Oct 5, 201207:51 AMBecause I'm the Dad
Parenthood through a Father's Eyes
It’s fun to be an uncle. Especially when your kids are older and basically self-sufficient and your siblings are running around crazy pulling their hair out because they are dealing with swarms of kids under the age of 10.
I am one of three children. Neither my brother nor my sister has children. My wife is the oldest of six and when the immediate family gets together (which is rare) there are 28 of us. Talk about a loud Christmas celebration! It is usually like something out of The Muppet Show—kids flying over couches, jumping off balconies and bopping each other like the Three Stooges. I love it and usually just egg them all on.
When a few of our nephews were little, they never referred to me as Uncle Rick. That bothered me. Both of my kids always had and continue to address family members as Aunt and Uncle. I felt left out, so I made them call me “Sir.” When I took it upon myself to train the younger ones, it evolved into “Uncle Sir.”
While the kids LOVE their Uncle Sir, their parents sometimes just wish he would go home. You see, Uncle Sir always shows up with marshmallows and candy. He is the one who buys finger paints, 10,000-bead jewelry sets and trucks with sirens for gifts. And what good is it really to stay clean all the time? It’s fun to climb on Uncle Sir and play games with him and play tricks on mom and dad.
Uncle Sir came to Thanksgiving dinner last year armed with a 5-pound chocolate turkey. How could I resist when I saw it in the local candy store? I seriously considered reserving the 3-foot Santa Claus until my wife threatened my life. It gave me extra joy to see three of my sisters-in-law take a collective breath and roll their eyes at the same time while they laughed it off. (Hey, those kids weren’t spending the night at my house.)
A couple of years ago, I was home sick in bed and had to miss our niece Gwyn’s birthday party. I made sure I sent along a special gift just from me—a lunch bag with miniature marshmallows. My mother-in-law told her she would hold onto them for her. When a relative from the other side of the family asked her what she was holding, Mom said, “Oh this is just a little present from her Uncle Rick.” Gwyn heard what her grandmother said and quickly corrected her by saying, “No, Grandma. They’re from Uncle Sir.”
I have arrived!