We are all sitting on the beach, reacquainting ourselves, wondering why the last time we saw each other was my Grandma’s funeral, and laughing that we live in the same state, but had to travel over a thousand miles to happen to be at the same beach.
“There must be a way to see each other more often,” we all say.
“Remember when we had big family picnics?”
Someone gets up to snap a group photo, and I am instantly in a time warp, remembering a faded picture in one of my parents’ photo albums. I was about 7, I’d guess. Sitting on a lake beach somewhere near my hometown. Some of the same people were there, but also other aunts and uncles, and different cousins, since these cousins weren’t born yet.
“So weird,” I reflect, as I ask my dad if he remembers that picture.
“One day this will be a faded picture,” I shudder.
“Mom,” I hear, “don’t worry. This will never be a faded picture. Pictures don’t fade anymore – they’re digital.”
We talk with my dad and uncle, getting a few stories of their childhood. Marveling that my dad is the second oldest sibling, the oldest boy; my uncle is the youngest. They are 11 years apart. 10 kids in 12 years!
We ask age old questions like, “How did you get to the beach with 10 kids every summer? You didn’t go in one car, right?”
“A station wagon,” my dad says and he and my uncle try to explain how some sat in the way back, there were no seatbelts, and they just piled in.
“No, no, no,” my uncle says shaking his head. “There were 2 cars. There were 2 cars for traveling.”
A game of bocce ball starts, but I sit out to chat some more with some cousins, and we watch the game as we have a heart to heart.
“It’s just so great to see them all over there!” my cousin says. I am reminded that my cousins love family just like I do. They leave the beach first, off to get ready for a night out: A girls night I am invited to, but can’t attend. More hugs are given all around and they walk away.
After they leave, my kids need a refresher on my cousins since there are so many. They want to know who is the child of which sibling.
“It’s so weird,” they say. “We haven’t seen them for years and everyone just starts talking and talking like you see each other all the time.”
“Yep,” I say, “that’s because we are cousins!”
6 thoughts on “#sol22 March 12 Cousins”
WOW– 10 kids in 12 years is hard to imagine. The idea that these pictures will be faded one day, even if they won’t be, is a powerful thought.
I love how you weave in a present moments with images from the past so seamlessly. It was like I was on the beach next to your family politely listening in. Thank you.
I love the picture of this reunion. I have many cousins and most still live in my home state. My female cousins and sisters started a monthlyish Cousins Night several years ago. I hate that I miss out on it but they schedule one when I’m home and we even did one at my house in PA once. It is amazing how the conversation flows no matter how long it’s been. So great to have family reunions, especially on the beach.
Family reunions need to happen more often than funerals do, that’s for sure. I appreciate you letting us in on your conversations. Sounds like fun for your and your kids!
Yes! Cousins! I love the camaraderie of cousins, these friend-family-friends that we have. How wonderful it is to swap stories old and new, picking up like no time has passed. I always enjoyed time with my cousins, although I didn’t have very many. I also love watching my own kids grow up around their cousins. It fills my heart.
And. Your mention of the station wagon brings me back. Back to the way-way-back, where youngest kids like me were often relegated…
This is beautiful!! We’re traveling to Mexico for a cousin’s wedding next week, and I’m so, so, so excited. It won’t be everybody, but we haven’t gathered like this (this many people) in a really long time! Thank you for sharing this sweet post. Here’s to more time together. ❤️