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    I Know Everyone In Relation To Me

    | MD, USA | Children, Cousins, Friends

    (I’m at a girls cabin at a teen retreat camp. I’ve just finished unpacking my stuff after a 25-hour drive with 8 buses. I look across the room to the bunk bed parallel to mine and see someone I think might be my cousin.)

    Me: “Is your name Porter?”

    Girl: “Yeah. Aren’t you my third cousin?”

    Me: “Yeah, I thought so. Just making sure! Hi, cousin. Nice to meet you!”

    Girl: “Nice to finally meet you!”

    (My friend has been listening to this. She looks amazed because this has happened right after unloading the buses, when I was continuously giving people hugs and telling them hello.)

    Me: “Allow me to explain. My dad is one of 13 children, so I have a big family. Ten cousins that I know of are on the trip with us.”

    Friend: “Are you related to everybody!?”

    Me: *laughing* “Just about!”

    (Later that night, one of the chaperones approaches my friend and me.)

    Chaperone: “Are you two sisters or related or something? Because y’all look like twins!”

    Friend: “Not yet!”

    (My friend drops to one knee in front of me.)

    Friend: “Will you marry me?”

    (We all laugh. After we finally calm down again, she turns to me.)

    Friend: “I think your brother is very cute though; so, maybe one day we will be related!”

    Snap Dance

    | Zealand, The Netherlands | Siblings

    (It’s been very humid all day, and my brother and I suffer from asthma. We’re discussing the chances of having a thunderstorm, so our breathing will improve.)

    Me: “I wish it’d rain and storm. I can’t breath anymore. It’s like breathing soup.”

    Brother: “Really thick soup.”

    Me: “Yes!”

    Brother:” I know how I can help. I’m going to do a rain dance!”

    (He steps outside of our tent, and is jumps up and down whilst waving his arms. Suddenly, out of nowhere, lightning strikes and the thunder is huge!)

    Brother:*whilst jumping inside the tent* “Whoops… I think I did the wrong dance.”

    Fertile Imaginations

    | NM, USA | Children, Parents & Guardians, Siblings, Sons & Daughters

    (I am looking after a group of 5th graders. Most of them know something about the facts of life, but there are some serious misconceptions. One boy has a college-age sister who is attending another program down the hall.)

    5th grade boy: “Boys rule and girls drool!”

    5th grade girl: “Nuh-uh! If it wasn’t for girls you wouldn’t be alive! You wouldn’t even have life!”

    5th grade boy: “No, that’s not true, even!”

    5th grade girl: “Yeah-huh! You came from your mom, who is a girl. If it wasn’t for her, you wouldn’t even be alive right now!”

    5th grade boy: “Nuh-uh! I came from my dad and my sister came from my mom!”

    Me: *cautiously* “Everyone comes from both of their parents…their mom and their dad.”

    5th grade boy: “No, you’re a girl so you came from your mom. I’m a boy, so I came from my dad!

    Me: “I am my father’s daughter and my mother’s daughter.”

    5th grade boy: “No! Fathers have sons and mothers have daughters! A father can’t have a daughter! It doesn’t work that way!”

    (Later, I meet the boy’s older sister in the hallway.)

    Me: “It was so cute earlier. Your brother was saying that girls come from their mothers, but boys come from their fathers.”

    Boy’s college-age sister: “Yeah, so?”

    Me: “Maybe mention to your parents to clear that up, whenever they think he’s ready.”

    Boy’s college-age sister: “What’s wrong with it?”

    Me: *pause* “Well, it takes both parents…I mean…and fathers don’t just have sons by themselves.”

    Boy’s college-age sister: “What are you talking about? Fathers have boys and mothers have girls!”