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Cousins Time!

Every summer in August my family would travel to Boston for our summer vacation to visit family. I always wish we were going to the beach or Disney world like my other friends, but instead we were going to visit family for my Grandfather, the late Bishop Joe L. Smith’s church’s Annual Holy Convocation. The week was spent hanging with family, shopping, and church at night.

As I am older and do not live in the same state as my parents and some of my siblings, I see why that trip was so important for my parents and now me as a kid. For my parents it was a way of reconnecting with their siblings and parents and also their church family they left behind when they moved down south in the early 90's. I distinctly remember no longer having my hoards of cousins to play with when we moved to Raleigh. However, the highlight of the Boston vacation was reconnecting with those cousins whether it was sleepovers, sitting with them at the nightly church service, or the shopping adventures for the sales with my Mom and Aunts.

I have more first cousins than I can count, and when we get together it is laughs and fun. Some I am closer to than others because of large age gaps among us, but irregardless we are family. Some have supported me by living with me when I was divorcing to help with my kids to even my older cousin and I getting together for a mom-cation when time permits. I want this for my kids, and for this reason I always try to coordinate our summer visit to my parents with my brother so my niece and kids can spend time together. The beauty of technology is they are able to FaceTime each other often, but it was a joy to see them playing together during our visit to my parents this summer. I hope my intentional effort will forge an unbreakable bond with my kids and my sibling’s children.

Consider ways in which you can be intentional about fortifying the relationships your children have with their cousins and other family members.

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