I don’t think I’ve talked enough about my cousins on this blog.
My cousins mean the world to me. They are like the extra siblings that my parents just couldn’t handle (and I’m sure my aunts and uncles could never have handled my brother and me). I really do think of them as extended siblings, and I look up to them in many ways.
I only have cousins on my dad’s side. There are 14 of us, currently, and some are beginning to have children of their own. I am the 7th, and I’ve always liked being right in the middle. I’ve learned from my older cousins – I look to them for guidance and examples. I learn what it’s like to grow up and to make big decisions before I actually have to do these things. Through Molly, Patrick, Katie, Brian, Kevin and Kristin, I have learned how to choose a college, the importance of traveling abroad, what to look for in a life partner, the value of never really growing up, how to be responsible and live on your own while staying close to your parents, and most importantly, the significance of family in my life. Whether they knew it or not, they’ve been role models for me since the day I was born. Or at least since the day I learned who they were.
But my younger cousins have taught me many different things. Emily, who I can barely count as younger than I am, has always been my partner in crime. I’ve always looked up to her for her fashion sense, her intelligence, her drive, and her ability to find and appreciate the beauty in life. Connor, Sean, Kathleen, Maggie, and Kellen never cease to amaze me. They are some of the most caring, understanding, and funny people I know. They remind me that fun should never be compromised, and that being honest and being who you are is beautiful.
I would do just about anything for my cousins. Today, I wish I could do the impossible for one of them in particular. But I am thankful for them, my extended sibling family, and I hope they know how much they mean to me. From the side yard at Grandma and Grandpa’s house to the top of the Bear’s Hump at Waterton, from Kodaikanal to Baltimore, from Spokane to Bozeman, we’re all one big loving family.