A week or so ago, on a hot day, we managed to meet some dear friends, whom we don’t see often enough, for a picnic at a park by the water. Our kids have been friends since before they were born, and even though my friend has 3 boys and only one girl, our kids play together perfectly, like cousins. I was gonna say like siblings, but they don’t fight like siblings would; it’s really more like cousins. We actually do in fact consider them to be our girls’ “local cousins” since all of the girls’ real cousins live in other states. The two oldest don’t seem to care that each other is the opposite sex, even at the ages of 12 and 13. They just goof off together. He throws seaweed at her and she throws it right back. The second two, both girls, are best buddies, even when it’s been a long time since they’ve seen each other. The third two, my Becca and my friend’s 7-year-old-boy play like normal little first and second graders would. Becca’s tough and girlie all rolled into one and I think that little boy rather likes that about her. Now, my youngest and her youngest are the farthest apart in age and don’t really play together, but both found themselves occupied with one pair or the other for most of the afternoon. And then my friend and I get to catch up, compare parenting notes, talk about home projects, paint swatches, cameras, and extra-curricular activities, all while making sure none of the kids got too wet while wading around in the rocks at the beach. It was fun and easy with them at our recent picnic, as it always is.