As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I have a shit-ton of cousins. Growing up, I was an only child until I was almost 10, so my cousins became my pseudo-siblings. Actually, cousins can be better than siblings when you’re young — you WANT to play with them and the fact that you’re related means you get to have tons and tons of sleepovers and all-day play marathons.
Like any big family, you tend to get age-grouped very young. I was lucky that I had some great cousins my age. I have two cousins who are the same age as me (well, technically, one is 6 months older than me and the other is 6 months younger. But who’s counting … anymore?)
But that means I can’t remember ever not having them around. Here’s me and my cousin Neil (the younger one) when we were probably 2, sitting on our Pap’s lap up at our grandparent’s farm.
Footie jammies make everything better, by the way.
Fast-forward 33 years, and here are our two daughters this weekend.
My cousin Neil, his wife and their two children made the drive from Pennsylvania to Florida this weekend for their first ever trip to Disney (um, yeah, I may have laid on the peer pressure a bit thick at his brother’s wedding last month). They arrived at our house on Friday to spend two nights before checking in to their Disney hotel on Sunday.
And. E. was in cousin heaven.
On Saturday, we braved the rain to give them their first taste of Disney at Downtown Disney.
The girls kept hunting princesses.
What, you don’t curtsy to statues, too?
It was just so much fun for my cousin and I to finally get to spend some quality time together as adults (for much of the past 10 years we’ve only seen each other in passing at family events), and more importantly, for our families to get to know each other.
I swear, most of my family thinks DadJovi and I are divorced since he never seems to be able to make it home to Pennsylvania with me. I got to really know his wife (FINALLY!) and E. is enamored with her cousins, particularly her super cool older cousin (she’s 5-almost-6 and when you’re 4-when-do-I-turn-5?, well, that’s a big deal).
By Saturday night, kids were just passing out everywhere.
It was such a blast spending the weekend with them even though there was one big fat ugly cloud over their time here. This bitch.
What a freaking bummer. This is their family’s first (but hopefully not last!) trip to Walt Disney World, and this is what they have to deal with — days and days of all-day rain, whipping winds and closed attractions. They were such good sports though. Me? I would have been curled in a corner moaning like this girl.
We waved good-bye as they headed off to enjoy a rainy day at Animal Kingdom on Sunday. The weather didn’t help but E. was flat-out depressed. It took us forever to even get her out of bed. Poor sad baby.
And then I promised her we could go see the new “Cinderella” play at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater … before I found out it was already sold out. Womp, womp. My friend, whose daughter is E’s BFF at school, took pity on me though and let E. come over for a couple hours to play. Thank God for good friends!
After I picked E. up, I thankfully had a big carrot to hang over her head — more cousins! Coincidentally, Neil’s sister Rachel is also here this week with her family! That meant after work and school on Monday, we got to see them for dinner!
Yes, we ate at Bubba Gump’s. No, we won’t be returning anytime soon. Blerg. But it didn’t matter; we were there for the company, not the food. They were also there to temporarily dry out from their rainy daytime trip to Universal Studios before returning for the evening to try and squeeze in a few more rides.
And E. was there for some more cousin love.
I mean, just look at the awe on her face.
Here’s how much E. loves her cousins. After we said our good-byes, she said to me, “Mommy, why do all my cousins live in Pennsylvania?” I explained to her that’s where Mommy grew up but that now we live in Florida. E: “Well, I want to live in Pennsylvania, too, with my cousins.” Me: “But we live here. What about our house?” E: “We could make it for sale.”
OK, who’s been teaching her about real estate? Whoever it was missed an important part of the lesson — no one will ever be able to sell their home in Florida again. Case closed.
Of course I occasionally fantasize about moving back closer to all my family but I really think, at least as of today, that Florida is our forever home. I just wish it was a shorter trip back and forth. E. clearly needs her cousins in her life.
And so do I.
Are you close to your cousins? And has weather ever ruined your vacation?
I only have one set of first cousins, but we are very close in age, so we did see each other a lot growing up and I still see them every time I go visit my parents. That is on my dad’s side. On my mom’s side, my grandpa was the youngest of nine, so all my cousins are much, much older than I am.
I have LOTS of cousins and I love them all…but there’s a weird age gap that’s always left me out a bit 🙁 It’s me, then my brother three years younger. And THEN a mess of cousins. I was always the oldest by a lot, which made it tough to find real connections.
They’re great and we’re closer now, thanks to technology, but my cousins and I will never have the bond that my brother has with them. Plus, they’re all very far away (mostly on the West coast) so there aren’t a lot of opportunities to see them.
I have A TON of cousins in MA. My dad was very close with all of his first cousins — and am I with my first cousins. And since they’ve had kids — and most of them have had kids — so there’s never a shortage of cousins when we visit Boston (or when they occassionally visit here). I love it!
My kids feel the same way as E. I get lots of questions about why we don’t see our cousins more often (in particular my cousin Amy has two boys – 11 and 9 that Braeden is OBSESSED with) and why they don’t have any cousins that live down here (I tell him they need to talk to their uncles about that one). I don’t want to put unneccessary pressure on my brothers – but it is all me. Ha ha. And I LOVED having my cousins around so much more than my brothers when I was little (of course, it helped that they were mostly girls).
Kashi @ Cape Island Runners says
I have 9 first cousins and am not super close to any of them, although that is starting to change with the younger ones. There are 4 that are close to my age but our parents were battling so 2 of them I never saw growing up (even though we lived 5 miles apart!). The other 2 we saw a few times a year and are friendly with, but not super close to. The other 5 are btw 10-27 yrs younger than me. But as each has gotten into their 20s we have gotten closer, so that is a good thing!
However, my sis and I grew up on a block with a ton of kids and I think of them more as cousins! We had an awesome time growing up together and still invite each other to weddings, big events, etc.