Growing up, some of my closest playmates were my cousins. My mother is a twin who spent a lot of time with her sisters, especially her other half. So, my cousin Debbie and I, who are 4 months apart, grew up like sisters or better yet, best friends. We would cry to stay at each others houses every time we had the opportunity. Her mother, my Aunt Sandy, was my favorite person. I often wished she was my Mom. Debbie and I baked her a cake from scratch one time and even walked to the store to get icing for decoration. I remember Debbie following the directions from a magazine to create a clown on the top of the cake. I learned so much from Debbie growing up. I continue to learn things from her to this day. She is such a strong, talented woman with many traits I admire.
My mothers younger sister, Diane, had two daughters. They are much younger than my sister, my cousin Debbie, and me. So, we loved to play with them and carry them around when they were little. It was like having our own real life dolls. They were still very young when they moved from Texas to Oklahoma and I often wish they had been closer so we could have gotten to know them better as we grew. I saw them for the first time in many years when their Dad, my Uncle Billy, passed away. It was great to spend a little time catching up with this little piece of my family so far away. Once again recently at their mother, my Aunt Diane’s, funeral we had an occassion to do some catching up. I am so impressed with what strong women they have become, and how they have raised their children to be the same way. Still, I wish I had the opportunity to grow up with them the way I grew up with my cousin, Debbie.
Because I had such a great experience with cousins as my extended siblings growing up, I wanted to give my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews the same experience. When our children were young, my sister and I did a lot together which allowed our now adult children to become friends. My brothers children have also followed this path and over time have become friends with my children through family events, Facebook, birthday parties, etc. Some of my siblings children have even lived in my house for a time and have used that experience to grow more important in the lives of my daughters. I am so thankful for this extended family and their impact on my life and the lives of my daughters.
In the future I hope to continue to cultivate relationships between the little cousins in my life. I like the statement “Nauna’s House: where cousins go to become best friends!” I need that on a plaque in my house. It is not unusual for my brother and sisters grandchildren to be at my house playing with my grandchildren. I am so thankful for the opportunity to host them at my house and pray for more opportunities in the future. There is nothing better than being best friends with your cousins and knowing that they are family who will be with you forever.
- Thankful Heart: Day 13 – Our Boys and their Momma (ourcrowdedheart.wordpress.com)