My family, immediate and extended, are going through a growth spurt. There was a pacific lull while all my cousins, including myself, were busy with school, varsity and then onto the shores of the Malaysian workforce. Then all of a sudden, within a few months of each other, they started getting married, one after another. Then, of course, the married ones began to actively procreate, my sister included, myself excluded. The pattern of reproductivity was so strong and contiguous that it almost seemed like an epidemic. When one of my cousins, the first one hitched, gave birth to a baby boy I could almost see the entire clan physically leap into a new phase - a phase where motherhood is a norm and organizing another wedding is simply a matter of repeating the previous one with minor adjustments here and there. We keep in touch through emailed baby pictures and the usual 'Oohs' and 'Aahs' over cute baby feet and adorable baby tooth-less gums. It was while we were drooling over baby-drool that I realized I have had very little to do with this new addition of the family other than to gaze at his photos. In other words, we're strangers to one another. This realization stood in contrast to the fact that my cousins and I practically grew up together. Suddenly there are these tiny little indivuduals appearing in this little circle that I've grown accustomed to. Now my sister's about to have one of her own. Since we're thousands of miles away, any relationship I would have with the baby will be through pictures. Here is a person who came from the same gene pool as I did and we're going to be total strangers. Now that is something I find to be quite strange.