We went to my cousins home to watch super bowl with him and his family. My cousin, Christian is really my mother’s 1st cousin but we are close in age and we grew up in the same town so we don’t usually go to the trouble of explaining it to anyone. Brian and Courtney are Christian’s siblings.
Brian, Christian and Courtney are my cousins I grew up with and am lucky to live somewhat close to now. Brian is oldest and a big instigator or family gatherings. Brian drove all the way from Spokane to Bellingham to be will all of us, what a great cousin, brother and friend! Christian lives in Bellingham and has always been one of the kind cousins, teased Courtney and I but looked out for us too! Courtney lives in Seattle and is one month younger than me we grew up inseparable until she moved at age 15 to Seattle. I love her as my sister!
I was so excited to see family and for my children once again to have an experience playing with their cousins. I grew up with extended family always around. We had family reunions multiple times during the year, every year. I do not know if my children will ever have that. But was very excited to give it to them in a small dose at least as they got to play with Christian’s children for an afternoon.
Is knowing your extended family vital to knowing who you are ? I feel like all of my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents raised me almost as much as my parents. I have a deep love for all of them, but I don’t know if my children will ever feel that love for their extended family. We see our extended family about once or twice a year. I have pictures up of them, we talk about them but that does not make them physically present in our lives.
I want to change the situation but reality is most of our family lives in Florida and Missouri while we are in Washington. I think I am going to have to start creating opportunities for family to visit. If we go on vacation call everyone and personally invite them? Be more present in my extended families lives thru phone calls and emails so when opportunities come up we can be available. My aunt Jana used to fly thru Seattle for business and she would call so we could at least sit over a meal and catch up face to face for an hour.
I think that short interactions can be powerful and lasting because the effort is made to be present. If short visits are all we can have for now then we will take as many as we can until someday when all our family comes to their senses and moves to Washington.