My cousin Amanda gave birth today to her third child – her first girl! Our family happily welcomed baby Harper with open arms…even these arms that won’t get to hold her for several months! My cousin and I are very close, we talk in some way (email, phone, Facebook) at least weekly if not daily, and I feel like we are very much a part of each other’s lives even though she lives in Chicago and I am in Kansas City. Today, while I waited with bated breath for news of Harper’s arrival, I thought a lot about cousins.
Recently, I’ve gotten to “know” two first cousins of mine via Facebook. It’s a strange way to get to know someone, particularly a blood relative. But when the opportunity arose, I took it, thinking mostly that if my grandparents were still alive they would agree it’s pretty great that someone or something has finally connected us. I don’t feel like the details matter so much to the back-story, but some family drama (what else?) led to my sister and me to not ever meet some of our relatives. I never thought that much about it until I started learning more about them. I have to say, getting to know someone through Facebook status updates is pretty unusual…and fairly difficult. But these people are my first cousins – and I just can’t get my mind around not knowing anything about their entire lives until now.
It is unfathomable to me that in the same day I can have one cousin who gives birth and I nearly cry because I can’t be there, and I have other cousins whom I barely know anything about. Suffice it to say that it’s a weird feeling. I’m sure most people would just figure that it is what it is and they’d move on, but I feel like this connection was made for a reason and I feel like it’s important for us to know each other in some way. Even if we have to muddle through the fart jokes to get there.