My whole life I have never really known what it is like to grow up in a small family with one or two siblings and a few cousins. All I have ever really known is a large family. With 22 relatives on my maternal side and 32 on my paternal side it is always a little crazy. Holidays are basically what we consider family reunions and they are never boring. There is always bound to be an injury or even a trip to the nearby hospital. It is adventurous and memorable to say the least. Living life with so many people in it is a unique experience that I love every second of.
With this big of a family you definitely have your favorite relatives and your not so favorite ones, but you know deep down that you love each and every one equally because they are family. After all, they are the people who have your back no matter what. Growing up in a big family has been a blessing for me and has definitely shaped me into the person I am today. Some of my best friends and people I look forward to seeing are my cousins, and I love saying that. We all know that when we get married we will be in each others' weddings and that we have an inseparable bond.
If you have grown up in a big family, chances are people are shocked to find out someone is your cousin or relative. I always get asked “You two are related?!” or “How are you related?!” And then I have to explain everything and that’s when they get confused. Another thing I hear a lot from living in a big family is “Ellie, your cousin is hot.” Definitely not something I love to hear, but all I do is laugh at them and say “Okay, I’ll let them know you think that.” Most of my friends are in love with my cousins, but it is just something that comes with living in a family with so many people. I mean what can I say? We were all blessed with pretty awesome genes.
My favorite part about being a part of such a large family is how I have become so close with some of my cousins as I have grown older, especially the ones around my age. In high school my sister, cousin, and myself went to the public high school, while our other two cousins went to the private high school in the same town. This created a family rivalry like no other. However, it brought all of our families closer than ever and now we all see each other all the time. Becoming close with my cousins who are my age opens up the doors for so many new friends and it is really so cool to all hang out.
My large family is a part of who I am today. We always go to each others' games and support one another like we are siblings. When I played sports there was never a game that none of my family was at and it was definitely a cool thing to see. We always have each others’ backs and look out for one another. With this many people there is always someone there for you to talk to and go see when you need a break from your parents and siblings. My life would be completely different if I did not have this amazingly, huge group of weirdos around all the time. There is not a day that goes by where I hate living in a huge family and if you live in a large family I hope you can relate to all of this. It is definitely an experience like no other.