Last weekend we (husband, cousin, cousin-in-law and myself) took five children to the Zoo. The Zoo was fun and the animals were cool, but the best part was spending the day with three of my favorite smart asses.
I'm almost immune to my husband's wise cracks. After 13 years, it just rolls over my head most of the time. My cousin Blaine however, I don't know that I'll ever stop being surprised and humored by him.
***Walking side-by-side pushing strollers and pulling wagons***
Me: aaaacchooooo. aaaacccchoooo. (That's me sneezing.)
Me: God Bless me. God Save me.
Blaine: What the fuck? You're gonna die if I don't say it? You're gonna die from an unblessed sneeze?
Me: YES ASS FACE! I could die and you don't even care!
I laughed for the next 100 feet or so as I thought about the remarks we exchanged.
A little further down the path we came across a snow cone vendor.
Me: Holy hell, a snow cone would be amazing right now.
Becc: I know. I wonder what flavors they have?
Me to snow cone man: How much is a small snow cone?
SCM: We only have one size. (Of course you do. ) It's $2. ($10 for each kid to have one, I can deal with that.)
Me: Ummmmm, do you have any clear flavors?
SCM: No. Sorry. (yep, I'm not returning home with five kids, three not belonging to me, with ruined clothes from snow cones.)
Me: Thanks anyway.
Little B: Look Aunt Jessie Snow Cones! Mama, I want a snow cone.
Me: Sorry buddy, all they have is strawberry.
***I should mention that he is allergic to strawberries.***
Little B: Oh, okay.
Crisis averted. But of course, Blaine realizes that this is an awesome way to divert the kids attention away for a desired item.
Little B: Can I have a candy?
Blaine: All we have is strawberry candy?
Little B: Can I have some of your drink?
Blaine: It's strawberry drink.
Little B: Can I have a pony?
Blaine: Sorry dude, ponies are made out of strawberries.
***I am making most of this up. I just assumed this is how the child's life has been since our zoo trip.***
That's the thing about cousins. When you family is as big as ours, your cousins are usually your only friends growing up. Until you get to school and start branching out, they are the people that you get stuck with every weekend. You love them, you hate them. You grow incredibly close, then you grow up and drift away. I was lucky to have some of the most amazing people I know for cousins. Being the middle cousins out of 15 on my dad's side and the baby cousin out of 10 cousins on my mom's side, I've had everything I ever needed in my family. Older cousins to look up to (or to learn from their mistakes!), cousins my age to play with and on occasion really screw up their hair with a home-dye kit (sorry 'bout that Pook!) and younger cousins to help take care of and watch them grow into amazing young men and women.
At any point in time, I know that if I need something I have a cousin to help me. Got a flat tire? Call your cousin. Need to borrow a bow? Call a cousin. Want to drink beer and talk about the time Marty got a goose for Christmas? Call all your damn cousins and have a freaking party.
For me, it's amazing to go places with my cousins and all of our kids and see them making new cousinly memories. Because one day, the kids will be talking about their trip to the zoo. Maybe by then I'll be an old Aunt who gets to tell the truth behind all the stories of their youth. It might go something like this:
Big Little B: Hey, remember the time we all went to the zoo and we got to pet snakes and alligators?
Me: Yep, and you asked for a snow cone and Jettie said it was strawberry.
BLB: Yeah, that sucks that they only had strawberry snow cones.
Me: Sorry B. They weren't strawberry. Jettie is just a little cheap and a lot bad at laundry. Life sucks that way sometimes.... Could you fix me another Lemon Drop?