Yesterday I had dinner with my little cousin. She is having a job interview in Vancouver, if the interview is successful, she will move here from Toronto starting next month. Somehow in my mind, I always think she is very young, sort of like still studying in high school or what. The fact is that she already graduated from university, have been working for a few years. I have another little cousin who is around the same age as her and I also treat her like a little girl. Logically, I am aware of their actual age, but subconsciously, I feel weird that they have already grown up. I won’t have this mis-perception on my other cousins. For those who are just one or two years younger than me, they seems to age with me at the same pace. For those who are much younger, they seems growing so fast that they are taller every time I see them. For the cousins 5 or 6 years younger than me, they seems stuck in their teenage forever.
I wonder is it just a psychological phenomena happens on me or do most people feel the same way. My theory is that my memory begins solidify after I turn adulthood, like when I enter university. I treat the not-so-young cousins as another adult, but I treat the younger ones like a teenage. They already stop growing physically by that time, unlike the very young cousins, so there is no indication to tell me that they grow older. Since I am a caring elder cousin, I don’t hear complain for treating them like little girls, so my perception is preserved until now. I guess even when they turn into old ladies, they are still my little cousins in my mind.