*Special thanks to: Tauni for allowing me to commandeer Cousin Camp and snap photos of her gorgeous family!
I’m Italian. And Irish.
Needless to say, I have many cousins.
Nine on my mother’s side and five on my father’s, to be exact. Plus spouses.
Growing up, most of us lived in the Philly and New Jersey area, so we got to see each other on almost every major holiday.
My dad’s family lives in North Carolina, so we spent a week each summer visiting with them.
I always had a few I was closest with, but they each felt like siblings to me.
Cousins: Siblings Without the Stress
When I found out I was expecting, I realized that we would also be giving my niece Josie a little cousin of her own.
It’s so amazing to think that my son and my nieces are each other’s cousins, and they’ll have a bond that’ll last a lifetime.
Josie lives in Seattle now, but we are trying to make it a point to visit every year so they can maintain a solid relationship.
Cousins are so special — not just for each other, but also because they’re like free children. See, I’m not a fan of childbirth and pregnancy, so it’s nice that Little Man can have a sibling-like relationship without the effort of having another child if we’re not sure we’re ready for that.
And the best part? You can send the “extras” back home to your siblings when it’s time for bed!
Watching cousins play and discover their worlds together is almost as gratifying as watching siblings interact. In fact, it might be more endearing since cousins bring entirely different dynamics and perspectives to the table.
I’m so glad that although my twin brother and I both married only-children, we have been able to offer our children the inimitable bond that comes from cousinhood.
It takes a lot of pressure off of me to give Little Guy a sibling, too, which makes everyone’s life easier.
To drive home the idea of cousins with a sibling bond, my incredible neighbor, Tauni of SnapConf, hosts an amazing Cousin Camp for her nieces and nephews every year. This year, they decorated cookies, watched movies, and had a sleepover. Then, to hail the newly released Star Wars film this year, she made wookie cookies and…wait for it…rented out an entire movie theatre so they could all see the new movie.
I mean, who wouldn’t love their family with an aunt like that??
Her nieces and nephews are all so adorable — but I think the sweetest part was watching the older kids dote on and take care of the younger ones, and seeing the looks of admiration in the younger ones.
Watching the cousins interact seriously made me so grateful that Holden will grow up with older and younger ones himself. It’s a bond you can’t replicate, and it’s one that lasts a lifetime.