A few years ago, when my sister’s kids and my kids started spending more time together every summer – beyond a few days’ visit – we hit a point one summer when all three of younger kids were either mad or crying. We split them up into different cars, and then went hiking. By the end of the day, they were laughing again. And while no one favors kids crying, it was clear the cousins had hit a new level in their relationship. They had spent enough time together to honestly disagree; simultaneously, they had spent enough time together to cherish each others’ company, and wholeheartedly make-up.
Like all families, we share the same stories exclusive to us. Remember when Yasu dumped ketchup on his head and laughed hysterically? Remember the summer Gigi and Kaz spent hours sorting tic-tacs? Remember the Summer of Gum, when Trident was the New Cool Thing? Remember when Aunt Brett…. well, I won’t incriminate myself.
Stories are too often trivialized as lightness, mere anecdote or amusement. But aren’t the stories of ourselves and our beloveds an integral way of knowing ourselves and our place in the world? Not to mention…. often entirely fun.