My cousin and I were talking tonight about old, old memories in our lives.
Growing up, I had a situation that was incredibly unique at the time (and that still is a bit unique nowadays), in which my parents each had children from a previous spouse, only had me together, married when I was three, and divorced one another when I was four.
My siblings on my mom’s side not only lived in the same neighborhood as I did, but my mom and I were regularly at their dad’s house, spending time with them and, even, their dad, who was my mom’s first husband, but with whom my mom was no longer involved in such a relationship.
My siblings on my dad’s side moved to Georgia (until they kind of moved back, off and on, one by one, starting when I was about nine), and so were only around for certain holidays and for what I guess to have been about a month each summer.
My cousin pointed out that she remembered being often at the place my mom and I lived for many years together after she split up from my dad, the one that was in the neighborhood with my brothers and their dad.
I, too, recalled that they often were there visiting us, and we often were at their house (two hours away, by the way) visiting them.
She then presented the interesting and confounding concept of accepting the idea of someone seeing one’s cousins more often than seeing one’s own siblings…, because that’s really how it was in the first decade and a half of my life, so far as my mom’s sister’s children and my dad’s children were concerned.
I have many more memories from earlier childhood with those cousins than I do with my siblings on my dad’s side.
Certainly, I saw my brothers from my mom all the time, almost daily…, but my cousins were, as I can pull up old school activities and projects to show, some of my favorite people in the world, and they were often on my mind, because I saw them often…, such was not the case with my siblings on my dad’s side.
Sure, I cared about them, and I had spectacular memories from the brief time we all spent in the same house when my parents were married to one another, but I really think we could say that I had more a relationship with and attitude towards them that people have with cousins, rather than one with siblings.
So, my half brothers were like my brothers, my cousins were like my half siblings, and my other half siblings were like my cousins… relationship- and attitude-wise, anyway.
Kind of crazy, huh?
I hadn’t really ever thought much about it, because, as my cousin also pointed out tonight, it can be amazing what kinds of things we just accept as children, not concerned in the least about whether they are uncommon or absurd.
I guess the absurdity doesn’t surprise me, of course, because, well, even now, absurd is normal in my life, as this same cousin so graciously pointed out to me a few years ago. 😛