I love being an uncle. I can highly recommend it. It’s all the fun of parenting with little of the tedious admin.
An example. TLC and I spent a chunk of the weekend at Pier 32, the codename I have decided to give to her brother’s gaff (a little more on Pier 32 later). We are guideparents to the son of the family, a bright bit of ball lightning called AJ. Guideparents? AJ’s mum and dad don’t stand for any of that religious nonsense, and he was named with all due ceremony in their local pub by a humanist minister. Does this mean I take my guidepaternal responsibilities any less seriously than if AJ had been christened?
Of course not. A vow is a vow no matter what kind of house you take it in. Our visits together may be infrequent, but we make sure AJ gets quality time when we’re around. As I am an unreconstructed big kid, this means lots of time with Lego, and time on the computer helping him out with homework projects. As AJ’s mum and dad have recently invested in a 27 inch iMac, this is not the grind it could be. Yesterday I helped him make a 12-page newspaper. I only grabbed the mouse off him once or thrice.
I’m not great with kids – they have a tendency to un-nerve me with awkward questions and unwarranted meltdowns. However, all the kids that I am uncle and god/guidefather to are exceptions to the rule, and I delight in spending time with all of them. Being able to sneak away and leave them to their parents after getting them sugared up and over-excited is, of course, just the cherry on the cake.