|Claire and Izzy, Summer 2011|
I was always jealous of my friends who got to hang out with their cousins, who would throw around this relationship so casually. "Yeah, we saw my aunt and uncle and I played with my cousins."
So, when Evan and I were older and had started to plan our adult lives - he with Michelle, and me with Dave, we talked about kids. My brother had missed having cousins too, and we thought how wonderful it might be if we each had kids and if we could spend time with those kids so that they could be friends.
Well, enter Izabella Hazel. She just turned five this week, and Claire couldn't find a better friend on earth if she tried.
From the moment Claire arrived, Izzy has loved her wholly. At 6 months old, she would peer into the bouncy seat at Claire, as if she were waiting for her. It goes both ways, once Claire could walk, she would toddle around after "BellaBella" as fast as her chubby legs could carry her. In fact, "BellaBella" was the first name Claire said, after Mama and Dada, said as she looked out our front window, watching as her cousin, Aunt and Uncle arrived to play.
And now, at four and a half, and five, the two girls, when together, are inseparable. At family gatherings, they run off together, and giggle, play fairy games and love on each other for as long as we let them.
Happy birthday, Izzy. I love you so.