"A cousin is a ready made friend for life."
"A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost."
"Cousins are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer."
Zavion is lucky. He has many cousins around his own age and he has had ample opportunities to get to know them well in his 4 years. This post pays homage to his cousins - and best friends. He holds cousins in such high regard, that he wants to refer to all of his good friends as cousins, too. Sebastian, Eliza, Lindsay and Zavi are all within 7 1/2 months of each other in age (Zavi being the youngest) and they are bookended by Miles at the older end and Josh and Ben at the younger. They also have great relationships with their second cousins (all older) - Marlee, Peyton, Bryson, William and River. What a special family :)
Sebastian (aka Bassie) and Zavion have been close since they were very young and definitely consider each other the best of friends. They have always had an amazingly close relationship (even when they were tiny!) and have so much fun together. They are incredibly imaginative and can spend hours acting out scenes, pretending to be animals, super-heroes, Navis, etc. They are clever and funny with sophisticated senses of humor that crack up everyone around them. They have very similar interests and can amuse themselves for hours - even with things that us adults find mundane and tedious. Good thing they have each other :) They have imaginary pets, act out skits, sing songs together, tell private jokes, use 'twin-speak,' etc. They have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time together - road trips out west during the summers, Christmases in Colorado and NC, family reunions, a summer in the Caribbean, and almost four months living together (and going to school together) in Seattle. Zavion asks about Bassie daily and misses him whenever they're not together. I hope that their friendship continues on this path as I feel they are incredibly important in each other's lives. Here are a few (read - a LOT) of my favorite Bassie/Zavi photos over the years....
summer, '07. Zavion 6 mos, Bassie 13 mos. Ain't they cute?
Studmuffins (am I allowed to put this on a blog?)
Wilson, NC - Oct, '07
April, '08; Hendersonville, NC. An early attempt at peek-a-boo. Neither of them quite got it...
May, '08 - Wilson
summer, '08 - west coast roadtrip. Hurricane Ridge, WA
Same roadtrip - Oregon coast
Christmas, '08 - Wilson, NC Both obsessed with Thomas trains (but sharing!)
May. '08 - tummy obsession (Washington, DC)
King's Dominion, VA
summer, '09 - roadtrip to the Canadian rockies - Moraine Lake
tummy time - Yoho National Park, BC
August, '09 - family reunion in Beech Mountain, NC
Christmas, '09 - on the cruiseship (to the Bahamas)
Christmas in Wilson - one of my favorite pics!
March, '10 - Panama City Beach, FL
June, '10 - trip to the Caribbean
Bassie's fourth birthday in Guadeloupe
July, '10 - another family reunion in Beech Mtn - with their beloved Papa
November, '10- Seattle
Christmas, '10 - back in Wilson and a snowstorm!
New Year's Eve in Washington, DC
April, '11 - Six Flags in California
The next set of pictures were all taken while Sebastian was living with us in Seattle between April and July, 2011. Zavi and Bassie really bonded during this time - they are like brothers!!
Loin cloths (to look like Navis) Showing their muscles
ELIZA AND MILES
Zavion was lucky enough to meet Eliza and Miles on the same day that he met me. They all came to Addis Ababa to welcome him into the family. I feel that they will always have a special bond :) Though they haven't seen each other as much over the years (other than in large family reunion type settings,) they are really getting to know each other now during our time in Zimbabwe. At first, Zavi gravitated to Miles, but I'm happy to say, he and Eliza have really started playing together a lot, too, and are getting really close. They have found great ways to compromise and accomodate her love of GIRL things with his love of all things BOY - as described in a previous post. They are constantly acting out scenarios - usually involving Zavion, the super-hero/knight/king/airbender rescuing the fair Eliza as princess/maiden/kitten/fairy. It's quite cute. When Miles is involved, things get even crazier - he makes up songs, characters and even more elaborate scenarios for them all to act out. We are really enjoying getting to know these kiddos better and I know that the cousins are forging relationships for life. A 'few' of my favorite pix -
July, '07 - Addis Ababa. Zavion had only known us for a day!
Sept, '08. Zavion and Eliza in Jordan
summer, '09 - performing in the talent show at the family reunion
summer, '10 - family reunion trip to Tweetsie Railroad!
Summer, '11 in the Pacific Northwest
Lindsay is another of Zavion's early best friends. When we all lived in the PNW, we got to spend time with her on a pretty regular basis. They get along great and always look forward to seeing each other. Unfortunately, in the past 15 months, we've only gotten to see them once, but during that visit, Zavi and Lindsay fell right back into their friendship without missing a beat. They are also super cute together and loving with one another. They love to run around uncontrollably, play trains, dance, wrestle, hike and make cookies. We really miss her. Zavion has also been lucky enough to meet Joshy and Ben and I'm sure as they get older, the boys will all be fast friends. We can't wait to see more of them this spring/summer. We WILL make it happen!! Here are a few of my favorite pix of Zavi with the Leininger bunch (especially Lindsay Bear.)
First meeting- Beech Mountain family reunion, summer '07
July, '07. Back in Seattle - Zavion's welcome home party!
First of many trips to Mt Rainier together
January, '08 - Lindsay's first birthday
April '08 - happy in the tulips
Mt Rainier hike/camping trip, Sept., '08
fall, '08 at Alki
summer, '09 (solidarity nose plug)
fall, '09 - Puyallup Fair
December, '09- Christmas cookies
Feb, '10 - first time skiing!
May, '10 - before they moved back to Colorado :(
June, '10 - Butchart Gardens, British Columbia
November, '10 - Garden of the Gods, Colorado
with Ben and Josh (11/10)
All those kiddos
COMBO PIX OF THE FIRST COUSINS THROUGH THE YEARS
Zavi, Eliza, Sebastian - the Brigham triplets
Zavi, Bassie and Lindsay
CHRISTMAS, 2007 (Colorado)
CHRISTMAS, 2008 (NC and Georgia)
SUMMER, '09 (Beech Mtn)
SUMMER, '10 (Beech Mtn)
SUMMER, '11 (Seattle area)
And we're not done yet...
MARLEE, PEYTON, BRYSON, WILLIAM, RIVER - The super-special second cousins!
As if a bunch of fun-loving first cousins wasn't enough, Zavi is fortunate to also have a close relationship with his second cousins - all in NC and all older than him. They have really brought the youngins into their fold and, again, I'm pretty sure they will be friends for life. A few pix of the whole bunch:
Wow- that may be the longest blog post EVER! Thanks, family - we love you all so much!!