Ever had a best bud?
Ever been two peas in a pod?
Ever been stuck together like glue?
First they were cousins, now more like brothers.
Yes that’s Ethan and Brodie, Best Buds for Life.
It all began years ago at “cousin camp”; a weekly Friday night tradition where all the grandkids spend the night with Papa and Gaga. When David and I became grandparents we wanted to create a library full of scrapbook memories during that small window of opportunity where the grandchildren still wanted to hang out with us. When friends and sports become a part of their life, it will be our turn to pursue them for available time.
Ethan and Brodie became partners in crime the minute cousin camp opened its doors. You never saw one without the other and quite the tears when half the duo couldn’t attend our Friday night sleepover.
At cousin camp there is no minimum age requirement to join the club. These boys have had their diapers and pull ups changed together. They’ve learned to crawl and walk as a team. From tricycles to training wheels to full freedom on two tires , they have shared so much life together on Friday night. Brodie and Ethan lay their sleeping bags side by side so they can wrestle and laugh and whatever boys do when nobody is looking. Oh the times Papa would have to end the midnight crazies so everyone else could sleep.
Little boys don’t require much. Give them a ball and bat and the movie Sandlot comes to life where an old fashioned neighborhood of kids get together for the love of baseball. The laughs and cheers as these two swat the ball and round the bases like miniature Babe Ruth’s.
The boys are sprouting faster than a field of weeds. They’ve outgrown their bikes again and Papa will have to hit the garage sales for summer replacements. The parents can’t keep them in shoes and Papa and Gaga sense the Friday night window with them closing ever so slightly.
To date, cousin camp takes in six of our ten grandchildren, as four live out of town. Our DC babies join our Friday night traditions whenever they come for a visit. Our oldest grandchild is thirteen soon so our first cousin-camp graduation might be this year. Just don’t tell Papa.
When cousin-camp closes its doors for good, it is our prayer as grandparents that our grandchildren enjoy turning the pages of their cousin camp scrapbooks every now and then. That the intentional time we’ve sowed into these “gifts from God” reap relationships with each other into their adult lives.
May their cell phones always have cousin camp members on speed-dial.
May all ten of them be Best of Buds For Life.
OFF YOU GO
By Lori A Alicea
And off you go a cousin pair,
The miles in your car.
Remember where your Papa lives,
He’ll wonder where you are.
Don’t get too far or dare forget,
He’s crazy for you two.
So pick him up when think of it,
He’d love a car ride too.