Categories
cousins

Family Fusion

Extended families have two great strengths. The first is resilience. An extended family is one or more families in a supporting web. Your spouse and children come first, but there are also cousins, in-laws, grandparents—a complex web of relationships among, say, seven, 10, or 20 people. If a mother dies, siblings, uncles, aunts, and grandparents are there to step in. If a relationship between a father and a child ruptures, others can fill the breach. Extended families have more people to share the unexpected burdens—when a kid gets sick in the middle of the day or when an adult unexpectedly loses a job.

The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake. David Brooks @ the Atlantic

I love that Fleur gets to play with her cousin. But, I love that our families are close more. It isn’t just seeing each other on holidays.

When my brother and sister-in-law needed help a couple times in recent times, we stepped up to help them. Should we have a similar need, they would be the first we would turn to for help.

I would love that the family base were larger, but this parenting thing is rough. Having help is important.

Categories
cousins Parenting

Toy trading

The cousins, Fleur and Jasmine, have a tendency to intentionally or accidentally leave things the other enjoyed. Most of the time it is a accidental situation. I failed to ensure everything that was brought is accounted for before walking out the door.

The intentional happened often enough the girls started rationalizing the other intended it to be left. Which is maybe for the best.

It usually makes it home the next week. And both have enough one thing is probably not missed too much. And if that one thing is a favorite they move on to a new one in the week.

Just a year ago, Fleur would meltdown over leaving something somewhere. She has quadruplet cheap dolls because of leaving the first somewhere. Often enough in the past year she would get upset over forgetting to bring a toy.

Categories
cousins Parenting

Imaginary sibling

Months ago, Fleur started talking about relationships. Namely she listed the labels we apply to who people are in our lives and who fit them. Galahad is her brother because they have the same parents. Her uncle is her parent’s sibling. Her cousin is her mother’s brother’s daughter. I loved this working on understanding the taxonomy for individuals.

She has an honorary sister. Abigail and Galahad grew up together. Through a twist of fate Abigail has similar skin coloring as Fleur and I, so people assume she is my kid at times.

For a while, Fleur talked about her sister Addie. Not Abigail. Not another kid at daycare. She doesn’t live with us. Still not sure when Fleur hangs out with her sister. It was super weird.

I can see why people think children tap into the paranormal with stuff like that.

The funny thing is this name is pretty popular. We keep finding kids in the periphery with it.

Categories
cousins Parenting

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.)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.