I’m not sure why but this weekend I was reflecting on the relationship that my three children have with two of their cousins, my younger brother’s boys. Mine are older, and in fact all three were born before my brother got married. This meant of course that my oldest was very involved in her uncle’s dating and ultimately marrying his wife!! There are 14 years between her and the youngest cousin with my son and the two boys being the younger of the five. There were years when there were more fights than calm (mainly my son and his younger cousin), the boys snickering at my second daughter Katie because of her sometimes different behavior because of Aspergers. Through this my oldest, having those extra years ruled the roost with all five. So families are complicated but I look at them now…..and realize that quite a few years ago the relationships settled in. My son and his younger cousin still argue all the time…..mostly about sports and they can annoy each other with just a glance. They would never admit that they actually like hanging out with each other. This weekend I found out that the cousins were helping my son move into his off campus apartment and built his IKEA furniture….that’s a rite of passage!
Both the boys have become very understanding and supportive of my middle daughter and truly care for and support her as she does them. This weekend my oldest also moved and my brother’s oldest, who could be this generation’s Michael Dell if he wanted to, installed the computer he had made for her! She has always been a great “big sister” to them but now it’s a two way street. All five of them are really good to each other and it is wonderful to see. So families are complicated, but in ours, I know that the next generation will always be there for each other and, really, who can ask for anything more?