Special Friends Called Cousins

Alice was talking about her friends last week.

“I have friends at daycare and friends at church and I have special friends called COUSINS!”

I was reminded recently how very lucky we are to have all of our parents and siblings and their kids within a 45-mile radius of our house.

Sluiter Cousin Beach Day

A couple weeks ago we were able to get all of the Sluiter side cousins together (there are 10 including Eddie, Charlie, and Alice) for a fun afternoon on playing at Cortney’s sister and brother-in-law’s house on a little lake. The kids had a blast!

And if that wasn’t enough fun, Cortney’s mom, whom the kids call Granny, set up her backyard as a campsite and had three nights of Granny Camp last weekend.

The first night, she had the three oldest boys. Since Eddie (10) is the oldest, he was in round 1.

The second night, Granny had the two middle grandsons which included Charlie (7).

And the final night, she had all four of the girl cousins which included Alice (4).

They all had SUCH fun! Granny lives just a block away from Lake Michigan, so each evening she took the campers to the beach to run on the dunes and play on the playground to get them good and sleepy.

She had different games and activities each night. Eddie’s night included water balloon fights, Charlie did a scavenger hunt in the dark, and Alice told me they “laughed all the time.”

There was a campfire for s’mores, naturally. And staying up way later than their parents would normally allow.

There were morning s’mores and Grandpa making pancakes on the griddle outside.

Everyone came home smelling like tent with droopy eyes and grumpy attitudes. Which means they definitely had FUN! Oh, and they are all already talking about next year at Granny Camp!

Alice was also invited to her first sleepover last weekend! My brother’s daughter asked her to come spend the night, so we packed her up and off she went.

They both wore their Frozen jammies and slept in their Frozen sleeping bags. Alice had so much fun!

It was while I was bringing her home from her sleepover that she declared cousins are special friends. She is right. They are often our first friends. Like Alice, my first sleepover was with my older cousin too.

It is my hope that my kids always call their cousins “friends”.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.