we spent the day at my mother in law's house yesterday and it was so relaxing. my niece and nephew don't live far from her and as soon as they got out of school they joined us. the heat drove my people straight into the pool. i know they were thankful for a refreshing splash together. i enjoyed watching them having fun with their cousins. it got me thinking about my own cousins and our relationship. as i watched my little people splash and play with their cousins in the pool, i thought about how grateful i am that they are going to know their cousins. both my niece and nephew have been a part of my kids' lives since before they were even born. my niece's birthday is one day before my daughter's birthday. all the kids play so well together. it's good, clean honest fun with genuine belly laughs. i get a big smile on my face watching them.
|i love feet. they are cute. and no one ever has the same exact pair.|
they giggle. they tell jokes. they look out for each other. they help each other. they give hugs and kisses to each other. they genuinely love each other and love being with each other. that makes me so happy.
unfortunately my cousins and i lived in completely different states growing up. with my father in the military we bounced from coast to coast. we did not have the opportunity to grow up "with" our cousins. i used to be envious of the kids who had these huge extended families. they would roll their eyes when telling me about another family gathering with 20+ people there. i used to want that. thankfully, we are continuing to nurture the relationships with my cousins and get to know them as young adults. we tease and beg them to move closer. they are very special. i know if we had lived closer to them growing up that we would have had a relationship much like my kids do with their cousins.
|helping her learn to hull-a-hoop|
|ice cream is a right of passage, for sure and a summertime must-have!|
i look forward to the summer time when i know we'll get to see my niece and nephew more often. have them over to swim or spend the night. my kids really look forward to this too. it's important for kiddos to know their family. know who loves them. and later in life, when things get tough my hope is that they turn to their family when they need strength. all of that starts now, building those relationships when they are young.
|my niece, growing up so fast|
|my nephew, the ladies are going to love those eyes one day!|
there is another reason for me being so emotional about this. i am recently a "new" auntie. our newest addition - my niece - is coming to cali tomorrow. my youngest brother and his wife are moving back to the west coast with their brand new baby. i could not be more excited!! almost like a kid at christmas. not only do i get to have my little brother and his amazing wife living closer but we also get to spend quality time with their new baby. one more cousin for kiddos to play with. to get to know. to laugh with. to make memories with. this is what it's all about for me.