Yesterday, we had a Chanukah Party. It was great to see my cousins and their families. Sure, I saw them a couple of months ago at a bar mitzvah. But that’s different. This. Was. Casual.
I feel like now I am getting to know some of these people for the first time. You know, when you’re kids you play hide and seek and sneak food off the table before the blessing and swim and play. But lots of times, as you grow, there isn’t time to find out who those kids are growing up to be.
And then life changes and everyone moves and works and has a life to lead. Some with a spouse and a kid or two or three and some who are single and travel the world. We change in hundreds of ways.
At the next wedding or bris, you smile and say hi. What’s new? How are the kids? But then, something happens. It’s a kid who needs you to pour a drink or a grandmother who didn’t hear you talking and starts a conversation. Whatever it is, it ends the possibility of that conversation being the one to really know the other person.
It makes me sad that I don’t know my cousins better. And that we rarely see each other. When my mother was a kid, she and her sisters lived right near their cousins and everyone who mattered. They practically grew up together.
My mother and her sisters all bought houses within 2 blocks of each other. They raised their kids the way they grew up. We babysit for each other. I idolized my cousin who is the next girl older than me. She was very mature – 3 or 4 years ahead in school. She gave me her go-go boots when she outgrew them. And her peanut pants. (Those are like really, extremely low hip-hugger bellbottoms. They had 3 snaps instead of a zipper. Why do I remember these things?) I thought she was the coolest. But I digress.
Lots of us live within 1/2 hour. My sister is 4 hours away, one cousin is 6 or so, my brother is 10…but the rest? We’re around.
It wasn’t easy getting all those people together. Some of the out-of-towners couldn’t make it. But the 3 sisters who made it all happen sure looked happy.
I have 80-some pictures that my aunt took. But none reflects how much I enjoyed the day as this one that my cousin, Rick, emailed me today.
Watching the next generation of cousins play musical chairs. I hope they really take the time to get to know each other.