My parents are both only children. That means Michele and I have no aunts, no uncles, and no cousins. Sad, huh? We try to make up for it by insuring our children are super tight so their perspective of aunts, uncles, and cousins is positive.
Growing up, the closest thing I had to a cousin- at least in way you would think of a cousin being close to your age, was "Jason". Jason is the son of my dad's cousin. Which makes us third cousins, or something like that.
The last time I saw Jason was over eight years ago, at the funeral of my grandma. I was two days away from having Mikayla (already overdue with her) and he looked at me constantly with anxiety, quite worried I'd break into labor at any moment. (Not to worry, Jason, I'm still not sure my body is even capable of going into labor on its own as both times I had to be induced). It was funny though - and it had been such a long time since I'd seen him before then - even on such a somber occasion we were able to quickly catch up.
Jason spent two summers at our house. The first one was the summer after my freshman year in college - a year I was particularly lost. His presence made the summer fun - he introduced us to Ben and Jerry's "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough" ice cream (when that flavor had just been introduced) and the joy of the "Terminator" movies. The second summer was the summer in which I started dating John, so unfortunately, the bonding time with Jason was a bit less at that point. (Jason worked for my dad those summers). Jason is one fun dude - that's just a great way to describe him.
Currently, Jason resides in Jackson Hole with his longtime girlfriend, Katie. While on vacation together, they decided to make a visit out to my parents house. The 45 minutes we had together, was way too short. But, right before the picture of him and I was taken together, I asked him how he was really doing - and his eyes lit up as he told me that there's nothing like living life with your best friend. I told how much I agreed - and still agree 14 years later. It was quite sweet.
Unable to resist being the center of attention, this last picture shows Mackie taking off with Mikayla's flip flop. Oh, how he loves to play -