The bond between cousins is a very special one. They are our some of our first friends, linked by blood and family, and are one of those special entities in our ever evolving lives. Lars and Sophie were the first grandchildren born on both mine and Jamie’s side, so for these first 4 years they have not got to know the joy of cousinly play.
I was going to start this post by saying it was November 15th in which the kids had their first encounter with the enigmatic baby Hannah, their very fresh and oh so sweet infant cousin. This is not true though as Lars especially, had a rather precarious relationship with the little fetus. As Lars’ reaction was strange at best from the first time ‘Auntie Gemma’ had told him that there was a baby growing in her belly.
“Hey Lars, come here and feel the baby kick.” Gemma motioned for Lars to make his way towards her abdomen. The child gave her a sort of curious stare, wondering why in the hell his Auntie is saying that there is a baby living in her stomach. I see his confusion and step in,
“Lars did you know that Auntie Gemma and Uncle Darren are going to have a baby in a few months? We will be able to hold the baby and cuddle the baby and kiss it too! Won’t that be awesome!” Trying to engage the boy in excitement, as I rubbed my sister-in-laws belly.
“Where’s baby?” He said as he inched a tad closer, but not so close as to catch any of those big belly koodies.
“Baby lives in Aunties tummy right now, it will come and see us in a few months.” There was no point in explaining this last statement, because as soon as I describe that the babe is currently residing inside of his auntie, Lars froze with shock. His eyes solidified on the bump in question; unwavering, steadfast. He then shot a noxious look at his Aunt, let out a bellow, “AHHHHHH!” and ran off into the distance. Maybe too much for a 3-year-old to understand? Maybe too much for my 3 old to understand.
Sophie only being one and a half at the time was much more nonchalant with the situation. As long as her Auntie could still play with her she really didn’t care how far her stomach protruded. But it wasn’t until the baby girl came out of Gemma’s body, that Lars once again looked at her as his Aunt and not the unnerving housing unit of some random imaginary baby.
The kids and I were at the farm visiting with my mom and dad, when I received the phone call that my sister-in-law had gone into labour. OH how excited I was to have our first niece make her appearance into the world. My mom graciously offered to keep my monsters with her, so Jamie and I could revel in this occasion without the stress of having a 2 and a 4-year-old at the hospital with us.
So yes, I may have jumped the gun a tad. I quickly made my way back into town, picked up Heather, Jamie’s younger sister and we rushed into the hospital…only to wait. You would think after having two babies of my own I would be a bit more versed in the understanding of child-birth. Eventually after a job very well done on Gemma’s part, we had baby Hannah in our grasp. And what a beautiful babe she was.
It wasn’t until the new family had settled into ‘infant life’ that Lars grew a very strong fascination with the child. Now in current days, Lars will stop at nothing to ensure the safety of his 3 month old cousin Hannah. Because in his mind, he certainly knows better how to look after an infant than the adults in his life.
Gemma and Hannah came over for a visit a few weeks ago, and as soon as his Auntie had set the carrier down to get the infant out Lars was on top of the situation.
“Auntie Gemma, be careful…You don’t want to hurt the baby’s head.” He reminded his Aunt as he hovered over the process of taking the small babe out of the car seat.
Gemma then proceeded to give her child one of Lars’ trains to hold, it was not long before Hannah began gumming the Thomas figurine. The distraught look on my sons face was blatant, and if it had been any other child he would have been sent quickly over the edge…But his fragile cousin can do no wrong. He simply made his way to the sopping wet drool infested toy gently removed it from his cousins mouth and said, “Ummm Auntie, trains are not for babies. I take this, it could hurt Hannah.”
Sophie on the other hand has a nasty case of the jealousies. She will not even acknowledge her small cousin, let alone play or enthuse her. I am hoping that this just another one of my daughter famous ‘stages’ that she will soon come out of.
I have this vision for the future, that as a parent I would love to see come to fruition.
Sophie and Hannah playing joyfully at the park when some bully boys come and start making fun of them. Lars will then swoop in magnificently, and come to the rescue of his sister and cousin. Although, knowing Sophie, and having grown up with Gemma, and assuming Hannah will take after her mother; our girls will not need a boy to protect them. I am almost positive they will be mighty tough, and more than likely will be the ones sticking up for Lars when mockery comes down upon him. Regardless of which way it goes, I am so excited to see these little people grow up together.
The adventures they endure together will be pure awesomeness. And I so hope they will be able to hold fond memories of young cousinly play in their minds for years to come, as I have with my cousins. But for right now, we will continue to indulge Lars in his feat to show us how to handle young Hannah, and encourage Sophie out of her rivalry phase towards anything baby.
It is a wonderful idea that has come about now, that my children will get to know the friendship of kin. Because when we strip ourselves down to the bare minimal, this is what we are always left with; the love of family.