When I was growing up I did not know my extended family very well. My mom had a lot of issues with her family and my biological father was not in the picture so it kept us from spending time with aunts and uncles and cousins. I really don't know any of my extended family even now as an adult. I mean I am friends with some of my aunts and cousins on facebook but that is about it. When I had kids I swore I would do whatever it took to make sure that my kids were close with their aunts and uncles and cousins and I am proud to say that they are. Sure they could be closer with some, but I do my part to keep the relationships open, I cannot force people to be active parts of our life if they don't want to be. My kids get to grow up with their cousins and that is so awesome to me. I get to be an aunt, which I totally love and am really good at and we all get to feel part of a family, outside of our own little unit. As a kid I always felt so lonely and like I was missing out on something because I did not have close relationships within my family. Even today it saddens me that I am not closer with the many cousins and aunts and uncles that I have, as I value family so much and would love to be close with all of them.
The kids just got some Easter presents from one of their aunts and I know how excited they are going to be when they come home and open their boxes!! The kids and I also started this thing where each set of aunt and uncles gets a holiday and we send little packages with cards and special things to them on that holiday. So far we have done Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, April fool's Day and Easter. We picked the "off" holidays like Labor Day and Earth Day and silly ones like that, so that they have to put thought into what they send. So far each box has been so much fun for us to put together and for the person receiving to get!! It has allowed the kids the chance to get to know each aunt and uncle so they know what kind of things to pick out for their boxes!! It has really been a fun little venture and I think this going to be an annual thing for us. Each year we will mix up the holidays, and just keep showing how much we love the people in our lives!!
Family is what you make it right? Well I am making a close family with memories and closeness, because that is what my heart tells me we need!