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Sunday, 7 November 2010
Rowan and I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with my cousin Karen, her partner Glenn and their four busy boys on their dairy farm.  It was an eye opener for my only child/ girl child to enter the world of boys.
As we were driving to the farm, Rowan asked, seriously, if Cousin Karen didn't get tired of all those boys?

When we arrived, there were Karen's four boys plus 3 more running in, through and out of the house.  Rowan found a corner in the play room to take it all in.  At one point she came over and whispered "ALL their toys have WHEELS!".  A while later, she was playing with a tractor, hitched up to a large circular rake and proudly told me that her tractor was pulling a ferris wheel.  Eldest boy cousin Cameron (age 9) groaned in despair.

Rowan remained reticent through the afternoon, but by the time we had a late, rowdy supper she got into the swing of things and was fully engaged by the time we were introduced to a special dessert practice~ 4-5 kinds of ice cream, sprinkles, syrup and sauces to make their own sundaes.  It seemed that a house full of boys wasn't too bad!
Before bed we had to go and see the sleeping arrangements~ this had been on Rowan's mind, how they could fit four kids in their house~ and the logical answer.. bunkbeds... revealed itself.

It was heartwarming to see Rowan find her place among the boys (ages 2/4/6/9) and find a friend in Ian (turning 4) and a little one to mother in 'Baby Reid'.  Six year old Grant was a little too cool for an SK girl but Cameron was quick to help Rowan around the barn and introduce her to his calf for the 4H year.  There was no question who the pink rubber boots belonged to, however!
 Growing up, my cousins (Karen and her sister Donna who was my age-mate) and I had a tradition of summer visits~ one week to the farm for me, and one week to visit with us in the city.  As I watched Rowan clamber up onto the tractors and other assorted risky ventures I thought fondly of my days spent in the hay mow with newborn kittens or sunning ourselves on the backs of Clydesdale horses in the yard.  And visions of summer exchanges yet to come, perhaps Rowan and Ian, began to take shape.
After all, there is just something about the bond we share with family.  I hadn't been to Karen's home since Cameron (turning 10) was a toddler.  But we picked right up where we had left off, as we have always done throughout our lives.  And Rowan left the farm with the satisfied feeling that she could indeed "be a cousin to boys" and like it just fine (and she could leave with the proud knowledge that she taught the two youngest boys to m00n their mother, atta girl!)!


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