I have always thought of my family like an exclusive club. A very big exclusive club. And you either are born into it or "jumped" in. Okay maybe its more like a gang. But a really really nice gang that only does good things but most importantly watches out for each other.
I don't get to see my all my "homies" as much as I would like to but last week we got to spend some time with my cousin Santiago, his beautiful wife Jasmine, my Tia Helen and their 5 beautiful babies.
The only other time that my kids and my cousin's Santiago's kids met was at a wedding last summer so they didn't really remember each other. When we came to the door Angelina asked Phi and Louie excitedly...
"Are you my new cousins?"
It didn't take too much time for Phi and 6 year old Adrian to bond over video games, or for Louie, Angelina and little Selina to get into the dress-up box. As the adults sat around the dining room table and talked and laughed the girls came in and we got this picture of them.
|Louella, Angelina and Selina. |
Louie refers to them now as "My Girls"
It's it amazing how much the girls look alike. I love how they look like they belong together. Because they do. There is no 2nd cousin twice removed stuff. They are cousins, they are each other families, no matter how often they see each other. Just look at those beautiful round chubby Gomez faces. There is no denying it. I love that.
I have some great childhood memories of heading to Escondido to visit my Tios and my cousins Santiago and Andy. I can remember, a plastic kiddie pool in the front yard, goats that looked like Sammy Davis Jr, and trips to Sea World where me, my sister and my Pops got our faces painted. I loved going there and spending the days with my cousins. They were always so nice to my sister and I. Even though they were boys, they were never rough-and-tumble with us. They were so polite and shared their toys and it was just a really good time.
My Tia Helen and my Mom were friends before my Mom started dating my Dad. (Helen is my Dad's younger sister). And on our trips down there you could see that. I can remember my Mom and my Tia taking over the kiddie pool and talking and laughing.
It was weird that it was now my cousin Santiago and I sitting at the table, talking and laughing. And it was OUR kids running around and playing nicely together. It was strange because it's still sometimes hard to picture myself as the adult. The fact that our parents seem to never age doesn't help either. Its hard to imagine my cousin and I as anything but those kids running around in the San Diego sun during the summers.
But we are the adults now, and we are doing the best we can to raise the next generation, the new little "vatos" of our gang/family, as best as we can.
And reminding them that they are part of this big beautiful (super friendly) gang.