I was the first born grandchild on both sides. Needless to say, I’m sure I was ridiculously spoiled as a child.
On my mom’s side of the family, I was the only grandchild until my brother came along when I was in kindergarten. The next grandchild is two years younger than my brother. Starting when I was twelve, there was another boy cousin born each year for three years. I was definitely more of a baby-sitter to my cousins than anything else. Our interests didn’t line up and I was typically relegated to going outside to watch all the kids while the adults were inside visiting. At that point, I still held the coveted title of ‘Favorite Granddaughter’ and my grandpa let me know it frequently! When I was sixteen, the first girl cousin on my mom’s side of the family was born. It was pretty devastating to give up that title, but she was worth it. Two little girls were born my first year of college. So now, my grandparents have four granddaughters and five grandsons.
On my dad’s side of the family, I was the only grandchild for two years. Then there were two girls born before my brother came along. After that there was a steady stream of kids born, until we ended up with nine girls and four boys. I always had two girls around my age to play with, so it was not the same dynamic as my mom’s side of the family.
For the most part, I always felt like I was so much older than my cousins that we didn’t have the friendship connection. We had the family bond and I loved them all to death (almost more like little brothers and sisters.) Now that we are all approaching adulthood, I have found my relationship with my cousins turning more friendship-based. They are all turning into wonderful young men and women and I simply love having conversations with them and catching up on their lives. In a way, it makes me feel more youthful because I can remember going through the same things in college or high school.
Last night I had dinner with my grandparents, a few aunts and uncles and a few cousins. One of my cousins and I ended up staying up until midnight, just having some drinks and talking about life. It was a fabulous evening and I hope to have more like it with him (and my other cousins) in the future.
Are you close with your cousins? How often are you able to spend time with them?