"To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time." — Clara Ortega.
I love Throwback Thursday. I love looking at images of my friends' pasts and recalling my own. Thus, with a few minutes to myself last night, and since I hadn't posted an oldie on Facebook for some time, I took a little photographic walk down memory lane for something appropriate.
After sifting through a few albums I happened upon a picture of my two oldest with two of their cousins taken in late summer, 1977. These four had always been close, since only 3 1/2 years separated the oldest from the youngest. This moment caught them snuggled together on a big comfy chair watching Saturday morning cartoons while their parents sipped a quiet coffee. It reflects perfectly the affection and special bond they shared.
Time, distance and circumstance have changed the relationship over the years, yet hints of the bond are ever present. Though they don't see each other often, when they do there are many moments when you see a twinkle in an eye or hear a good-natured rib that speaks to the love and familiarity they share.
There is the same hint of mischief and spark of joy that is evident when my own four children meet up. Each assumes the role they always had in the family — the responsible leader, the devoted sub-matriarch, the loving, patient peacemaker, the impish comic — and the fun of having grown up together is obvious.
Watching my children I'm always reminded about my childhood and my relationship with my siblings. It was quite different than what my kids enjoyed since my sister and brother were 10 and eight years older than I. There was a camaraderie between the eldest two that was absent for me; my sister being more like a second mother, my brother a bit of a rapscallion when it came to our interactions. As we grew older, of course, the distance between us all closed. We share our past and our present; we have fun discussing both.
Yet as it is with my own brood, when we gather together the roles are still defined and I accept that I will always be the baby of the family.
Discovering the old photo last night, my mind strayed to my cousins. My first BFF was a cousin who, like me, was the baby. In this case by 11 years. I also had two others close to my age on my father's side, also with a much-older sister. Since my mom's sister married my dad's cousin, there were times when everyone from both sides got together. When this happened, we youngsters eagerly reminded the adults how much energy there is in little ones.
When I visited any of my cousins, the 'townie' in me went full-blown country. We roamed fields and raced through orchards. We fished in streams and climbed trees. We jumped in haymows and ate straight from the garden. In turn, on their visits to me, they delighted in seeing the Saturday matinee at the local cinema, going skating or swimming, visiting the Chainway and playing games of chase with neighbourhood kids until dusk settled around us.
With all of these memories floating around my mind, the decision on what to scope out for images today was easy. Whether cousins, siblings or friends, the people in these adorable illustrations exemplify the bond of love and affection that comes with any of the aforementioned:
iCLIPART.com Siblings and Cousins Illustrations
Clipart.com Siblings and Cousins Clipart