It’s a summer Tuesday and for the past many years this has meant only one thing … Cousin Tuesday at Jayne’s house! While drinking my morning coffee, I pack a bathing suit and flip flops, enough chicken salad to share, juice boxes for the kids and cold beer. Oh … and don’t forget the camera, because these are memories in the making!
Cousin Tuesday at Jayne’s has been happening for more years than can be remembered (cold beer will do that to you). Typically, just women and kids hanging out by a backyard pool … laughing and screaming and talking about whoever didn’t show up. We’ve celebrated birthdays and graduations, scored the splashy’est cannon ball, the smarting’est belly flop, listened to “Marco” … “Polo” more than anyone should have to and Mother, May I (have another Popsicle).
There, children have grown from pregnancy into adulthood … from bossy boys and girls pushing younger cousins into the deep end, to college students and beyond. We’ve witnessed rites of passage that only Cousin Tuesdays could create – no more swimmy diapers, no more water wings, old enough to climb the shed roof where no adults are allowed.
And there, we adults have shared our sorrows and delights while lounging in beach chairs, smelling like coconut butter and chlorine. For years, the outdoor clock did not work and nobody cared. This place, these days were our retreat, our mini-vacation each week and we looked forward to them more than the kids!
And then, there is Jayne herself. I sit here and stare at the keyboard, because anything said will not be enough. Suffice to say, she is the most generous and open-hearted person I know. While we party on her patio and our children (and grandchildren) pee on her tomatoes, Jayne laughs loudly while holding court. She dispenses advice when asked and props us up when we need it. She babysits and dog-watches and has been home-base for many. She is mother, grandmother, cousin, friend and much, much more.
I know this blog entry might seem a bit out of place, but today and next Tuesday are the last two Cousin Tuesdays we will have. Jayne recently married (love you, Jayne and Ron) and is moving to Nevada. I celebrate their happiness and wish them more love than most … but selfishly will miss this mid-week respite in ways having nothing to do with pools and cold beer.