A while back, my Aunt Diane visited the Left Coast from back East, to stay with my Mum, her sister, and the Girl’s Nana.
So, we all got together one very sunny Sunday afternoon, and had a great time. The Girl led the group in a rendition of “The Animal Game”, which is when one person thinks of an animal, and everyone guesses what it is.
The Girl is very interested in family, and so I explained to her that Auntie Diane is to me what her Aunties are to her. I explained that Auntie Diane’s children are my cousins. Cousins are important to the Girl, since she has no brothers and sisters. So, she gets cousins.
Another thing I explained to her is that Auntie Diane, when I was very, very young, younger even than the Girl is now, took care of me when my parents went off to work. Some of my earliest memories are of my cousins, and the house they lived in, and where I spent my earliest pre-school days.
Needless to say, Auntie Diane is important.
Her help when I was a kid is a thread that runs through to my being the person I can be for The Girl. Beyond all of the connections, and the parallels between The Girl’s aunties and cousins and my own, I think this is the core of what the value of family really is.