I don't have any cousins. My kids have six, all of whom are growing up within 10 miles of our house. And may I just say, cousins rock. (And local cousins, at that!)
This is Kayla, getting a hug from my little guy, Nathan. This was a couple years ago, but it's still one of my favorite pictures. And since my husband is the youngest of three brothers, the cousins range in age from Kayla, who's now 22, down to our Caroline, who's 2 ½.
We grown-ups in the family have done everything we can to foster their friendships. We build gingerbread houses at Aunt V's house – with all the cousins – and we decorate Easter eggs at Aunt Holly's house – with all the cousins – and Aunt Colleen (who may be the bravest of us all) invites everyone over for the annual post-Christmas "Crazy Cousin Sleepover." It really is crazy.
And a birthday just isn't a party without all the cousins.
Over the years, it's become the thing. If I had a nickel for every time my kids have asked, "Will the cousins be there?" well, I'd have a lot of nickels. This year at school, when Jenna was asked to list her favorite things about Thanksgiving, she wrote:
2. Cinnamon Rolls
I so love this. It's just like the Dukes of Hazzard. Except without all the car jumping.
But really. Cousins? They are one of the best parts of our lives, and I'm so grateful my kids are blessed with them.