Cousins are gifts.
Maybe not all cousins are gifts, but mine sure are.
Walking into a room with people you haven't seen for three years or even twelve years and falling into an easy conversation, laughing and joking as if you had seen them just yesterday is amazing.
Being able to talk easily for hours about all sorts of topics is marvelous.
Managing to see your cousins more often than that and build close relationships with them is wonderful.
You share DNA with your cousins, but that seems academic. My relationship with my cousins feels more primal than that. Cousins are a gateway to all the relatives that have come before and to those that will come after.
Both of my parents moved away from their hometowns, but not all of my cousins did. It's great they can share their insider knowledge of those places to me, a stranger to those cities.
Older cousins know your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even your parents in a different way than you do. My oldest cousin was born when my Dad was a kid and she has an insight into him in a way that I could never have had. A different pair of cousins lived with my newly married parents for a summer, and they have shared their memories of that time with me. Somehow that makes their memories mine as well.
Younger cousins are a great way for the youngest in a family (me) to try out the job of older sibling or role model. We get to tell them family stories from before their birth and try to show them what is important in the family.
Cousins are like a less intense group of siblings. They have often known you for a long time and still choose to fit you into their lives. I appreciate my many cousins on both sides of my family. May we forever remain close!