My family[1] always gets together for the 4th of July weekend for a family reunion. Two of my cousins are already here and we had a fun night eating conveyor belt sushi and playing Monster Prom. I hadn't expected any of my relatives to be here before Friday, but luckily one of my coworkers switched shifts with me and I was able to open instead of close, giving me just enough time to spend with my family coming in early today.

My cousins have always been like siblings to me. Now that we don't see each other very often, it's interesting when we do get to meet up because I feel like so much changes in 6-8 months, you know? It seems like every time I see them, everyone's on different career paths, into different music, etc. We only get to see the most extreme changes on such an interval.

I'm so glad that I get to have such a strong bond with my cousins, no matter where life takes us. I hope that we can continue to be close as we get older and move further distances apart. July 4th is a big part of that. Since our reunion is always at the same time every year, it becomes obvious who considers the family important and who doesn't, you know? You always know when the reunion is going to be. You have all year to request vacation days or make time or save up some money (or ask others for money) to go. There's a few members of my family who really don't make time to go to the reunion and...well, it's sad, sure. But they've never been a huge part of my life, so I'm more lamenting what could have been.

I do feel that you don't get to choose your family. You shouldn't feel pressured to care about people simply because they're related to you. But I love my family. I'm happy to be close to them and I hope that continues—these are relationships I want to hold onto forever.

  1. Specifically my aunts, uncles, and cousins from my dad's side of the family. ↩︎