Jan 5, 2008

Say What?

We are incredibly lucky that my boys each have a best friend in a cousin. Christopher's best friend is Joakim, who's 12, and Benjamin's best friend is Joakim's brother - 8 year old Mathias.

Joakim and Christopher, in particular, have always been very close, despite the fact that they've only seen each other once or twice a year.



Thus, one of the biggest advantages of our stay in Europe is that the boys get to spend lots of time together. My worry that they might grow tired of each other, seeing as they only live 15 minutes away from each other this year, has been solidly disproved. If anything, the boys have grown closer, and the younger two have had a chance to cement an equally tight relationship.



We really enjoy having the cousins visit, and they often spend the night on weekends. Tonight is such a night. The boys have been playing together since late afternoon, and we all just returned from a tobogganing session in the snow.

As I write this, the two oldest boys are hanging out in their bedroom, playing DS. The two younger boys are downstairs playing Battleground, a Christmas present from my brother.

Both pairs of boys are talking excitedly to each other.

But here's the kicker - while my boys are speaking a somewhat accented Norwegian, Mathias and Joakim are responding in equally broken English.

Clearly, all four boys have decided to perfect a foreign language this year.

Half the time, Mike and I have no clue what they're saying, but somehow the boys understand each other perfectly. And what's more, no one corrects the other's numerous errors. They're communicating, and that's all that matters.

I love it. I only wish I could bottle it up and keep it for posterity.

36 comments:

theotherbear said...

My time as a kid with my cousins was one of the happiest times of my life. We were lucky that we got to do it usually more than once a year - the 6 long weeks over the Christmas holidays (summer holidays here) were always the best! We had holiday houses a few houses away from each other on the south coast of NSW. They were the best parts of my childhood.

Laura said...

Aren't cousins great?

We spent Christmas with cousins we NEVER see (first timein 5 years) due to living in different countries, or just across the country. My boys cannot stop taling about their cousins!

We live in Canada and my eldest keeps asking if we can invite his cousins from Germany to come for dinner or to go out to play!

Love it!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Sounds like your boys are very lucky to have their cousins nearby. I be that mixed language is music to your ears!!

Thanks for offering to join me when I have pity parties - I suspect I will need to have more. I also suspect that SERE is as bad as you and I think it is....sigh.

Hallie

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Your boys are so lucky to be able to form these friendships with their cousins and free launguage lessons to boot!

Steph said...

That's great! Cousins are the best. Friends that will always be a part of your life, no matter how far away they are. How terrific that they get this time together to cement their relationships further.

Beth said...

I think you are bottling up quite nicely right here!

kim-d said...

Isn't it amazing how kids can always find a way to communicate, before they get older and get afraid of sounding dumb. Ahhh, the things that just happen naturally when in the company of best friends. Your family is so fortunate and your boys will never forget these experiences!

hokgardner said...

I have 11 cousins, and not one is anywhere close to me in age. Your boys are lucky to have that special bond with theirs.

Dawn said...

That is very sweet. What a privilege to have such great friends for cousins. I love it when my kids have nice friends over to play- it makes everything so much easier.

Beck said...

That is a wonderful, wonderful thing - I loved spending time with my huge crowd of cousins as a kid. My children have no cousins. Zero. Not one.

jennwa said...

Your kids are so lucky to have cousins nearby that are close in age. My kids do not have any cousins and I really think they are missing something.
That is so funny they are making up their own language. It sounds like they have a great time together.

Rima said...

I think it's so cool that they want to speak Norweigan. When my brothers and I were kids growing up in the States, we *hated* speaking Lithuanian with our cousins and Lith friends. It only became a cool thing to do later on. But I'm really glad my parents were persistent with us. We used to attend a Lithuanian Saturday school and when we moved to a city where there was no Lithuanian population, my mom continued to give us lessons at home on Saturday mornings. Yeah, we were ALL OVER that ;)

I hope your boys continue to be close to their cousins and to appreciate their heritage.

Mrs. G. said...

Some of my best childhood memories involve hanging out with my cousins. Great post!

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

How perfectly wonderful for them! How exciting to have best cousin-friends and to be learning a new language to boot. I have to admit to living vicariously through your family's adventure, it is something I dream of for my family. I have to come up with a way to make it happen before they are grown up and move away.
Good for you!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

In my experience, cousins make the very best of friends. How very lucky you are that they have paired up so nicely. I love the image of them speaking in different languages to each other. I hope they stay frineds forever.

Kellan said...

I love that they are able to communicate - no matter what! Aren't kids cool and don't they have so much to teach the rest of us!! Your boys are very lucky to be able to spend this time with their cousins. Have a great weekend, Heidi. I'll see you later. Kellan

Don Mills Diva said...

I think that's wonderful. My cousins are my best friends and I feel so blessed because of them - your boys are very lucky.

Jenn said...

I think I told you before that my cousins are some of my very best friends....it's a wonderful blessing to have.

Mountain Dweller said...

Kids are amazing the way they break across language barriers. Adults could probably learn a lot from them!
You're lucky that your boys have got cousins like that - they will probably remain lifelong friends.

Sue said...

I never really knew my cousins, they all lived far away and we never visited. But I love the idea of my children being friends with their cousins, and we really try to foster those relationships. Your kids are so cute Heidi...

gmcountrymama said...

I think that is great the kids have cousins they are close to. Unfortunately my family is too far away to see more than a couple times a year or less and my husbands family is only 10 minutes away and we see them about the same. For a while my daughter was pen pals with a cousin in Texas but that has faded. I should encourage her to start that again.

Chantal said...

I am super close with one of my cousins and wouldn't trade my relationship with her for anything. How wonderful for them! And yes I am back, not quite healthy yet but back :. Thanks for dropping by to say hi!

Stomper Girl said...

That is fantastic. I love that they are expanding their language skills in the midst of all the cousinly fun too.

(Beautiful photos of them too)

Laura said...

Hello! Thanks for dropping by my blog.

You asked about DJ's legs since he seemed concerned - but I really have no idea why!

He does have a serious and rare medical syndrome (I am thinking of writing about it soon...) but it has nothing to do with his legs!!!

Here is a link to a newspaper article on my kiddies that I co-wrote for the local hospital. (if you are interested!) http://ca.geocities.com/storrie9540@rogers.com/CHEO.pdf

Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Oh how sweet!

suburbancorrespondent said...

Cousins are special. They're good playmates, with none of the friction of siblings. I love that they are each talking in their non-native languages!

painted maypole said...

that's so cool! you could video tape it.

Cindy Breninger said...

Makes me wish I had a cousin. My mom was an only child and my dad had one brother who didn't have kids until I was in college. He lives in another state so it doesn't really count. Can I borrow one of yours? hehe
Cindy
:)
www.adayinthelifeofcindy.blogspot.com

Karen MEG said...

It's such a special treat that the boys are such great friends with their cousins! And what a bonus that they're communicating in both languages.
I never had close cousins growing up (our cousins were much older) but I was lucky to have my sister. Ian's best friend is his cousin, he has great memories of growing up, and we are still very close with him and his family (he and his wife are G's godparents, and now his son is one of Liam's best pals too!)

Badness Jones said...

That's wonderful....I wish my kids had more cousins their own age. I had a ball growing up with mine.

carrie said...

It is such a blessing to have cousin-friends like that. It's a relationship that they will hopefully enjoy for the rest of their lives.

Plus, having one for each boy has GOT to be a bonus! I'm jealous because my boys have to share one.

MadMad said...

That's a great story! It is funny how kids always seem to love their cousins, isn't it? It's great!

Victoria said...

How sweet and wonderful for them, even if it's confusing for you! LOL! Lovely pics, as always!

Just Seeking said...

What a wonderful opportunity and experience for your boys. I am so impressed with them, with you, for the experiences you are giving them. I am reminded that you REALLY do not have to worry about them being overly dependent on their electronic toys. I can't believe how much better off your boys are than most American children!

ewe are here said...

Very cool, learning that second language.

I've encouraged my MIL to speak/sing in Norwegian to the boys as much as she wants. I would love it if they picked some of it up while they're young ... because they have herds of Norwegian cousins they could practice on.

Lisa said...

How wonderful -- that the boys are so close and have really helped each other branch out language-wise. SO cool.