Cousins by the Dozens

I come from a large, close-knit family.  I spent my childhood with my great-grandparents, my grandparents and their siblings, my parents and their siblings, my 8 siblings and over 40 cousins.  Over the years we cousins drifted apart as our parents became involved in their careers and moved away.  I missed my partners in crime and getting in trouble was not as much fun by myself.

Over the years we lost touch with our aunts, uncles and cousins.  We knew where everyone lived, but we got busy in our own lives and didn’t write letters.  We went to each other’s wedding receptions if they were close and reconnected a little.  I was going through the wedding line at one and congratulated the groom.  I asked him if he knew who I was, he couldn’t remember.  I laughed and said that I was not surprised because the last time I had seen him he was still in diapers.  His new wife laughed at that.  I introduced myself as his cousin and told him the name of my father.  He smiled and gave me a great big bear hug.  We had a nice 30 second chat and I wished them well.

Over the last couple of years we have been reconnecting on Facebook.  Because the names of the younger cousins are unfamiliar we have had to mention the names of our parents in the friend request.  My brother denied a friendship request three times before he discovered that it was a cousin trying to get in touch.

It has been nice to find out what has happened to some of my very best friends.  We have all passed through difficult times and had great joy.  We have been sharing news of children and grandchildren, graduations and weddings, adventures and trips.  We did a count of my father’s family and discovered that there were over 250 of us in three generations.  We seem to be very prolific.

We planned a family reunion last year but it didn’t get very many attendees.  Work schedules were impossible to coordinate and unexpected things happen to most of us.  Even I had to bow out at the last-minute because I did not have the financial wherewithal to attend.  We have started to get together again as smaller groups when we are “in the neighborhood”.  It is fun to share memories of our childhood though some must be talked about when our children are not in the room.  We don’t want to give them any more ideas for trouble.  They have enough of their own.

Now my generation are becoming grandparents and it is up to us to keep the connections going.  I hope we can.  I love my large family.  I think that I will share some of our adventure stories in future blogs.  We were “bad puddy tats”.

Don’t stay out of trouble and have a great weekend!