Skip to main content

Cousin Deprived

That's what my kids are.  Whereas my mother grew up with 40-something (or some other equivalently huge number) first cousins, the number of those that we are actually in touch with is... maybe two.  In my generation, there is only one child-of-a-cousin who's around my age that I know well enough to maybe say hi to.
My father only had a few first cousins, and although they remained close (his parents sponsored everybody back in Europe and their families lived together at various points in my grandparents' house downtown), for whatever reason, we only got to know a couple, and not many of their offspring in our generation.
My father's two sibs had, between them, three kids (my dad was the prolific one, with four!).  Three first cousins on my father's side.  I'm the oldest; the youngest is 18.
My mother's three sibs did a little better:  seven first cousins on that side, ranging from (?) early 50's to (?) late teens.
Of those ten first cousins, I'd say I've only seen about four in the last five years, including my father's funeral and the BBQ when my cousin went to Afghanistan.
And on those occasions that we did meet up, all we really had in common was that we mutually speak the English language.  (not even genes; two are adopted!)
All of which adds up to the fact that my own kids are cousin deprived.  We have gone in three generations from being a huge, busy extended multi-generational family to a bunch of older folks teetering on folding chairs with buffet plates, smiling down on the four children (mine) who've accidentally popped up in our midst.
They SOooo want cousins.
They do have five, on Ted's side.  All boys, most in their 20s.  All in Ottawa.  We are not deeply close.
Naomi lied a few weeks ago and told someone that a friend was her cousin; she just wanted it so badly.
She is fascinated by cousins.
When I told her that two of the little toddler girls we know, Shayna and Shevi, are cousins because their abbas are brothers... and that they have the last name... well, she could speak about nothing else for days.  ("Why is Shevi Shayna's cousin?"  "What's Shevi's last name?"  "What's Shayna's last name?")
Over Sukkos, one of Naomi's friends had a house full of cousins from other cities; they all had an amazing time playing together and got along great.
Of course, at least one of my sibs could have children.  Let's say sisters, because the other possibility (my brother having kids) is distinctly unsettling.  I really hope they both get a chance to have children, if that's what they want and the time is right in their lives, and all of that. 
But even if they were impregnated tomorrow, YM will be 15 years older, and even Gavriel Zev will be almost 3 by the time the cousins were born.  Three years would be okay.  But Naomi Rivka would be five.  And Elisheva could babysit!  Okay, it wouldn't be terrible.  But it wouldn't be cousins, cousins, like you grow up knowing, grow up in each other's houses.  The kind of cousins my mother had.
I hope my grandchildren get to have some cousins, someday.  I hope we're a big extended family, someday.


Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po

What do we tell our kids about Chabad and “Yechi”?

If I start by saying I really like Chabad, and adore the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, z"l, well... maybe you already know where I'm headed. Naomi Rivka has been asking lately what I think about Chabad.  She asks, in part, because she already knows how I feel.  She already knows I’m bothered, though to her, it’s mostly about “liking” and “not liking.”  I wish things were that simple. Our little neighbourhood in Israel has a significant Chabad presence, and Chabad conducts fairly significant outreach within the community.  Which sounds nice until you realize that this is a religious neighbourhood, closed on Shabbos, where some huge percentage of people are shomer mitzvos.  Sure, it’s mostly religious Zionist, and there are a range of observances, for sure, but we’re pretty much all religious here in some way or another. So at that point, this isn’t outreach but inreach .  Convincing people who are religious to be… what? A lot of Chabad’s efforts here are focused on kids, including a