Large families have, as a matter of course, a wide range of ages in the children. The elder children are often married when the youngest ones are just little or sometimes not even born yet. Then their children come along and they end up playing with their aunts and uncles as often as not. They become almost like sisters and brothers. That was the case for my cousin Susie, who often played with her aunts, Bonnie, Dixie, and Sandy. She had automatic friends. From having lunch together, to playing house, their time together was filled with fun.

Aunt Sandy, who is the youngest of my mom’s siblings, tells me that she doesn’t remember a time when her brothers-in-law and sister-in-law weren’t in her life. I doubt if she remembers a time without nieces or nephews either. I’m sure she also helped in holding the babies when they were little too. Young aunts can make the best babysitters, when they are old enough to be a help, that is. Girls usually love to sit and hold those babies, but then who doesn’t.

In looking at this picture, I can see a camaraderie between these four girls that is very obvious. When I was a kid, all my aunts and uncles were grown ups, so I never experienced that myself. I’ve often wondered just how it would feel to hang out with my aunts and uncles as kids. I know that my aunts and uncles were quite a crew. It seems from the stories my mom has told me that they were always having some great adventure. I’m sure too, that my grandmother had to stay on her toes, because as with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, quite often, those adventures got the kids in a bit of trouble with their parents, but then, what’s the fun in adventure if it doesn’t result in one fix or another. Of course, I’m sure my grandmother would disagree.

Our family enjoys spending time together, but I think very possibly Aunt Bonnie, Aunt Dixie, Aunt Sandy, and Susie have a relationship that is just a little bit closer than most, because it began when they were so very young. It made them almost like sisters, and as most of us know, sisters are forever friends.

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