I don't know how it is with your kids or your people or you, but my kids know INTRINSICALLY that their cousins somehow rank higher than the other kids they know in the world. They just get that these kids are more important to them. And maybe it's because we happen to like our siblings and the kids pick up on the good vibrations. Even when my son could not imagine going over to anyone's house to play, he was always happy to be with his cousins. Well except for this one time, which we won't count. And this goes for his cousins who don't live near us too. He only sees them twice a year at the most, and still it's a love fest. It's true for my own cousins too. We hardly see each other at all anymore, but when we do, all the same funny stories and nicknames and dinner table games come out. I can't tell you how many times we sat around playing "this is a spoon. a what? a spoon. a what? a spoon. Oh, a fork." when I was growing up. Can't you just hear my mom and her sister cackling?
This weekend we went to another epic Jackie Green concert, spent the night with magical Aunt Jenny and then spent the rest of the next day with my brother and his family. At one point all four cousins were dressed up as princesses including the family dog. And personality-wise they're all as different as can be. So I'm not sure that it's the genetic cocktail that's making them feel the love or if familial gravitation is learned. Who knows what's at work when it comes to cousins. But it's working.