My family has always been an important part of my life. They are funny, gracious, understanding, supportive … the list goes on so I’ll just stop there.
But, this week I have realized that just knowing that someone is your family without even really knowing them, is just as powerful as my parents, brother, cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents I have known my entire life.
Where is all this talk coming from, you ask?
My mother’s cousin’s daughter (so, my second cousin) and her two daughters are visiting from San Antonio/Japan for a week-and-a-half. (They are originally from Japan but have been living in San Antonio for the past almost-year). My second cousin, Ai, I have met on several occasions when I have visited relatives in Japan. I met her oldest daughter, Moe (pronounced “Mo-eh”), when she was a baby. She is in sixth grade now. And, the younger daughter I had never even met before until four days ago …
The two girls were both nervous to meet (and re-meet) my brother and I (so said their mom).
Hearing this, I thought they would be shy and not really know what to say to us.
I was mistaken.
Maybe it’s just the intrigue of “new people” and that we seem older and wiser yet still young and hip but the two girls seem drawn to us. They talk to us (especially Toko “Toe-oh-ko” the younger one, in fourth grade, who is quite chatty and giddy). They seem genuinely happy to see me. When I leave for the night, they walk with me to the front door and say good-bye.
Maybe it’s just because they are still little. Maybe they are just being their cute selves.
Or, maybe it’s because we are family.
The last time Ai was in Seattle was 18 years ago as a college student with her friend. They stayed with my family for about two weeks. And now, she is back again with her own daughters.
It’s kind of neat to think that my mom’s cousin’s daughter and her children would come all the way out to Seattle just to visit us.
I hope that some day (some day in the far future,) one (or all) of my cousin’s kid(s) and his/her children will come visit me (wherever I may be). Family is family. And, my family is pretty great.