Dictionary.com defines the word cousin as "the son or daughter of an aunt or uncle." Genetically, this is true. Although for me, a cousin means so much more than that.
A cousin in my book means a friend. I have been lucky enough to grow up with my cousins as my stand-in siblings, considering I am an only child. A cousin to me is someone that has been there through every obstacle in my life, as well as every achievement. Whenever I explain to my friends how close I am with some of my cousins, I get that weird look of "are you serious?"
Sometimes I forget that not everyone has a family as close as mine. I spent more weekends having sleepovers with my cousin than I did with my friends from school, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Since birth, we have been inseparable. We're only 5 months apart, so neither of us remember a time we weren't each other's best friend.
From diapers, to countless sleepovers as kids, to now trying to get our live's together to go into this foreign "adult world" we've been there every step of the way. Having your cousin as your best friend is probably one of the best things you could do in life. They'll be there through everything you go through. The good and the bad you share together. I couldn't attempt to count the amount of times that we have called each other panicking, crying, or overwhelmed with happiness. She'll be the one to give you a "real talk" when you really need to get over yourself and start doing what is best for you. She knows you probably better than you know yourself. Your best friend is the person you want to tell first when something major happens, and thankfully she has been that person for my whole life.
Our friendship has been one of the best blessings of my life. When we were kids, our sleepovers were filled with laughter and "big conversations" for 8 year-olds to be having. Starting sneak-a-snack missions to try and get past our moms, who caught onto our biggest secrets of the time. She'd come to my house to watch shows she couldn't watch at home, and I'd go to hers for waffles for breakfast in the morning. When I think of my childhood, I think of the memories I made with her, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
As our lives are constantly changing, especially now with us getting older, there is still no other person I would want to share my achievements and short-comings with. Cousins mean more to me than just the people you spend holiday's with, they're the people I've grown up with. I wouldn't be who I am if I didn't grow up close with them, and I am eternally grateful that I was able to grow up in a family as close as mine.
So to my best friend/cousin/MOH/Fun Bucket: thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for being my go-to for every event in my life and my forever friend. To our families: thank you for blessing me with my best friend. Thank you for putting up with our past-bedtime laughter, for considering me another daughter, and for giving me a sister. To those who have kids: raise them to be close with their cousins. You never know, you could be giving them a forever friend.