Saturday, July 17, 2010

My wish for the cousins!

Growing up we had few visits with our cousins.  Really all of my cousins lived far away from us, so there wasn't much to be done about that.  I do however have very fond memories of my cousins, especially Cara and Jen, as that is who we saw most often.  I hated reading, yet my cousins loved to read and my Uncle Glen managed a book store, so he had many, many books laying about the house.  My cousins read for fun, do you believe it... sure not something I did as a kid.  But at their house, I read Archie comic after Archie comic.  I also remember playing operation on each other when we were supposed to be falling asleep.  Jen would pretend to cut my arm open, fix a bone and re-stitch me up.  Or sometimes we would write words on each others backs and see if we could figure out the message... funny what you remember.  I also remember that my cousin Jen could take the sleep out of her eye in one long strip - weird!  Why do I remember these things?  I'm sure we did many more exciting things together, like motor boat or katamran at their cottage for example, why don't those memories stand out more? 

I hope that my kids will have fond memories of their cousins.  We don't see each other very often either and we are very far away from each other.  We do what we can to keep the specialness to their relationship by sending videos, making phone calls and passing on hand me downs (seems silly, but little kids love getting stuff from their older cousins, Devin will wear it if it came from Tyson). We try to put family first when we can and this summer is no exception with a trip out to BC to celebrate great-gramma and grampa's 60th anniversary.  It was great to see them on their special day, but it was really special because we got to spend that day with all the cousins and aunties and uncles and great-gramma and grampa got to see how all their great-grandkids interact and it was really cool!
Below we have Devin and Samantha buried in the sand at Tofino.  These two are only a month apart in birthday, but just because of the nature of girls and boys, typically you will find Sam playing with Jasmine and Devin with her younger brother, Hayden.  I love this picture because of the great smiles, they were loving this moment!

Below we have a couple group snaps with all the Shadbolt cousins, I say that, but unfortunately for grampa none of their last names are actually Shadbolt :( 

Below we have the boy cousins and the girl cousins.  The boys are especially funny and well rounded, but I think they all have a sweet, sensitive side to them... they really are Shadbolt's!  Then you have the girls... very powerful and driven, they know what they want and they know how to get it, not necessarily a good thing at their age.

Crazy cousins posing at the beach.  Jasmine thinks Tyson is smelling his armpit here, ha, ha!  Devin is doing a karate chop!
Hayden is the most huggable, kissable, kooky kid you ever did meet and he is incredibly lovable.  Here the boys hugs and almost choke each other to death, seriously, we had to break it up, too funny!
Jasmine especially loves her cousin Allison.  I'm glad long distance plans have changed, or we would owe a fortune to the phone company in a few years.  Jasmine is just starting to figure out that she can phone her cousins and talk (for what seems like hours).  Allison is a great role model for Jasmine and helps her write notes to the fairies, gives her drawing lessons and more. 
My sisters and I were each blessed with 1 boy and 1 girl, pretty strange odds, considering we came from a family of 3 girls.  It's wonderful to get together, whether it is with only one set of cousins having special quality time or whether we are all together having a chaotic adventure - the cousins are a blast!  I only hope that years from now the cousins will remain close.  My cousins and I have drifted apart and besides the odd email Christmas letter (or now blog from my cousin Jen), we don't keep in touch as much as I would like.

One little cousin isn't mentioned above and that is Olivier, from Jay's side of the family.  We are blessed to have him so close by and living in Ottawa.  As Olivier gets older, he asks more and more to come and play with his older cousins and he seems to have a real fondness for Devin.  He is a talkative little guy with a great spirit and ravishing appetite. Oli and the kids get along so well, that it is easy to have him over to just hang out and he fits right into our day.  Oli will soon have a baby brother, Alexandre Justin and we can't wait to add another cousin into our family!  Olivier lives so close, that we often don't think to go on a crazy adventures with him.  Hopefully we will start making playdates to do fun and adventurous things and he will get old enough to come for sleepovers - can't wait for that. 

One last thought on cousins... cousins last a lifetime.  At the anniversary my dad got to see many of his cousins, and we even got to play with his cousins, kid's kids, so like 5th cousins.  It's amazing how long the line up can go, especially on Jay's side with his mom's 16 siblings.  Cousins are like good friends, you can hook up years later just where you left off when you were a kid, they don't judge you, they just hope you are doing well and I love that, even if you only get a Christmas letter (or more likely, your mom gets a Christmas letter from their mom and fills you in)... whatever, it's all good!  Below is Sam with 5th cousins Bridget and Sidney.  I remember selling lemonade with their mom, Christine, who is my 3rd cousin when I was a kid.   

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Family is quite special, so good for you to try to keep those feeling, thoughts alive. Now, I had better go phone my cousins and see what is happening!