When I see my nieces with their cousins, it makes my heart swell. I want them to be close all their lives, like they are right now, and have beautiful memories like I do.
My childhood was not easy due to external factors (abusive people outside my family who made my life hell and caused my mental health issues), but the best part of it was any time I had with my cousins. It was my haven and heaven and something I always looked forward to. They were my salve and kept me happy and sane. They enabled me to balance out the misery with pure joy. It was when I felt the safest.
I was truly on cloud nine when I was with them. (Just like I am now with my nieces. But in a different way because with my cousins I was a kid too. With my nieces, I am overprotective. Also overindulgent because who can say no to those angelic faces. It’s truly impossible. And I would do anything for them.)
I was always heartbroken when a birthday party for one of my cousins’ ended because it meant, with the rigours of the school schedule, the next time I see them might be weeks away. They probably had no clue how much I missed them. I tend to be very sentimental. Also most of them are much younger and may not remember like I do.
I even looked forward to religious events at the temple, because my grandma would ensure that my cousins attended. Most of the time though she didn’t bat an eye even though we were playing more than praying.
I admired my older cousins and adored my younger ones so much. The younger ones were like my first babies. I think it’s because of them that I’ve always loved babies. I think they have no idea how much I adore them and always will. The older ones were so loving and nurturing towards us. I truly had the best of both worlds.
I was born during the time of the ‘two is enough’ campaign, when the government was clamping down on population growth with fines and penalties. I was so grateful with all my first cousins combined I always was surrounded by so many kids. It was never lonely.
A new cousin being born was the most exciting thing. I loved how they would hold on to my finger so tightly when they were infants. It was such a thrill. But I was always so afraid I’d accidentally drop them, so I was extremely careful and gentle around them.
Just wanted to record my thoughts and feelings after a wonderful day with some of my first cousins and nieces. And first cousins are becoming such a rarity these days so they are extra precious.
And my two late cousins are always in my heart. They will never be forgotten and I feel so lucky to be related to them. They definitely shaped the better parts of who I am today.