One of our summer highlights has been visits with the cousins. This past weekend, when we made our semi-annual trek to Wichita Falls, my sister-in-law Carlye told me how great it is that we bother to visit like we do (considering John’s less than idea family situation growing up). I told her that it is for the kids–I want them to have time with their cousins, and the kids had nothing to do with bad decisions adults made when he was a kid. Carlye didn’t really get it. She just has one cousin and didn’t really grow up with her (or him…not even sure which.)

But for me, my cousins were such a part of my childhood. I cherish those memories of swimming, playing in the yard, sleepovers, putting on shows, going to the lake or hunting or Turkey Creek, singing loudly in the backseat of the car. We all lived within minutes of each other, though. I want my girls to enjoy their cousins, too, even if it involves a five hour drive a couple of times a year.

Me, I had sixteen cousins on my mom’s side. These were the ones in town that I really grew up with. My dad’s side is a little more complicated (my dad and my husband share the bond of screwed up childhoods). On his side, I have eight cousins, but we really only knew of three of them at the time. (Two of my dad’s younger siblings were put up for adoption at birth and found him later.) I have fun memories of visits with them, too, every couple of years–vivid memories of three-day car trips to California!

My girls have two (girl) cousins on my side. And on one of John’s sides (two families due to adoption), they have six (girl) cousins. And on the other side, they have ten cousins (and one on the way.) Again, we don’t see one of these cousins (again, due to adoption) or another six, since they live out of state. So on that side, of the three we see: two girls, one boy.

Basically, GIRL COUSINS ROCK! Caroline has three same-age cousins (all five to six months younger than she is). Elizabeth has one same-age cousin and two more within a year. These girls have fun together!