“How are we related?”

“So, your grandma and my grandma are sisters. I think.”

“Does that make us second or first cousins?”

“Um… Honestly, I don’t know that whole thing confuses me.”

“Okay. Doesn’t matter anyway.”

They told us we were related, so that automatically made us thick as thieves. I don’t fully understand how that works, but it did. Family gatherings? More like playdates where we could run in the dresses they stuffed us in and play games all night long. Parents were ready to leave at eight, but we could play for ten more hours.

Cousin sleepovers? The best. Where we made forts and played Minecraft like nobody’s business. Waffles at 1 A.M. and ice cream after that. There was never a dull moment when we were a huddle of kids laughing at the adults.

We grew up, went through puberty at the same time, suffered through school together, and the times changed. We became older and more awkward–if that was possible? Some of us started dating or we sat whispering about our crushes. We vacationed together and talked about about our futures, the mixture of plans and dreams that lay right around the corner.  

I may not have seen you for a couple of months, or maybe even a year. When there was something to celebrate we did it right: with Martinelli’s cider. When the times got rough, you were there–we are all there for each other because we’re family.

Photo credit: Thea Snider