My cousin Melanie is on the phone with our aunt, trying to figure out the order we were born in. For future reference, here is the order and some current stats - it's pretty neat to see how we're growing up. I'm one of the few who can remember everyone as tiny little kids and babies crawling around huge family reunions. ("How is Megan going to college? Wasn't I a flower girl at her mom's wedding? Isn't she, like, 7? Is Barby really old enough to drive?") *

  1. Me (22, graduated, engineer)
  2. Barby (in college, design/architecture)
  3. Jamie (in college, business)
  4. Jason (my brother, 20, in college for design/future MBA; the first and for some time only boy in the family)
  5. Megan (going to college next year, econ)
  6. Bea (also college-bound next year, bio)
  7. Mindy (high school, undecided)
  8. Agnes (high school, undecided)
  9. Melanie (13, here in Boston... high school next year!)
  10. Mia (exactly 10 years after me, which has been amusing since she and her brother provide a snapshot of what Jason and I looked like interacting with each other a decade ago)
  11. Jelina (elementary school)
  12. Neil (exactly 10 years younger than Jason, and the 2nd of 2 boys in our family... our 8 moms and aunts had 0 brothers.)
  13. Kei (elementary school)
  14. Audrey (5, kindergarten, and likely the last cousin of our generation... we'll get married and start having kids next.**)

That's just immediate cousinage on my mom's side. There are a lot more 2nd cousins, kids of family friends, etc... and then there's my dad's side, which is even more complicated...

*and then I feel really old
** it is highly probable that my cousins/brother will beat me to this.

Growing up with 7 aunts and 12 cousins (and a brother) is super cool. It means I have 7 people to call and email when my parents and I have... um... "discussions." It means 13 teenagers have someone to ask about college apps. (I went to a great high school with a wonderful academic counselor and college-bound older friends who served the same role to me, calling me from their dorm rooms to proofread my essays and suggest schools for me to look at, questions to ask.) It means we all get to be achis and ahias (big sisters and brothers - it's a Hokkien word) to Audrey, even if we may be the little one in our immediate family. And Audrey will get to be the Big Kid for our children, probably when she's in her late teens.

I'm lucky to have them and their crazy antics in my life.