of a Christmas or large gathering that we haven't played some kind of game! And when it comes to weddings, you can be assured to find us all on the dance floor for most of the night.
We do keep in touch in our own ways, and naturally, it ebbs and flows. It's all your typical email, phone calls, facebook, or the one on one meetups. Just yesterday, I had lunch with a cousin to catch up and had such a lovely time that we promised to really try and make it a regular visit outside of her clinic (she's my dog's vet!).
An interesting fact about my cousins is that we all have chosen extremely different career paths. This makes for a fantastic network of experience, perspectives, and support in anything we do. In truth, support is something I think we all value, perhaps, the most: we know that a cousin will be there for us in any time of need, no matter how big or small.
My cousins make me smile when I think of them, and that's happiness.
Oh, and hint-hint to a few cousins...we'd like another wedding soon!