The boys and their cousins have a special relationship built on summers spent together, special occasions celebrated and a bond that only family can have. When they were younger, Adam and Colin asked to see their cousins regularly because their cousins weren't just family, they were also their friends and they has so much fun together. There were sleepovers, birthday parties, swimming, biking, baking, smores, movies, camping and regular trips to the Okanagan and Whistler. Adam & Ainsley and Duncan & Colin wrote books and they all created movies together. A special trip on a Disney Cruise was organized by my mom to celebrate my parents' 50th Anniversary and that will be a cousins' trip they will never forget.
There is something special about the relationship between cousins. There is an ease between cousins that is different than siblings. Cousins are forever friends, built on the bond of family. You can count on your cousins and things just sort of pick up where they get left off the last time you saw them. Being family, you may have seen your cousins in some of their best and maybe some of their worst moments as you have grown up together. You have celebrated wins and milestone moments as well as got through difficult times together. There are stories and history and a deep love that is unique.
In the last few years, the cousin get togethers have been fewer and sometimes limited to three, four, five or six (not all seven) cousins. Things like university, jobs and distance have been factors. Fortunately, the stars aligned this year and from near and far all of the cousins were together for Christmas.
There was a moment during Christmas dinner when I glanced down to the other end of the table and all seven cousins were engaged in various conversations with each other. Not moderated or mediated by us, just chatting on their own, listening to each other and connecting. It made me smile to see the next generation of our family together like that.
And yes, they all wear their crowns from the Christmas crackers without any comments or complaints. My mom always hosted a traditional British Christmas dinner and the crackers were always a big part of it. Its just what we have always done for my mom and will continue to do and these are the traditions that connect the cousins.
Also at the Christmas dinner table this year, Grampa shared some more of his stories. These stories offer a glimpse into our family's history and are another way for the cousins to feel connected. It's so fascinating to think about character traits and dispositions in families and how those get passed along and nurtured.
I hope that even though the cousins don't all see each other as often as they used to, that Adam and Colin know they will always have their cousins that they can turn to and count on and that there is a bond there that is unique to that special relationship that only cousins have.