One of my fondest memories as a kid was playing with my cousins. They came to visit once or twice a year and while the parents talked we played hide and seek, built forts or played tag. Fast forward to 2011. Our extended families live either in Oregon or Maryland and we get to see them if we are very lucky once a year. I don’t want our kids to grow up not knowing their cousins and was so excited when the Hunk told me some of the cousins would be meeting us in DC to reconnect, have dinner with us and go to the Marine Corps Sunset Parade. They met us at the hotel where we caught up on all the latest news.
Funny thing, the parents talked and the kids played. After a dinner together of just the 19 of us it was back to the hotel to change and off to the parade. Our hotel room was grand central for pre-parade cleanup and our boys hung out with the cousins downstairs in the lobby while we finished getting ready.
The great thing is that our daughter Jenny, in the blue, spent lots of time with her cousins while she was growing up and they are all such good friends. Many, many years we vacationed together as a family with about 50 of us spending a week together in upper state New York.
I want to foster that same friendship and sense of family with my kids that have down syndrome.
The parade was fabulous made better by the fact that we shared it with family. OK, and we had VIP seating because our son Dan is the executive officer of Guard Company at the Marine Barracks in DC.
All the cousins had a great time and loved the parade. It was over at 10:15 p.m. and they headed home while our family stayed and snapped a few more photos.
The day was so full and long but oh so worth it. This will be a day that all the cousins remember.