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Melissa Marie Photography: Elmhurst Family Session

Being adopted, (which was the best thing that’s ever happened to me) my siblings and cousins were always many years older than I was. My brother and sister were always troopers and let me “tag along” on anything they were doing. No 16 year old really wants to take their 6 year old sister to the mall with them do they? Well, even if they didn’t, they hid it well, and we’ve always been super close; even if not by age. This age gap also meant I didn’t really have cousins my age. (The only cousin near my age was 2 years older but lived on the other side of the country.) Now having a kid myself, it makes me excited to see him play with his cousins. Sure, some are a bit older than him, but they take him under their wing, and he absolutely adores them for it.

Todays combination of families for a “cousin shoot” reminded me of this. Max and Kyle, the two oldest, were poked, kicked, ridden like a pony, delayed the fun of running in races to hold babies, used their finger as a pacifier, and they didn’t think twice about it. There was no coaxing. No pleading. No questions asked. They were the older cousins taking care of all the littles. And the young ones adore them for it. Now getting 6 kids between the ages of 9 years and 5 months old to all be in the same photo at the same time, let alone “smile” was quite the feat. And whether that challenge was specifically met or not, is yet to be determined. (: But what we did get was a boatload of memories. Lots of laughs. A Costco sized amount of gummy treat bribes. And snapshots of the beauty it is to be a carefree kid who gets to be with their cousins. I’ll take it. And I think they time and time again would too.

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