When we were young, my brothers and sisters and I would watch jealously every summer as our friends went off to various family reunions. And then came back to regale us with the good times and funny stories they had with their cousins and aunts and uncles.
I went to just one reunion during my growing-up years, and it was for my father's grandmother's family. We knew hardly anyone there. I wanted cousins to play with and love and have good times with, too. But my mother is an only child, and my father comes from a family of people who don't necessarily like each other, except the one uncle with the cool kids who lived on the other side of the continent.
We swore that, when we were grown up and married and had kids of our own, they would see each other all the time and be involved in each others lives and love their cousins like BFFs.
To that end, now that we really are grown up, we have a family reunion every two years. It would be more often, but we are scattered all across the lower 48 states. But two years seems to be adequate. Our children really do love each other, and are so excited to see each other. And it makes me happy.
On the other side of the pedigree chart, my mother-in-law is hosting a "Cousin Camp" this week for all of her grandchildren (that can make it) ages 7 and up. And by "Cousin Camp" I mean sleeping over at Grandma's house for four nights, playing and making crafts and learning songs, and swimming and watching movies and chasing fireflies and roasting marshmallows. Seriously good stuff.
I am grateful for Cousin Camp. I am grateful for a family that really truly loves each other enough to make the effort to get together. I am grateful for my sisters, who work as hard as I do to keep our kids connected, and for my mother-in-law who goes to extraordinary lengths to grow and strengthen the connections on her side. I love our big families, and I love that we are fun to be around. I love it.
What are you blessed with today?