We’re Going to Be Friends: The Cousin Connection

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Whereas siblings inevitably come with rivalry, cousins are more uncomplicated. Older, younger, same age — it doesn’t matter, a cousin is around while the adults eat, drink, argue, bake, work, laugh or sleep. They’re the best counterparts for play because you don’t see them every day and they are different in an interesting way, not an annoying one like someone in your actual house. It’s that little bit of distance that makes the difference. My two girls are lucky to have lots of cousins — most of whom are a solid 20 years older than them and endlessly doting. From these older cousins, they receive so much love and encouragement — plus, they get to be treated like adults by adults, which they really like —going to rock shows or learning how to order from a restaurant menu. And they get to be in charge of the games, since the grown-ups are cool following the leads of the little ones — they’ll have dance parties, make monster masks or just play with pots and pans for hours if that what my kids want to do. Their adult cousins are generous, glamorous and endless fun. Then my girls have my sister’s kids, boys who are just five years older, and that’s great too. Because the girls idolize these kid cousins, thinking everything they do from football to karate to rainbow loom bracelets, is the greatest thing ever. They emulate the boys constantly, fist bumping and wearing their hand-me-down clothes (for two days my daughter has refused to remove a pair of my nephew’s old socks). When we get the family together, the four cousins run and play like a pack of wolves and even the baby tells me to stay away.


027297961326 Recently, we got the good news that there will soon be a new baby in the family (not from us!) and I can’t wait to see how my kids will embrace their first younger cousin. They’ll get a chance to be the big kids for once — to be helpful and dazzling, loving and fun. I hope they give this little one all the amazing gifts they’ve been given from their cousins — and the beautiful connections continue.

Do you have a great cousin connection story?

Share with us below! And here’s a little musician trivia for you. The Beach Boys included a cousin connection: Mike Love is the cousin of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson. Wouldn’t it be nice to have those guys in your family? ;)

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