When I was a kid, my late granny used to tell me to love and care for my little cousins as if they are my blood related siblings. And she also told them never to address me in my name. But to call me as Second Sister. Why Second sister? Because of my eldest sister was the 1st born of the rank of cousins in our family. I was the 2nd. So my granny derived that I should be ranked as No. 2 as in Second Sister.
At a young age, I grew up in a family of many 'siblings'. All my cousins are younger than me. We were very close, almost like siblings. But I was also taught to be a big sister to them, setting a good example. Which also meant that I had to be a good-two-shoes and at my best behaviour all the time.
When each of my cousins were born, I helped my aunt to care for them. Running around to do simple errands of getting the milk bottle, picking up the soiled diaper to be washed. In the growing up years, I played with them. Watch TV cartoons with them. Tell them stories and tucked them in for nap time.
For years my cousins treated me as their big sister. Someone they would confide to, someone they loved and adored. As years past, we all grew up. I got married and settled down. And had children of my own. And as if, history repeats itself, my cousins now played that role I once did.
They in turn, cared and loved my children. Played with them, tell them stories and loved them the way I showered my love to them.
Here's one photo which showed 2 generations...
On the left is my niece, Tricia. Next to her is Natasha, my eldest daughter. Third lady is my cousin, Doreen and lastly, Dagmar, my other cousin. Seen here, they all took my teenage daughter to a dinner at a posh restaurant down town and brought her for drinks.
Thank you, Ah Ma..for instilling LOVE to all of us for young. And I will always remembered to pass this on the many generations to come.