In the shadow of big cousins

Fleur looks up to elder kids. She studied walkers before she could. She enjoys playing with older kids as she can attempt the things they perform. So, today, spending the day with her cousin was a treat.

Sophie is over a year and a half older. With more experience and maturity, she helped and taught Fleur how to play. She showed how she isn’t scared of some things on the playground to entice the younger to try. And interacted with Rosa as a “not a baby”, talking about things, playing games, and making suggestions. (I’ve seen Fleur hold her own against another cousin who is too assertive.)

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This isn’t to say they didn’t argue. They did, but it was more socially mature than I have seen in many cases where it devolved into physicality over not being understood.

It makes me think about my own older cousins who would from time to time pop into town. We played games, explored, tussled, and told stories. I learned much about the world hanging around them even into my late 20s. It may be fair to say I idolized them and followed on the paths they trailblazed for me.

Human transmission of information built societies. And maintains them. It makes me happy to see my child benefitting from socialization. And developing bonds blooming that will hopefully last a lifetime.

One Reply to “In the shadow of big cousins”

  1. Fleur talks about her local girl cousin very similar to her brother. Just the weekend, she was talking about having two sisters. This cousin filled one of those spots. So, it makes me happy they are getting to spend this time together.

    How Fleur talks about her cousins reminds me of this:

    Cousins either share just enough of a family narrative that they can serve as friendly sounding boards or enough common experience that they can behave as de facto siblings. The relationship is malleable, which is the basic appeal. An aunt will always be an aunt and a grandfather will always be a grandfather, but cousins can be more or less whatever a child needs, which is why parents should cultivate and facilitate familial bonding.

    It goes on to say cousins should spend time that is not just a holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving. My cousins would come for a week or more at Christmas to my grandmother’s who live across the street from me. I guess that is why I felt close to them.


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