Okay, show of hands: How many of you became an uncle or aunt before your eighth birthday?
My hand is up.
By virtue of my two brothers being so much older than me (so much older!), my first of three adorable nieces showed up in January of 1967. Yeah, I know, I’m old, too. The other girls showed up in 1970; one in March, the other in July. Last to arrive was the nephew, just before Christmas, 1971.
(Don’t tell any of the girls this, but by the time that boy came along, I was elated!)
I was taken with all of them from the start.
I’m not sharing any pictures here but, trust me, they all were cute.
And, I had fun with them. I guess it was good that I was close to their age, so I could match them in energy. Most of the time. We did plenty of running around, indoors and out. And, I always loved making them laugh, usually by being silly some way or other.
Of course, to hear them tell it, I did cruel and terrible things to them when they were little.
Believe all of it. I could be kind of a devil sometimes. Couldn’t help it. 😈
But, they were all sweet kids, and I enjoyed our time together. Naturally, it’s just in retrospect that I understand exactly how much they meant to me, then.
They still mean a lot to me, of course. They’re all adults now with their own families and obligations, so I almost never see them anymore, but I think of them, often.
And, I love them all very much.
You hear that, guys? Your old uncle loves you, like he always has.
I promise, I’ll try to do better at staying in touch, but always remember how special the four of you are to me. And always will be.
Oh, and that also goes for the two nieces and nephew on my wife’s side. Y’all are pretty darn special, too. I don’t know why the nephew’s always last to arrive, though; what is up with that?