Monday, July 16, 2012

Cousin LOVE

Photo Courtesy of Aunt Beth!

Cousins are different beautiful flowers in the same garden. - Anonymous

Growing up I had five cousins. Come to think of it, I still have five cousins even though now we're all grown up! :) And let me tell you, when I was a little girl I adored my cousins. In fact, before I was old enough to know that it was wrong (on so many different levels), I even had a crush on a couple of them. Four of my cousins were boys, one was a girl, and my youngest cousins were still four years older than I was, leaving me the baby of the family. But I looked up to them all and was so excited when our family's would spend time together. My girl cousin, Annika, was the best. We would go swimming together, play babies, pretend we were elves in Santa's workshop (aka my grandpa's shed in the backyard). We would paint pottery that my grandma made for us and I always felt so cool when she would invite me to hang out with her older friends. I will freely admit here that I am a little sad that none of my cousins and I really talk anymore. I am just as much to blame for that as anyone else . We all live in different states now, we all have our own families, our own busy lives. But when we get together every few years it still feels good. It feels right. Because that's the way that it is with family. That's the way that it should be . Because we all come from the same place . The same garden, if you will. Some of us shared the same last name growing up, many of our childhood memories were shared, and we all shared the same love for the people that we called grandparents. And that draws families, cousins, together when everything else in the world draws us apart. It's a pretty cool thing, God's creation of the extended family.

So when Boss and I decided to move away from New Mexico back in early 2007, we didn't really talk long about where we wanted to move . Ohio topped the list for one reason. Family. I have the unique blessing of having my parents choose to live wherever Boss and I live, even if it means a move for them. So moving to Ohio to be closer to Boss' side of the family, with my parents coming along as well, was a no brainer. Being with family was where we wanted to be . And while we still don't get to spend nearly enough time with all of them (darn those busy lives!), our kids are in heaven when we do all get together. The reason? Cousins! My girls have some major cousin LOVE going on. And while they only have five cousins (just like their Mama!), the cousins in our family are like little stair steps! Pictured above we have 10 years, 8 years, 7 years, 6 years, 5 years, 2 1/2 years, and 2 years old! And when they get together it is running, and jumping, and screaming, and smiling, and sometimes fighting if we're being completely honest, and cookie baking, and 'office' playing, and complete craziness that leaves me feeling exhausted just from watching. And that's just the way that it should be . Each cousin a unique beautiful flower, all of them coming from the very same garden. And it's a really awesome thing when you take the time to stop and watch, to appreciate and to be thankful for the way that your family's garden is blooming. So thank you God for cousins. And for family. They certainly make our lives more colorful!