As I mentioned yesterday, I hauled the Herd up to Northern CA this past weekend to go to my niece’s graduation party. Now, I come from a blended family, so for clarification, we stayed with my youngest, full sister (I truly hate these clarifications, because, full, half, or step, they’re all my sisters, but it confuses people sometimes, so I have to use those terms in certain situations). We were at the graduation party of my “full” brother’s daughter. I’ll try to make the confusion as minimal as possible.
These kids – my full sister’s two girls and my full brother’s two girls and two boys – have grown up together. C, my brother’s step, is kind of the mother hen to them all, being nine years older than the oldest. The rest of them – the Great Eight – are all within six years of each other. In spite of the fact we moved to San Diego fourteen years ago, the kids have remained close. We’ve worked hard over the years to make sure they have time together. Social media and the ability to group text has helped in that process.
I can’t tell you how awesome it is to watch them all together. For the most part, they all get along. They do split off into their little groups – Big Man, Little Man, and N; the Princess, M, and D; K and B – based upon their interests…the video game group, the girlie girls, the runners…..But then they will come together and hang out. To say we are blessed is an understatement, and it moves me to tears seeing how close they are. We took photo after photo of them this weekend.
My brother’s kids came back to my sister’s with us Sunday night so they could have more time together. That they let the “old people” hang with them, much less involve us in their conversations – let’s just say, we’ve raised me right in my humble opinion. 😉 We talked about books/literature, watched silly cat videos, and then when we discovered my daughter had never seen Field of Dreams, we sat down together to watch the movie. There was much laughter, so many hugs, lots of sarcasm and good-natured teasing, and oh so much love.
They’re growing up, too quickly. C is married, momma to three herself. D just finished her Freshman year of college. M will start college in the Fall. The rest will quickly follow, with pretty much a graduation every year except for a one year break between my P and Little Man. I pray their closeness remains even as life takes them where it will.
They say your cousins are your first best friends. My hope for these kids is that their first best friends are their always-best-friends.