“Nobody will understand the craziness of your family better than your cousins”
My mom is the oldest of four sisters and my dad is the oldest of a younger brother and sister. We’re closer to my mom’s family. My dad lost his sister when I was in school and his brother moved away when I was real young and now we are not in contact with him or his family! I feel real sad that I don’t know my cousins from his side – I have not met them (two boys) in the last 15-18 years and they must be adults now (I last saw them when they were 4 & 8!) I sometimes joke with my dad that if I ever pass them in the street, they would be random strangers to me, that’s how out of touch we are!
I’m the oldest of eight cousins from my maternal side, dominated by girls. Between me and the youngest there’s an 11 year gap. We’re six girls and two boys.
Growing up, we were close, but since we’d meet maybe once a year if lucky, it was not that “tell you all my secrets” type of closeness. Plus, because of the eleven year gap, when I was say fifteen, my youngest cousins were like three or four! I even have memories of my second last cousin’s birth! I remember seeing her as a new-born in the hospital and since she was born in early March, I distinctly remember going to my grandmother’s home for our summer holidays in April/May and being with her. I have memories of begging my aunt to let me hold her and I would sit patiently with her on my lap when my aunt went for a bath or did something else.
However, as we grew up, the age gap somehow closed and we could relate to each other and instead of growing apart, we grew closer!
Thanks to Facebook, emails and social media we got even closer, sharing photos and milestones. It was great, but somehow we were not able to meet due to distances, schedules and what have you. Currently, we’re scattered all over the world – Hong Kong, Singapore, India, UK, USA and Canada – you get the picture right, when someone is free in one part of the world, the others are busy in another!
However it was last year, when one of my youngest cousins got married, we really started connecting with each other. Before the wedding, we started a Whatsapp group to discuss what to give her. This was something we started when the first one of us got married. In addition to the family gift with the parents, we wanted to give something special to our cousin and at that time, with hardly anyone working, it used to be small. Now that we can afford it, it’s more expensive.
It was great fun at the wedding – we had the time of our lives and missed the one cousin who could not make it. Then we decided to keep in touch more since it was so much fun and since then there’s hardly a day when texts are not pinging their way across the globe.
Cousins brighten up your life so much, that I hope BB & GG also have the same relationship with their cousins, both first and second (aka children of my cousins)