Amongst a hoard of boy cousins - in the midst of all the deer hunting, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, baseball watching, cigarette smoking, and coarse joking - three little girls forged a cousinhood of Barbie dolls, mudpies, and french braids.
And ten years after our last reunion, we three were finally together again at my brother's wedding last week. You would have taken us for drunk people the way we laughed. You would have thought we were best friends, or long-time colleagues...certainly not three women who haven't been in the same place at the same time in over a decade.
But that's how it is with cousins. That's how it is with family. A shared past is the strongest, thickest glue of all.