Over the weekend I met a few of my cousins for lunch. Two of us drove and met two other cousins halfway between our hometown. Our goal was to catch up, laugh and talk and gain updates regarding what’s going on in each other’s lives. I’m totally grateful that I have a group of women who love me and are brutally honest with me! Each one of us are different, have different family dynamics, different experience, different education levels. Although we are very different our core values are super similar, we love and love hard.
While catching up, I asked about a cousin that wasn’t there. It was a, “Hey have y’all heard from…..?” Question. The response I received from one of my cousins had me puzzled. She said, “Y’all aren’t cousins, y’all are Facebook cousins.” Huh????
So she explained, Facebook cousins are the cousins you know what’s going on, ONLY via their Facebook post. You don’t call them to check on them, you don’t call their kids to says happy birthday, you just respond to a post…. Facebook Cousins. This has actually been a discussion with another pocket of cousins. Families don’t get together like we used to and often don’t see the value of gathering. Do you have Facebook cousins?
As I ponder the thought more, it’s interesting. I remember growing up ALWAYS being around my cousins and longing to play with them when they weren’t around. If a scuffle ensued… just know, we were all fighting. Cousins just came running. It was bond that was magnetic and inviting. Were we perfect? Not at all. But we learned one another and genuinely cared for one another. Has technology influenced our lives in a way where that bond is no longer needed? Yes and no. Yes- I believe it is very easy for individuals to detach but to still live as if they are part of a world that is only observed. No- because as I speak to clients in my office, something desired by most is to have true, honest connections. How do we get them back? We have to be intentional and realize it’s importance. Will you have a close bond with everyone? No. But having support is immeasurable.
After college, at different times, about five of my cousins moved to Houston. Monthly we get together! No if, ands or buts…. none! I value not being their Facebook cousin. When something is going on with me, they get the updates. If I’m tired… I take a nap. We talk about money management, retirement plans, random happenings, we laugh loud and hard!
So how could you gain real cousin status?
1. Love hard. This does not mean you place yourself in situations to uproot traumatic experiences, simply love with no regrets.
2. Forgive. Forgive yourself for not loving, forgive others for hurting you.
3. Be intentional. Pick two cousins a month to call, text and check on.
4. Laugh and reminisce on the good ole days.
5. Pray for your cousins.
6. Create a space to just be you with your family.
7. Love on your elders. No, they are not your cousins, they are your family… not your Facebook family; their children are. Knowing that your cousins care about your parents, should warm your heart!
8. Make memories!
9. Have Sunday Dinners!
10. Love with no regrets!!!