Cousin picture…

I’ve really struggled to find the words to describe the bitter sweetness of this collage of pictures. The pictures are of Alyssa and three of her cousins. I love these pictures. I love the pure joy on her face as she enjoys time with her cousins. I love that even though she can be a pest to them because she is younger, they still love having her by their side. I love that we can see her cousins often and that in some ways they are like additional siblings. Alyssa needs the special relationship that she is developing with them. I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more.

As I smile looking at this collage, there’s this sting I feel too. Where is Courtney in these pictures? She was also there. She was probably climbing into the piano, using the toy box as a balance beam or finding the next toy to put in her mouth. I can guarantee she was happy as can be doing what she was doing and that’s what matters.

Of course there is nothing I want more than her to join in on the fun. I also know there are things I can do to encourage more socialization. But, here’s the thing, there is one thing that is also evident in this picture. Love between cousins that hopefully will be unbreakable. And I also know, though not in this picture, they love Courtney too.

(Thank you to my brother and sister (and their significant others) for letting me share these pictures and also loving my girls unconditionally.)

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