When I grew up, we didn’t have any extended family around. No cousins, aunts or uncles. No grandparents. My parents had run away from everyone. It was as if they left New York to move out to California, as far away as they could get, and never looked back. There were the occasional visits to the East coast, two I think in 20 years and one visit from my Nana (my mom’s mother) that I can recall. I think my dad’s family came once or twice but that’s about it. Seriously.
I always wanted to have cousins to play with, grandparents to read to me. Anything really. I would have taken some or all of it. I’ve always been interested in learning about my relatives and have always wanted to have the kind of family that had big reunions where everyone got together and laughed and had a great time.
Well, over the years I came to accept that it wasn’t part of my story. At least on my side of the family. Having married Matt and being welcomed into his family of four siblings and tons of aunts and uncles and cousins felt like I had hit the jackpot. This summer when we go back to Michigan the boys are going to have 12 cousins to play with all under 9 years old and one on the way. Crazy, fun and wonderful.
I think maybe my sister always wanted things to be different too because once she got married, she just had one baby after the other. Four to be exact. Not a huge family by some standards but compared to what we had known, two children almost 8 years apart, this felt like a pretty big step.
Because she’s 7 1/2 years older than me her kids are older than mine but it doesn’t seem to matter too much. We just went to visit over Spring Break and had the best time ever. My sisters kids were all home for most of our visit and spent so much time hanging out with Mason and Miles. They played video games, swam in the hot tub, played ping-pong with them and more. It was really awesome.
Right before we left I had them all get together for a group shot, one “nice” one and of course one with silly faces. My boys are 5 and 8 so NOT taking a silly faced photo is practically an impossibility.
Ayla, Raina, Blake and Trevor….we LOVE you guys soooooo much!!!!!