Dear Travis and Kim,
Hanging out at the playground across the street, playing with barbies, trying to get snowball to actually walk on her leash instead of dragging her for a block. These were just a few of the many things I remember about growing up with you two. Travis, you hated me for the first few years of your life, always arguing and fighting with me over petty disagreements. You and I were not so different in our mannerisms, and I think that’s why we fought so often. Kim, you will always kind of be Kimmy to me, no matter how old we get. You were my baby cousin, the one who could climb up walls better than I could, and who I sometimes wished I could switch Jessica out for. You both annoyed me at times, and true, we did have our fair share of disagreements between us, but I always found adventure in growing up alongside you.
The wooden spoon always seemed to make an appearance at those family dinners in grandma and grandpa’s house. It always had a habit of heading for Travis, his rowdy nature the reason. I remember you crying for grandma, while knowing that wouldn’t do anything, and never quite learning your lesson the first time around. You were a rambunctious kid, always making more trouble for yourself than it was worth, but I think you had to be, seeing as how you were the only grandson. Had to keep the adults on their toes.
You guys were allowed to watch Mulan, and The Little Rascals; I always thought the toys at your house were better than my own; you had more friends than I did, public school a big part of that. I would get so jealous over these little things you seemed to have that I didn’t. But then, you’d be in class while I was running around the grandparents back yard, eating ice cream and petting the bunny, so I got over it.
I oddly remember alot of time spent blowing up balloons in the back room… they had the power rangers drawings on them, something you two were familiar with, but I never watched. I don’t know why something so insignificant can take up a memory from so long ago, but I do remember blowing up balloons with you two. I have a feeling they belonged to Uncle Neil.
As we grew older, and you guys moved from place to place, we didn’t spend as much time together anymore. We still occasionally cross paths, Kim more than Travis, since Oregon isn’t super close. When we do actually see each other, it’s more about Travis pointing out that he is now taller than me, or arguing that burnt marshmallows are somehow better. When we see each other now, there’s always a reason behind it, not a ‘surprise, the cousins are here,’ kind of thing like it used to be. But no matter how little we see each other, we are always family. Kim, you will always kind of be Kimmy to me… long after you get married, have kids, grow grey hair, and start having back problems. Travis, you’ll always be the kid who hit me with the plastic golf club, threw up all the chocolate milk after refusing to eat anything else, and the little boy who liked playing barbies. Memories are a vicious reminder of the stupid things you did when you were young.
I love you two cousins of mine, no matter what,