Growing up I was lucky enough to have 16 (!) first cousins. Gotta love how catholics can breed no? Every couple of weekends was spent seeing one or the other family and I am proud to say that I am still good friends with many of them. Family lunches were spent hanging out with the other kids, playing, watching bad 80’s horror films in rooms with all the blinds shut, fighting, stealing your uncles ciggies, playing spotlight with a torch, telling ghost stories and laughing. As you got older there were chances to hook up with their friends at 18th’s or 21st – the cousin connection was a good thing.
There is nothing quite like the bond you have with other kids that are family. You live different lives, live in different parts of the same city, go to different schools and have different social circles and yet are the same and somehow so different. Your parents being the same (siblings) and yet having different takes on things/values/beliefs which lead to differences between each family. And that’s what I think is the very best thing about cousins. The sameness and the differences. Does that make sense? We had some great family holidays together with cousins from both my Dad and Mum’s side of the family where it would be chaos – kids everywhere – but we would just have the BEST time because we would all be together, having fun and never having a chance to be bored. It was organised chaos and those are the best memories I have when I think back to my childhood.
I hope my girls feel the same about all their cousins in the future. They already have so much fun when they are together now that I am certain it will be the case. We so enjoy spending time with all our brothers and sisters on both sides of the family that I know they won’t have a chance to not have fun together because like it or not, they will be spending time together.
And despite differences in where you grow up, whether it be different states or suburbs some things are just universal. Like the love of dressing up as princesses. Or watching DVD’s while the adults eat lunch and sit around and natter for hours at a time. Or sitting around and drawing together, or working on some concerts for the post lunch/dinner adult entertainment.
And to all my cousins (& aunties etc) who read this now. I love youse all.