“Growing up in a very big family, working together and playing together, that is something that has been part of my life since ever I was born. It has advantages and disadvantages. It’s like an older style of living where everyone works in the family business.” ~ Margherita Missoni
No, I am not talking about the former USSR, but the Slavish word Rodina, which means family. I come from a pretty big one and with how much I talk about them n this blog, it comes as no surprise how close I am to them. From my siblings, to my cousins to my nieces and nephews, they are everything to me. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them. (shhh don’t tell them that!) And likewise, they have my back.
My siblings and cousins were not only my first friends, but are also my best friends. They have seen me at my worst and been there to walk me through it all, as well as celebrating me at my best. We have been through so much and yet we still continue to WANT to hang out together. That might be the biggest shocker. We actually enjoy each others company. I think I took to much cold medicine. I can guarantee as much as I am ribbing on them currently, they will do it back tenfold, I did learn from the best after all. My fam.
Summer was the summer for cousins, and with it came memories, trouble, fun and even some debauchery. (not joking about that, we were hellions!) From the time we were in diapers, we would play American Girl Dolls, the boys would gang up on us when we played Mario Kart and Golden Eye, have dance parties with round hair brushes, (so nineties) serenade each other as we kayaked down the Saco, (okay that one was mostly me) and terrorize each other during rambunctious rounds of flashlight tag. (That one was most definitely the boys!)
My aunt and uncle would drive up from whatever Southern or Gulf State they were stationed in at the time and we would alternate sleep overs at my parent’s and grandparent’s houses. It was almost guaranteed we would be yelled at for being to noisy or for not sleeping, but how could we sleep when the crazy brood was reunited if only for a short while?
Adulting and New York
As we got older, our flashlight tag days dwindled, and age slowly began to separate us from those who could partake in more adult endeavors and those who were still stuck with the parentals, which was usually me as the youngest of the cousin clan. Then adulting really took shape as college, sports, careers, marriage and even kids (which is SUCH a scary thought!) fully cut the umbilical cord. Thankfully at the time it was cut, social media actually became a thing (who woulda thunk?) and we were able to keep in touch.
Besides being Slovak, (thus the title of this post) My Mom’s family was originally from New Jersey and despite my grandparents moving to New Hampshire when my Mom was a teenager, and my aunt and uncle moving around depending on where he was stationed, somehow the majority of us found ourselves back in the tristate area.
Long before I took the plunge to move to New York, several of my cousins were already living there. My cousin Morgan even threw my 21st birthday in the Concrete Jungle and it was she who helped me scour apartments a year later when I was preparing to move there.
While I was able to see Morgan (nothing like weekly yoga and coffee dates!) and my other cousins fairly frequently, it had been a long hot second since ALL of us had been together. The last time being my sister’s funeral which was also held in New Hampshire and while we laughed and shared stories, it was a much more somber occasion. It was why a reunion was long over due and even a bit bittersweet.
My cousin’s wedding which coincidentally was held in my hometown and where so many of the cousin memories were made gave opportunity for all of us to reunite. For the first time we were all legal and we could “adult” with no one (me) being left behind.
Despite us being almost a decade older, having a little more life experience, though regrettably that did not translate to maturity, it felt like no time had past. Unfortunately for my hometown we were up to our old shenanigans, (really I just blame the boys) and to add to the fun we had two new additions in the form of my cousins’ spouses who fit right in with all of our craziness and even helped create more hilarious moments.
From cabrewing, to drinking all the coffee after multiple late nights of dancing and singing our hearts out, to just sitting outside reminiscing and laughing to the culmination of witnessing our cousin getting married, it was an incredible four days that I never wanted to end. Even more so, because with my move out of the Concrete Jungle I don’t know when I will see them next. Which makes me think this needs to be an annual get together. Though I don’t know if NoCo can handle that!
I know this is a super sappy post, but I legit love these humans and I am so proud of all they have accomplished and become. To have grown up with this crazies and see them all do such amazing things and become these incredible people, is wonderful, if not a little scary, (I couldn’t be to sappy) to see. I have the street cred (and blackmail) to say I knew them when and joking (kinda) aside, I am proud to do so. Hopefully we can reunite soon! Though not to soon because my ribs need to heal from laughing and I think my liver needs a detox.
Do you love hanging out with your family? Do you enjoy family functions? Let me know! And I hope y’all have an amazing three day weekend! <3