In honour of cousins
I have a strange family. I didn’t know this until I went to college and discovered that most people didn’t know their cousins. Some had never met them.
This was a foreign concept to me. I knew all of my cousins, and several were close friends. I met most of them on the day they were born. orn.
Fast-forward 25 years and I’m still closel to my cousins,i and d they’veh ’ created d a new generation. I am officially the aunt of two gorgeous young men - Christian (7) and Matthew (5) - but there’s a whole list of small people I consider ‘mine’. There’s Cory, Cohen, Katie, Zara, Felicity, Rhian, Chloe, Frances, Rebecca, Preston, Blake... and I’ve had to edit this to just the youngest ones so their names fit on the page.
Then there’s Ruby (7). Ruby is the eldest daughter of my cousin-in-law Kylie and Pete. Pete is the first baby I remember holding, and my first nappy change. He was luckier than our cousin Nicole, the first (and only) baby I poked in the tummy with a safety pin. Fortunately, she got over the trauma. I know I didn’t.
Kylie and I share a love of goats, and now Ruby does too. But their block is fenced for sheep and cows, not goats, so Ruby’s Ag Day kids have had to be tethered. Her first goat, Humphrey, lived with her Grandad until he liberated himself to live with a herd of deer in nearby bush. Jesse was still at home with the family, so I suggested that perhaps she could come and stay with my herd so she had some company and could wander freely.
This was a leap of faith for Ruby, still fretting about the loss of Humphrey. We took a walk to see Jesse and yarned about our favourite goats. Ruby was worried Jesse might escape, and I explained that Jesse would be behind good ‘goat’ fences, and that when goats live in a group, they tend to stick together.
Much like cousins. And even better, there’s more and more of them to love as the years go by.