My family is quite small in number, at least the family around us. There’s only my mum, my brother and me. My nan lives an hour away and my mum’s family live 2+ hours away. My dad was an only child so the 3 of us have always been a pretty self contained unit.
So to marry into a family much larger in number and all living within a couple of miles did mean getting to know everyone in the beginning. Luckily they’re all welcoming and over the years the brood has extended.
N is the 7th grandchild for my in-laws and they love it as do both sisters-in-law. They both love babies so think it’s brilliant to have another in the family to coo over.
The cousins on the other hand had mixed reactions. The eldest isn’t fussed, he’s got other things to think about at the age of 12. Number 4 also isn’t excited. When I was pregnant, he announced that he didn’t want another cousin, but he’s been to visit him a few times and seemed pleased to see N then.
My niece told us that as we didn’t know how to look after babies, she’d have to come and help, but then school got in the way. She’s also sad because she was hoping for a girl to play with as she’s the only one. But she is a little wary of him, probably because he’s bigger than her dolls. The youngest cousin at 2 1/2 is just a bit scared and goes all shy when he sees the baby.
But 2 of them (aged 9 and 10, inseparable cousins themselves), love him to bits. One’s just a really caring type of boy, while the other one is intrigued.
It was lovely today as cousin number 3 was at the farm, came into our garden to have a nosy, so I invited him in to play with N. Of course he was treated to some of N’s smiles and giggles, he could show how to play with his toys and he spent 20 minutes entertaining his youngest cousin.
Hopefully as they all grow older, the cousins will all still get on as well, and enjoy being part of a big family.
Edit: Nearly 9 years later
As N approached his 9th birthday a lot has changed. All of the cousins are really close. The eldest is one of N’s godparents, and they’ve always made sure he’s ok when they’re together. Although nowadays on shoots, it appears a couple of them do like to tease N which he hates. Hopefully they’ll stop that soon.
It’s brilliant that N has his cousins nearby, and he is at school with one of them as well (this will be the last year as the next youngest cousin moves to secondary school next year. Compared to us, where our cousins were about 2 hours drive away so we only saw them a couple of times a year.
Being an only child doesn’t matter as much when you’ve got so many cousins you see so often. Even now the oldest 3 have left school and are working.
Do your children have cousins they see frequently?