Cousins

Magical moments in parenting happen when you watch your child connect and click with another.

As much as I’m still complaining about not having a quiet break to myself during my time off work, it was nice to have given T time with his grandparents, Aunt and cousin in the East Coast.

He was particularly excited to see his cousin A, whom he last saw this summer.

The minute his cousin arrived, T and A vanished to the basement for hours.

I enjoyed popping downstairs once in a while and eavesdropping quietly at the door, watching T show off how good he was at the Nintendo Switch, with A watching over him.

The two provide an interesting contrast. A is three years older and taller. She is sensitive to noises, sometimes wearing noise-cancelling headphones, while T is loud. She is calm, he is hyperactive. She is polite, T can come across as blunt and rude.

And yet, they get along and he is fond of her.

One thing that upsets me about the pandemic is that T is missing out on social interaction.

No birthday parties, sleepovers, playdates – because of distancing expectations and general uneasiness from parents, including ourselves, for kids to gather with other kids outside of school.

Children like T struggle with social interactions and emotional regulation, so I feel like T is missing out on valuable practice with kids during pivotal years in his development.

This is reflected in challenges T is having with classmates, especially during recent weeks, and it weighs on my mind a lot.

So when I see T blossom and connect with his cousin in a positive way, it warms my heart.

Mind you, it wasn’t all pleasant. On their second visit, T had a full blown meltdown after dinner – over ice cream of all things – and the hubby and I put him to bed early while he screamed at us.

It happened on Christmas, of all days!

The wonderful thing with T is that every day is a new day and for their third and final visit together, T and his cousin had fun time playing together for hours.

When it came time for them to leave, I could tell that T was processing his sadness. He kept pacing around and when it came time for them to leave, he gave A a big tight hug.

Earlier that evening, he asked if his Aunt and cousin could visit us – and he was delighted to learn that they planned on visiting next summer.

He also told the hubby and his Aunt that he wanted to marry A one day. For T, marrying someone is an innocent sign of love and affection – rather than anything creepy like those Lannister twins on Game of Thrones. But I did joke with the hubby and his sister that T and A technically aren’t related by blood because T is adopted.

After they left, T retreated to the basement and started crying, saying that he missed A. It was both heart wrenching and touching. All we could do was hug and console him and remind him that he’ll see her again in a few months.

In moments like this, I think about how nice it would be for T to have a sibling. He would be a great brother. It’s too bad the hubby and I realistically can’t take on another child, especially if they require so much from us like T does.

When we returned home earlier this week, T told the hubby that he was no longer going to sleep in our room with us at night.

The hubby asked him why.

T said he needed to practice sleeping in his room by himself again so that when A visited, she could sleep in his room with him.

Later that evening, as T laid in bed and the hubby and I were downstairs, T yelled out loud, “How many more days until summer?!”

23 thoughts on “Cousins

  1. That’s honestly so adorable that T has made such a strong bond with his cousin. How exciting that she’ll be visiting next summer. It’s always good to have something to look forward to. I feel sorry for all the kids during this pandemic for all the same reasons. It’s so important to learn how to make those social connections at a young age, and those in-person interactions are so different than virtual ones. Fingers crossed that the schools remain open this year. Ford is supposed to announce new restrictions soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Linda. I am counting down the days until the summer as well now that Ford has announced his new restrictions. Sigh.

      It is very heartbreaking and demoralizing. It really is. But we will get through it again – one step at a time. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful story. It warms my heart to read this. I grew up around cousins. So much fun and great memories. Cousins however do fight too, so are their parents, which I remember was stressful to the kids. My Son, miss having cousins around him but I’m glad he found friends in school that he relates well. Things have changed a lot from when we were younger to that of our kid’s generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know how you feel re: growing up with cousins. I was very lucky to have done the same growing up with a particular pair of cousins.

      I’m sorry about the fights as I can also understand that perspective. In the absence of his cousins, I am glad that your son has found his tribute in school. They really need them at this age.

      Good luck to your son in the upcoming year and the remainder of this school year!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I though before my son may be missing something being an only child and away from relatives , but turn out only child kids are just as happy and they found a creative way to build their own circle that inspires them. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, LaDonna! Those wheels have not stopped turning yet. It’s all he’s talking about. It’ll be a long winter ahead! 🙂

      Happy new year to you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I found your blog from Love That Max – and I thoroughly enjoy your writing and learning about your family! As a special education teacher here in Pennsylvania, it is obvious that you and your husband are amazing parents and advocates for T. I look forward to following your blog and your adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kayla. Love That Max is so wonderful in connecting the special needs community together. I have discovered many wonderful blogs and caregivers/teachers/advocates through there too.

      And thank you for your kind comment. We try our best but there are so many hard days, as you can imagine, but we try to keep a positive perspective through it.

      And thanks for doing your part to support kids like ours. Teachers make all the difference in both the kids and the parents lives.

      Thanks again for your kind comment and happy new year!

      Like

  4. Aw, this post is so touching. I love how well T and A get along. The joke about T and A not being technically related since T is adopted, made me smile. I’m so sorry though that T is missing out on so much socializing due to the pandemic. This is really sad indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Astrid. That’s the biggest challenge with the is pandemic for sure – how it’s affecting everyone, especially young kids, with social connection. The positive outcomes though help us all get through it.

      Take care and happy new year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved this blog for so many reasons. Your sentence “I feel like T is missing out on valuable practice with kids during pivotal years in his development.” Is something I think about often. For kids like T but also all young children who are missing out on the socializing practice. How will it affect this generation is yet to be seen. I love T and A’s bond. And the positive outcome of a potential sleepover- T working on sleeping in his own bed! Great Blog. How many days till summer? Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Vickie! I agree with you that the pandemic’s effect on kids, as well as teens and pre-teens, will be significant and I am both curious and scared to think and see what that impact is. I know that I feel very worn down by it all and I’ve got supposed coping skills! 😆

      Wishing you, Jess and family a Happy New Year! I’ll probably be passed out by 9 pm tonight. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, I love that featured photo. So sweet!

    What a great visit! I totally agree that one of the things that has been so hard about this pandemic is not to have that social time with friends. The playdates especially bring that unstructured time where they have to negotiate rules that is so hard and yet so important for kids their age. And that meltdown – we’ve gone through so many of those when my daughter has actually gotten to have playdates. I think their little social emotional brains are just struggling to grow and adapt so fast.

    Thank goodness he has such a wonderful cousin. I’m sure he would be a great big brother but you and your hubby are also wise to know your limits and find that family interaction elsewhere.

    Which brings me to my question, how many days is it til summer? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wynne! I love this photo taken from summer 2018 when they were both a lot smaller. I took some very cute candid photos from last week but didn’t post them as they were more identifiable of my niece.

      The meltdowns are truly the worse aren’t they, especially on play dates. You just feel so judged and must carry on with s smile when you feel very crushed on the inside.

      But we’re lucky to have had this time for the two cousins to connect. It’s been good for him and good for us too.

      And far too many days until summer! 😆 In the meantime, have a happy new year to you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. How nice for T & you too if him playing with his cousin gave you a moment for yourself. However, this post led me to something I hadn’t thought of. Does T have a playmate or classmates that he’s bonded with or the occasional playdate? Just wondering about how often if at all you may get a break. I didn’t much while raising my children, but that’s because it was hard for me to trust most people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tammy! The pandemic had made it very hard for us to arrange play dates. There were a few kids the last two years that T bonded and connected with well but we’ve lost touch. He’s having some challenges with peer interactions at school and so I don’t think those peers are going to be play date options unfortunately. But we will keep trying. That is all we can do!😊

      Wishing you and your family a happy new year. Stay well and take care!

      Like

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