30-DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE
DAY 26: A CHILDHOOD MEMORY
Where we lived 20 years ago, the area wasn’t conducive for playing outdoors, thus I grew up playing in the premises of our home. In effect, I didn’t have childhood friends from the neighborhood. Maybe I had one or two playmates, but I don’t really remember them much today. I was never allowed to play outside with the fear that I might get kidnapped or something else much worse.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I grew up with cousins from my father’s side of the family. We are 12 cousins in the family, the eldest of which will be 30 years old by November. There are only three girls; two of them are sisters, thus making me their only girl cousin! Since most of my cousins are boys, I grew up to their kind of toys, too. Instead of playing Barbie dolls with the girls, I’d rather join my male cousins in shooting toy soldiers or assembling their G.I. Joe‘s or Transformers. I even watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Bucky O’Hare because of them. I was definitely one of the boys when I was younger, hence my abhorrence with floral, puff-sleeved dresses. I didn’t mind messing around with them in physical activities, although my father highly disapproved of this. My cousins are my childhood friends, so most of my childhood memories are connected to them.
There was a time when we lit a bonfire across one of my cousins’ house (an open lawn; with adult supervision and assistance, of course). We just gathered together, sitting in large rocks, laughing while grilling hotdogs and marshmallows like we were camping out. And as Halloween comes closer, I am reminded by the nights when we’d talk about ghost stories we heard from our classmates or make up some of them just for kicks (oh, you know how kids are).
It wasn’t always fun. We also had misunderstandings and petty fights back in the day. When these things happen, we would take sides and avoid speaking with the other party or his followers at all cost until they’ve settled their differences. Now that we’re grown-ups, we’d just laugh at the ridiculous thought of our childish ways.
The cousin closest to me is my Kuya Bab. He’s second eldest among cousins and a year older than I am. My parents are his godparents, so we consider ourselves not only cousins, but siblings-from-another-father-and-mother. I look up to him like my older brother because he does act like one. Actually, everyone else does. Since his family moved to Canada in July 2007, we no longer saw our cousins that often; perhaps only twice or thrice a year.
When he came home for a vacation in April 2009, he gathered all of us cousins, and spent an entire day at Enchanted Kingdom. Here are some of the photos from our magical trip:
It was a noble gesture to take an initiative to make up for the lost times. That was only three years ago, but you can tell that we enjoyed a once-in-a-blue-moon day spent with our cousins. Nowadays, though we haven’t seen each other for months, we still get in touch via Facebook and Twitter. Oh, did I mention that all of us except for one (still in high school) went to the same university in college? Yes, we did! I guess that’s how solid of a family we are. :)