You can choose your friends 

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There are so many phrases that describe families. Some are positive, others not so much. Two are currently sticking out in my life. The first, “you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family” and the other “I will love you always, but liking you is a day to day occurrence.” Now some might say those are mighty negative thoughts; however, I view them as positive, especially when thinking about the family I married into. In my mind, I have now put these wonderful people into the same category as my blood relatives.  The blood relatives that I could be screaming at one minute to laughing with the next.  Just like any family situation, some instances can be taxing on the adults, but there is nothing sweeter, nothing that makes these situation fly away like the sweet sounds of cousin laughter.

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#theadventuresofsj had a wonderful weekend full of cousin craziness!  We took the great trip up north to visit Bobbi and Z’s house for Bobbi’s birthday.  #theadventuresofsj and I had spoken about who we were going to visit and what we were going to do.  She was excited to see everyone, but was extremely excited to see her four crazy cousins.  She loves her cousins, she asks to speak to them on a daily basis, giggles with joy when she sees photos of them, and says that they are her best friends.  Noam, Azi, Mac and baby Izzy are constant conversation starters.  As she says their names, my heart flutters with joy.  Well…the front door flew open, they arrived and we started our 36 hours of family fun!  We started with some lunch, a big jacuzzi bathtub bath, and a mini photo shoot–it’s always nice to try to get a photo of all the kids together as they grow like weeds.**
Time on Friday was of the essence because the boys (and their parents) observe Shabbat.  This observance led to some creative activities for our Saturday together.  We had lots of climbing the stairs and sliding down them, twirling in circles while singing silly songs, and LOTS of snacking.  What made these 24 hours so special, was the unconditional love between the five cousins.  These five cousins have only been together a handful of times.  Each time, there have always been a few that aren’t quite sure what’s going on because they are so young.  Each time, there have always been restrictions on activities due to age/physical development.  And, each time, none of this has mattered in their communication and ability to participate in activities together.  Each time we leave the group, we always question when we are going to be together again.  We are lucky to have another little munchkin (#theadventuresofsj calls this new munchkin “baby Walter”; however, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law have decided to not find out…maybe she knows something that we don’t?!) joining the cousin crew in June.  Fingers crossed this means another gathering sooner rather than later!

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As wonderful as this cousin crew is, it makes me think back to my own cousin crew.  We were tighter than tight.  We shared holidays, special moments and momentous occasions.  And then it stopped.  Something happened (no one really sure what…) that led to my opinion of the crew to change.  As life went on, holidays, special moments and momentous occasions continued and the cousin crew wasn’t there.  The space turned from hurt, to anger, to nothing.  This has led to the need for #theadventuresofsj to have a great relationship with her cousins, and in turn force me to work through any family situations that come up.  Share a family moment that brings you joy in the comments below!

 

**Side note–my husband and I are always cautious of over stimulating situations for #theadventuresofsj, especially when out of her normal routine.  We have had many interesting trips of sleepless night and awkward hotel room scream sessions that have caused this cautious…somewhat anxious feelings.  These situations normally mean that sleeping (the all night sleeping that we cherish beyond belief) is effected in one way or another.  Going from an only child household to one with four other kiddos can be considered overstimulating to some…

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