January 20, 2017

When cousins count as siblings


It's rare to have cousins in the same age bracket as you are. Hence, when you do get lucky to have them so, cherish them with all your heart. This, I learned as I grew up with a stream of cousins. The sister and I gravitated, as a natural recourse, to the ones who were closer to our ages. Till date, my fond memories of my childhood are of those unlimited chatter sessions about sundry things that appealed to us at different ages and stages, of the to-and-fro camping in each other's houses during holidays, and of the excitement and anticipation of meetings after a period of lull. Indeed, cousins are truly a treasured species of human relationships.

Ever wondered why cousins fare better than your immediate sibling?

You get the best of both the worlds with cousins. When you're together, there's fun guaranteed. And, when you tire of each other, you can go back to your own houses! You're willing to share and quell the feelings of envy or anger because somewhere you know that these emotions are transient; lasting for only as long as the meet itself. The compromises and adjustments are not permanent; you can have your favourite toy or dress back the minute the cousin(s) leave. There's never the "you always favour him/her" thrown at your own parent. You can simply walk up to the other parent, the aunt or the uncle, and viola, the verdict will most certainly be drawn in your favour! You even get pampered by the cousins' parents. The sibling rivalry gets a breather till you meet next time, so you willingly extend the otherwise rare courtesy and don't mind donning the mantle of magnanimity.

When I see R and S together, it fills me with joy and satisfaction that they would know what it is to grow up with siblings even if they don't have each other's company every waking minute. Fights are rare and few between them. It's another thing that they complement each other very well and can almost read each other's minds when it comes to most things. S, for me, is like a daughter from another mother's womb. And, so is R for my sister. It feels great to have the kids grow up together even if we cannot always stay close by.

I guess it works for the parents too to have cousins as playmates for their kids. They're connected by blood yet not entirely your responsibility too. If a few caveats are met, then quite a win-win, I'd say.

13 comments :

  1. Oh yes oh yes. My favourite bit was that part on walking up to the aunt or uncle to get a verdict in your favour. That's just so true. I am blessed with a bunch of cousins. Although the youngest and oldest were 7 years apart we were so evenly spaced out that we managed to form a cohesive group. Those summer vacations remain one of the happiest memories of my childhood.

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    1. It's the best feeling to get favoured by the aunt/uncle over their own kids, no? Such beautiful memories!

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  2. Great post about the joy of cousins! I have memories of times spent with my dad's brother's family over the years. I have two older girl cousins and I always looked up to them and admired then since I don't have any sisters. I am still in touch and value our relationship that goes back to childhood days. As a military kid, I don't have a lot of that kind of connections with people who have known me all my life. My cousins know me and they still like me even having seen me at my worst as a whiny, shy kid or throwing up in the car. Glad to see my sons cultivating friendships with their first cousins.Cousins are the best!

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    1. So lovely to hear about your warm connections with cousins, Cathy! They are certainly the best pals especially if you're a single kid or have a huge age gap between the immediate siblings.

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  3. Your post reminded me of the fun times with my cousins. Those were good days. Siblings are fun but a few cousins can be best friends and bring such joy.

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    1. With siblings, you tend to take a few things for granted but with cousins you remember to cherish the bond.

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  4. That's true Uma.Having cousins is a great blessing.

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  5. This post dragged back some long-forgotten memories of happy times with my cousin sisters! I loved hanging out with them, especially since I had only a younger brother. The bonding, the gossip, the antics, the tantrums...I miss all of that. Time and distances have played havoc with once close relations, but still whenever we meet its like we never parted!

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    1. Seriously, Kala. Most of us are in different countries/cities. It's also rare that we all get together. I miss those days :-(

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  6. I agree cousins are fun! I have no siblings and it was only natural to bond with my cousins, as we lived in a joint family. Summer vacations always meant spending them together, playing carrom and Monopoly all day long, going on picnics and generally having a good time. SO nostalgic!

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    1. I know, Vidya. Glad that R gets to bond with my niece at least for now.

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  7. Hi Uma, this post is something i can fully relate to. We did have such a good time at our cousins meet or at weddings or when we used to come and stay in the vacations. Very good one. Your writing is simple and there is a free flow of thoughts. I am enjoying reading all your posts. Lalitha

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