≡ Menu

The cousins are coming!

This painting, “The Fairy Tale” by Walter Firle, reminds me of this moment when Lane’s mom was reading a goodnight story to these little cousins who are now all grown up!

Part of the joy of summer (or any time of year!) is when aunts and uncles and cousins get to come visit, or we get to go visit cousins. I noticed that this joy began years ago: when we visited Lane’s cousins this month–who are now grown up with families of their own who are beginning to have children having families of their own–there is that same feeling of joy in getting to see cousins. These are sweet friendships that last and last.

This is a tradition I recommend: getting together with cousins to nurture those wonderful relationships!

“The cousins are coming!”

We love the first line of a song our children heard growing up, “Cousins” by Tom Chapin. It describes the chaos that can ensue when families get together:

Cousins
by John Forster & Tom Chapin
© 1990 Limousine Music Co. & The Last Music Co. (ASCAP)
The cousins are coming!
They pulled into the driveway like a frigate dropping sail.
And out came Butch and Mike and Bill and Ben and Baby Gail.
Uncle Hugh looked hassled but Aunt Bess was all aglow.
“Hello!” “Hi.” “Hi.” “Hi.” “Hi.” “Hi.” “Yo!”
Cousins, cousins. Here come the boys.
Bedlam, mayhem, noise, noise, noise.
Blow up the air mattresses, hide the breakable toys.
Cousins, cousins. Here come the boys.
We sat in the basement playing cards, all quiet and discreet
‘Til Mikey peeked at Billy’s hand and Billy said, “You cheat!”
“I don’t!” “You do!” “Did not!” “He did!” Then we heard Grandpa say,
“I’ve had about enough of this, I’m taking the cards away.”
Then Butchie went and fell on a rake and bled all over the floor.
They stitched him up and gave him a shot and Butchie was back for more.
He ate a hero sandwich and he drank a quart of punch.
Then he disobeyed the Doctor and went swimming after lunch.
Cousins, cousins. Here come the boys.
Bedlam, mayhem, noise, noise, noise.
Blow up the air mattresses, hide the breakable toys.
Cousins, cousins. Here come the boys.
Late that night we bedded down and began the pillow fight
That broke the big aquarium, the mirror and the light.
We swept the glass and saved the fish and put ’em in the john.
Well, no one knows what happened but next morning they were gone.
And then at breakfast Baby Gail went backward in her chair.
“Mikey pushed me!” “Wasn’t me.” “Was!” “Was not, I swear!”
Then Mikey threw a muffin, hitting Billy on the bean,
‘Twas the most gigantic food fight this world has ever seen.
Cousins, cousins. Here come the boys.
Bedlam, mayhem, noise, noise, noise.
Blow up the air mattresses, hide the breakable toys.
Cousins, cousins. Here come the boys.
Then Uncle Hugh said, “Time to go. We gotta get out of here.”
It took them half the afternoon to pack up all their gear.
And when they piled into the car Aunt Bess was full of woe.
“Bye-bye.” “So long.” “See ya.” “Bye.” “Bye-bye.” “Bye.” “Yo!”
Cousins, cousins. There go the boys.
Bedlam, mayhem, noise, noise, noise.
My Mom sat down and gave a sigh and said to me, “You know,
I love to see your cousins come, I love to see ’em go.”
Cousins, cousins. There go the boys.
Bedlam, mayhem, noise, noise, noise.

The Relatives Came

We listened to this album (and a bunch of others) on our car trips to and from grandparents and cousins’ homes as we have raised our children.

And here’s a book that joyfully depicts those eagerly anticipated summer family gatherings: The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Stephen Gammell.

I was so sad to hear about all the homes that burned this past week in Whiskeytown, CA, the place where my cousins and aunt and uncle and our family would go to water ski in the summer. My uncle had a boat, and it was behind that boat that I overcame my fear and learned to waterski. I was remembering that fear just 3 weeks ago when I stepped into the Echo Reservoir to try open water swimming for the first time. I’m praying for those who are suffering from their losses! Such a tragic time!

Whatever your opportunities, I hope you can enjoy some cousin time of your own with your children!

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment