Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Cousins

There's just something about cousins. The relationship is different from that of siblings -- still close, but less, uh, complex. You don't get to choose them, and you may have little in common except a pair of ancestors, but sometimes, by virtue of age and proximity (or lack thereof), you end up as friends anyway. Friends for life. (Hi Katey!)

That's the way it is with my kids and their cousins. They live forty minutes apart. They're being raised in different nuclear families, one urban, one rural, with very different lifestyles. There's only one boy in the mix. But get them all together in one place, and it's like synergy on steroids. Three plus two equals one hundred and eight. There are no such things as indoor voices. Everything they do together is the Most! Exciting! Thing! Ever!

Take our recent trip to Colorado, for example.

Riding a miniature motorized train in loops around a plaza while wearing funny hats and blowing horns?

The Most! Exciting! Thing! Ever!

Hiking through the woods and pretending we're conducting covert ops miles from civilization?

The Most! Exciting! Thing! Ever! 

Riding a gondola halfway up a mountain over a nature preserve and spotting a beaver dam?

The Most! Exciting! Thing! Ever!

Entering the double digits together, only one day apart?

The Most! Exciting! Thing! Ever!

Creating an extremely loud performance combining every commercial jingle they're ever committed to memory?
 (I'll spare you the video)
The Most! Exciting! Thing! Ever!

Now, there are times when our eardrums are ringing and our lives flashing before our eyes as the mania unfolds before us. But at moments like these, we adults try to remind ourselves that these kids are hurtling, faster than we'd like, toward the years when stirring up a ruckus together on a tractor-drawn train might not be so cool. When they (minus the boy) might not spend hours dressing up their dolls and enacting convoluted dramas. For the precious present, they're still a gang, in the nicest sense of the word. And we treasure that.

Even though there are moments when we imagine them sitting a quiet circle, reading books and sipping lemonade as we carry on adult conversation in the same room and actually process complete thoughts in our brains, and think that surely that would be ...

The Most! Exciting! Thing! Ever! 


Tracee said...

happy tears. that's so sweet!

Megan Coker said...

That's pretty awesomeness.

Katey Ferguson Dyck said...

Dearest cousin,
First - I treasure our adult friendship as much as I once treasured our childhood Thanksgivings. We only saw each other once a year, but OH how I looked forward to girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes :-)
Second - Caroline's smiles in your pictures brought me to tears. You and I may have been raised in different ways, but nothing makes me feel closer to God than the fact that you can still put your arms around that perfect little angel. Hooray!

Tim said...

There's definitely something special about cousins. These five, especially, have quite the chemistry.

Stephanie said...

My kids cousins are all much older than they are, so they do not have this kind of experience. But MY cousin happens to live in San Antonio and her daughter and mine forged a sweet bond around the age of 3 and 4 and getting these second cousins together is always a treat!

Jenni said...

As kids, we only got to see our cousins once a year. I am so happy that our kids have at least weekly visits and can have such a blast together. I treasure those moments, probably more than they do at this point in their lives. Just today, Amber asked me when your family would be moving, she was sad and serious about it. I don't look forward to the day when you aren't living quite so close anymore. But, I'm not going to think about that right now.

Thank you for putting to words what I feel. Love you!