Smile

January 12, 2010
“Smile”, said my dad taking the picture of my cousins and me. A couple of years ago, we spent a vacation at the beautiful seaside resort at Laguna Beach, California. My cousins and I were taking a picture in front of the house that my Aunt Laurie rented for two glorious weeks. We had stayed at the Marriott hotel, which was right on the beach, and our room overlooked the beautiful beaches, as the stairs to the beach were right next to our room. Posing in front of the cottage are just my cousins on my Dad’s side of the family. My cousin Ellie and Maya are at the bottom of the picture with their pink and light blue polo’s. Below me is my cousin in the purple shirt and to the left in the green is my cousin Madison. On the top are the older cousins such as my cousin Sasha in the green above me, my cousin Katy in the blue, and my cousin Hannah and Jamie in the purple. My Tang cousins are all girls except for me and my eldest cousin who was away at college. We did everything for enjoyment like riding more than one-person bicycles. We enjoyed picturesque sunsets, leaping into the surf with my little cousins, and body surfing with the older girls. I’m not sure why, but my family traditionally plays Monopoly to relax. They have every version of Monopoly that could be thought of, so we played a lot of Monopoly inside the house as we snacked and watched the sunsets. We enjoyed different kinds of delicious Chinese baked goods, fresh fruits, and lots of seafood like sushi.
These pictures are precious to me because the memories with my cousins are so few and are becoming rarer. My oldest cousins were already in college and the two have recently graduated. As my choices and decisions about college face me, I often think about my cousins and their choices. Family traditions and expectations place pressures on us. Last spring, we again gathered in Laguna Beach. Only this time playing Monopoly was replaced by my studying for the ISEE and my older cousin (Hannah) studying for the SAT. My oldest cousin, Ryan, had taught Princeton Review firm direction. Although study courses and helped direct our studies with loving support and studying was difficult and Prep tests replaced a lot of my fun and relaxation with my cousins, we still had time to share stories eat good food and watch the sunsets.

Now that I am in high school and Hannah is in her senior year of high school, I am looking forward to our next gathering. We invited the cousins to sweet home Alabama where we have a vacation home. We will once again enjoy beautiful sunsets with great seafood dinners and sitting back on the beach. Even though my cousins and I see each other less and less, we stay close by chatting on face book and e-mailing our thoughts and experiences. Family is everything they are one of many things that makes your life more enjoyable. I hope to see them again soon. Thinking about Family –-- It just doesn’t get any better than that!





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