I knew nothing of her growing up. I knew her half-sister—the daughter of my mom’s cousin—from summer visits, where we’d play Holly Hobbie Colorforms on the front steps of our great grandmother’s house.
But it was years later, long after I’d grown, that my grandmother introduced me to Gabe. Even then she was little more than a name on a wedding invitation—your cousin, Gabrielle, my grandmother had said. She then proceeded to tell me how Gabe had fallen in love with a hockey player; how they’d planned a big, black tie affair; how it was sure to be quite the event. It was all very lovely, to be sure. Yet I paid little mind to that cousin of mine–our lives, it seemed, were worlds apart.
And we do have our differences. She’s a vegetarian; I’m something of a carnivore. She’s an extremely talented artist (and natural Do-It-Yourself-er); I’m not so much. She enjoys physical activity; I enjoy lounging about (remember this little gem? That’s us; side-by-side).
Still, we’re alike in ways that matter. We share a love of friends and family, vintage fashion and fine photography, of making the simplest of moments, grand. So while I’d be hard pressed to tell you when, exactly, we met face-to-face, I can tell you it seems as though we’ve known each other forever.
Just goes to show, you don’t have to grow up with your family members to share a bond. When it comes to cousins–first, second, or otherwise–the fun doesn’t have to be relegated to moments of play in childhood. As a matter of fact, finding a kindred spirit where you least expect it, just might be the most fun of all . . .