On my mom’s side of the family, the “boy” cousins outnumber the “girl” cousins ten to six. Growing up, I didn’t get to know most of my cousins all that well, except for Becky. Becky is a month older than me and she’s the “oops” baby of her family. My mom was herself an “oops” baby, which meant by the time she had us kids, there was enough of an age gap between us and our cousins that we were never all that close.
One of the benefits of growing older is that such age gaps begin to close. For the past several years, each time there is a family gathering, the bond between the cousins seems to grow stronger. My oldest cousin is fifteen or more years older than me and he’s been a grandpa for several years. “Oops” babies seem to be a trend in this family. My oldest cousin’s youngest child is just a year older than my youngest child. And I love that because having children of similar ages is a one of the things that ties us all closer together.
Lately, the girl cousins have been proposing that we start a tradition of girl-cousin get-togethers. It always seems like a great idea when we’re together, but when we go our separate ways, life gets in the way and these girl-cousin parties never seem to transpire; that is, until this past weekend. Well over a month ago, my cousin, Jean emailed all of us girls and proposed not just a girl-cousin party, but a moms and daughters and daughters-in-law and granddaughters party in honor of Mothers Day. Last Saturday was the day it all came together.
It was a gorgeous, warm day and we all gathered at Jean’s house for brunch. Everyone contributed a salad or dessert. There was much hugging and talking, laughing and reminiscing. There was plenty of picture-taking and story-swapping. My mom was feeling well and it was great to see her together with all three of her sisters, enjoying her family who she doesn’t see often enough. It was one of those beautiful times that reminded me what a precious gift family can be.