Everybody at the Reddy Zoo seems to be recovering from last week's germ infestation. There are a few sniffles and coughs still hanging around, but nothing like what we experienced last week. Everyone is back at school this week. Today we are spending the day with our cousins.
Cousins are an extremely big part of our lives. Not just because there are so many, but also because of how close they all are. Everyone has a cousin (or two or three) who is pretty close to their same age which creates instant playmates. Since there are plenty of people and things to celebrate in the Reddy family, the cousins are together quite a bit, especially around the holidays. Everyone lives relatively close to one another, which makes this togetherness more convenient. The close proximity also makes it easier to get together for no reason at all. Or for the moms to trade days of babysitting in order get errands done.
In addition to all of that, Miss M, Big D and C.B. each have at least one cousin in their classes at school. Banana will also be in the same class as one of her cousins when the time comes. One of my sisters-in-law and I were just discussing how our kids know their cousins as their friends in addition to being cousins. Her son is at an age where things need to be clearly defined and he was referring to Big D as his "cousin-friend". It's really the perfect definition.
Looking back at my childhood and my lack of cousins nearby, I envy the relationship my children have with their cousins. However, it is because of them that I have wonderful relationships with my sisters-in-law. I enjoy being with them as much as our kids enjoy being together. Although we'd rather chat over coffee than have lightsaber battles during our "playtime".
The cousin-friend relationship is a very special bond that I plan to help nurture in any way that I can. I pray that my kids and their cousins are able to maintain their closeness into their adult lives.