I love being an uncle. I really enjoy my niece and nephews and being the only bachelor uncle has positioned me well for being the favorite uncle, which rocks. I don’t come with my own kids at this point, so I won’t have them to favor and I can drop by on holidays or on weekend visits and shower the little monkeys with an inordinate amount of attention, then duck back out in time for the disciplining or whatever unpleasant parenting is required.
I can play trains with Nathaniel on one trip, then put on a puppet show with Blake and Raya on the next. Maybe read them a book before bed. I’m free to spoil them and teach them bad habits like burp-talking and they love me all the more for it. I even got my two year-old nephew Nathaniel to say “Have mercy upon us, oh great Uncle Jonathan!” I was pretty proud of that one. I mean, he did give me a suspicious look, but ultimately was compliant. Your will is mine!
I remember how much fun I had with my own bachelor uncles and I want things to be like that: little excursions to the park or museum; ballgames or trips to the zoo. The San Francisco Mint. I helped two of them make their first snowmen in my backyard this winter. Time spent with them is a great reward. I live to hear “I love you Uncle Jonathan.” or “I’ve missed you Uncle Jonathan.” That’s awesome!
Then, of course, there are those hugs. Little kid hugs. Living away from family I might go weeks or months without hugging anyone, which is kind of lousy, but once I see those sweet children, I know I can stock up on the best hugs to carry me through the long lonely months. I can’t get enough of it.
Ok, well, I’ve depressed myself a little, now. Hmm. I need to go plan a few trips.
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