I hold them every chance I get.

The two little girls enjoy their playtime together.  They are cousins.  One will say “I’m four and a half.”  The other says “I’m four years old now.”   They were born a month apart.

They hug every time they see each  other.  I like that more than they know.

They dress up in princess gowns, tiaras and wear plastic heels.  They don’t know a thing about color coordinated outfits.  That will come later.

The plastic shoes leave scratches in the hardwood floors.  I don’t care.  Really, they’re just beauty marks of happiness.

The girls whisper in each other’s ears and nod approval.  They agree.

Later, they argue about who plays with what.  One takes a doll away from the other, then five minutes later, she gives it back.  They laugh, saying something I’ll never know. They make up.  Friends again.

They hold hands when they walk off, heading towards another adventure.  They run with an innocence only children know.

They giggle.  They ask each other questions.  They look for answers together.  They exchange clothes and laugh.  They paint each other’s fingernails with magic markers.  Their Mom’s are going to scream.  I laugh.

They’re afraid of spiders, ants and lady bugs.  We watch birds with cheap binoculars.  They name the Barbie dolls living on the shelves in the bedroom.

They laugh a lot!

“I don’t need to take a nap.” One says.  The other agrees. “Me neither!”  They play until they fall asleep on the sofa.

An hour later, one wakes up, then she wakes her cousin.

They want to go to the Dollar General Store.  It’s two miles down the road.

They ask for ice cream and candy.

They spend an hour looking at the dolls, the kid’s makeup, more magic markers and coloring books. Plastic high heels, in red or purple.  They like the stickers and want plastic rings for their fingers. They bounce the balls down the aisle, between each other.

I’m lost.

We buy cookie mix.  Something we can do together.

They both go outside at night and look at the stars in the heavens.

“Listen for the frogs and crickets.” one tells another.

“I see a lightning bug!” is the answer.

Later on, they bring a book to me, “Grandpa, read us a story.  Please?”

They share a pillow and a blanket.  One wants a light left on, the other needs a sound machine.

I just like watching them grow up.  I mark their heights on the wall in the kitchen.  One stood on her tip toes, so she could be taller than her cousin.  I’ll tell that story again and again.

They are developing pure love for one another.  Cousins.  Friends.  Buddies facing life together.  That’s what I see.

I’m already on the sidelines now.  A year or two, they’ll move me farther away, making room for someone else.  I know that.

One day, they will grow too big for me to pick up.  That day will be hard on me.


Please feel free to share.  I welcome your comments and thoughts.  Contact Mike Windham at  You can follow my blog at


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