Sunday, October 16, 2011


Ok, I am trying to decide how to explain the intricacies of my family to give some insight into who my sister-cousins are in my life...
I am an identical twin (for those of you who don't know that). My sister and I are very close, and especially when we were younger, were really one unit more than 2 individuals. We did everything together, so our relationship really went beyond that of "typical" siblings.

To add to this dynamic, we grew up just over the hill from my aunt and uncle and cousins. We spent lots of time together. At least every Sunday, and often other times during the week. My cousins were like "extra" sisters. We absolutely LOVED spending time together (and still do)!! We would play together by the hour in Grandma's basement coming up with crazy outfits and playing with the wonderful things that could be found in a Grandma's basement. Someone in the family (one of the "spouses") coined the term "hyperfunctional" (as opposed to "dysfunctional") to describe my family. :) When you have 4 generations of lovely people who still enjoy getting together, I guess that is the best way to describe it!

Now the cousins are all grown up and have families of our own. We don't get to spend nearly enough time together as there are greater distances between us now than the 5 blocks of our childhood. My cousins still are my "extra" sisters, though, and our husbands (and kids) all LOVE to get together as well. It is so great. People have questioned at various times through the years "you are going WHERE?" when the answer is something like "my cousin's son's confirmation..." as generally that is not an event that would necessitate a trip out of state to spend an entire day or more. Wouldn't a card suffice?? Not if it is basically your "nephew", and it is in your ability to be there!
When we do have the chance, we get together for a "Cousins' Night Out". It is a chance for whoever is "home" to get together and reconnect. They are greatly anticipated events! Not for any specific excitement that happens, but for the reconnection with the people we love. Sometimes Cousins' Night Out means we actually go out to eat somewhere, sometimes it means we get together at one of our houses after the kids have gone to bed. ALWAYS it means we laugh, share, laugh some more, remember the past, laugh, talk about the present, laugh, and think about the potential of the future.

This past summer we spent a couple days with one of my cousin's families at their home, and had such a great time that we decided we needed to make that happen more often. Our kids had a chance to connect on a deeper level than the usual couple hours that we see them when they visit "home". We got to share meals, share bedtime and morning routines, and settle into the joy that is family.

Just this past weekend we spent an evening with another cousin and her husband (their boys are now in college!). We went out to eat, had a great meal, sat outside around a fire in their yard (in the rain, under umbrellas), and just enjoyed being together. Ahhh...

Now, I have other cousins who we love as well, and cherish all of them, but these sister-cousins have a special place in my heart.

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