17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Connecting With Cousins
The other day, one of my sisters emailed out pictures from my youngest sister's baby shower. I was admiring a picture of a cute 8-month old boy and wondering who he belonged to. It suddenly occurred to me that this little stranger was my nephew....a child I have seen only once months earlier on a short visit home. I was in tears to realize that a year of this little guy's life was almost gone and I only knew him through pictures and conversations with my sister.
In my family, there will soon be six cousins under the age of four. My Asher has a cousin just a couple of weeks younger than him (pictured above....they get along great so far!). We are spread between the East Coast, Utah, and Portland. I also know that I am most probably done having children (a whole other post) and the hardest part about that for me is knowing my two boys won't experience the lessons and joys inherent in growing up surrounded by siblings. I desperately want their cousins to fill this void. I want them to have real and close relationships with them rather than the "holiday relationships" that I had with my own cousins growing up. And I have no idea how to accomplish this with our geographic limitations.
Do any of you share the circumstance of living away from family and struggling to connect with your siblings and their kids? Have you found successful ways for your kids to form long-distance connections with their cousins? So far I have...
....made picture books from cheap photo albums labeling family members in a fun way. I've also made photo albums from our trips home that narrate the trip in a way that my kids can remember specific events spent with my family. Both of my boys love these books. I feel like they know their grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins well from looking at these pictures.
....decided that as soon as they are old enough to read and type, I will get them their own email addresses so they can become pen pals with their cousins.
....started thinking about swapping weeks with the cousins during the summer. My brothers and sisters are receptive to this idea. I imagine flying the boys out to Portland for a couple weeks of soccer camp or other activities and then flying some cousins out for a couple weeks in DC for historical sightseeing, etc. I am excited about this prospect and think they could be really memorable trips for the kids.
And....that's about as far as I've figured things out.
Once again, I would really appreciate hearing some of your own ideas and experiences on this topic.