When I talk about genealogy to any family member other than my mother I am met either by deaf ears or lots of eye rolling. I had a slight breakthrough with my grandson, Mike, on Sunday.
When the boys arrived I asked if they knew what race had started that day and Mike surprised me by knowing that the Iditarod had just started. He's in 4th grade and they are following the race in the classroom. He had picked a musher to follow (Ryan Redington) and I started teasing him about picking someone other than our cousin, Robert Bundtzen. This led to lots of questions. As the oldest grandchild on both sides he thinks of cousins as little people that he gets to play with.
So we talked about how we're related. He understands that his Nana is my mother and therefore his great-grandmother so I explained that Nana had a sister Vivian., making her our Aunt Vivian. Aunt Vivian had two daughters and they are our cousins. One of those daughters married Dr. Bundtzen which made him our cousin by marriage. I lost him when I tried to explain 1st and 2nd cousins so I dropped it. There will be time for that. For now I'm happy that he understands that he has relatives that he's never met and he's excited that he could go to school today and tell everyone that he'll be following two different mushers. Maybe when he starts studying the Revolutionary War I can make it personal by telling him about Capt. Daniel Carlisle and several others.