Some of my earliest memories of "friends" are ones filled with my cousins. I was blessed to grow up with a handful of my cousins close to us and at the same school and that made for real-life best pals. It is one of the things I wanted for our own boys as we started a family and began parenting right alongside our siblings. So many of our kid's cousins are also some of their favorite people to play with these days and I know that bond is rare and special.
One of the things we love about vacationing with our extended family is the chance for our kids to just hang out, learn about life, and build their relationships with their cousins...their built-in friends. It is a great time to let our kids learn the basics of life alongside people who will always be a part of their life...learning to share, being kind, forgiveness, working together, compromising, being encouraging, taking a joke (and giving them), having fun, and just being yourself...all things we get to watch our kids and our nieces and nephews do together. What a blessing.
The Dells has created that little pocket of extended time for all such things to happen...from the thrill of a huge water-ride together to the morning bed-head acceptance and the choice of food differences and the nightly jammies and just hanging out and just being together. I have come to love the Dells trip, but mostly I love all the people that make the drive each year to just be together.
Working together to create their one-of-a-kind ginger-bread house...