My boys have some Norwegian “cousins” and they came to stay with us for a few weeks. How do we have Norwegian cousins? Well, my au pair/nanny/pseudo-adopted sister who lived with us from when I was 10-16 is still part of our family. Her two sons are pretty much the same age as my two boys and they all seem to get along. So when she wanted to fly out on short notice for my grandfather’s funeral services, we jumped at the chance to have them stay with us. I’m sure 3 adults and 4 boys ages 4-7 in a 1300 square foot, 2 bedroom townhouse doesn’t sound like fun to everyone but we loved every minute of it.

My oldest, Andrew, and his cousin E (who is almost exactly 1 year younger) have seen each other maybe 4 times in their lifetimes. But they really like each other and they click together.

What really struck all of this on this trip was how much they just were in sync, especially when you realize that THEY. DON’T. SPEAK. THE. SAME. LANGUAGE.


E is learning some English at school but really barely more than being able to throw out a few random words without any other clarifying terms.

We joked that maybe this was a gender thing – men not being overly verbal, just say one or two words, grunt, point, nod, laugh, best buds forever.

Maybe it’s just the simplicity of human beings, being able to communicate without needing to over-talk everything.

Maybe it’s the international language of tablets and Minecraft.

Who knows. But it was really amazing to watch. Occasionally, there had to be some intervention for a translation but E was able to pretty much connect with Andrew by knowing the words:

  • Minecraft
  • Lucky Charms
  • Stop
  • No
  • More please
  • Batman
  • Legos
  • Play

That’s pretty much all that went back and forth between the two and they were just attached at the hip for 2.5 weeks.

When I was packing up the car and everyone was saying their goodbyes, my rough and tumble, no-nonsense 7 year old had a meltdown. He fought back tears and stumbled over words before he was able to say “Mommy, I don’t know if I’ll feel like me without E here with me.”

Then he cried for over 30 minutes after we left. My poor little man. And now my boys are on a mission to ask Santa (and Mema and PopPop) to give us money for tickets to Norway next Christmas to see their cousins again!

The best buds:

Pic by H. Robinson

Pic by H. Robinson

Pic by H. Robinson

Pic by H. Robinson

Pic by H. Robinson

Pic by H. Robinson



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