At the dentists' office yesterday, the hygienist asked Kira if she was the oldest kid in her family.
"No" she said--which surprised me.
"Are you the youngest?" asked the hygienist.
"No," said Kira. "I'm the oldest of the youngest."
By now, I was thoroughly confused. I am quite sure that Kira does not have an younger siblings. But then Kira made everything clear:
"Ethan is the oldest" she said "he's twelve." Ethan is Kira's oldest first cousin. She has two first cousins younger than her: since she's in kindergarten and other cousins are in school all day, she probably plays with the youngest two most frequently, reinforcing her sense of being the oldest of the youngest.
I think it's a great tribute to George and Sandra, my parents-in-law, that Kira thinks of all her cousins as being the "kids in her family." Strong extended families are becoming rare in America, and it's nice to be part of families on both sides (mine and my wife's) which have maintained a sense of extended family identity.
I hope we'll be able to maintain Kira's strong sense of connection to her cousins even after we move away from this area. I believe there's a strength in ties like that.
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