Rewards of Being an Uncle
--by Brendan, posted Apr 18, 2006
Her son was just 18mos old and his father was in the Airforce stationed on the east coast. It was just my sister and mom with him all the time. I decided he could use a little "male" in his life, so everyday after work, I would stop off at my parents house and take him to the park and push him on the swing. He really grew fond of me. Since then my sister added 3 more girls and I used to drive to Tracy, CA and spend about 3 weekends out of the month with them.
It was tough on my sister and her husband. Money was always tight, so I'd show up on Holloween with pumpkins for a pumpkin carving contest, or we'd pitch a tent and "camp" in the backyard or we'd jump for hours on the giant trampoline that I bought them one year.
Now the boy is 15, and his sisters are between 6 and 12. Since I am married now, I don't get to see them as often, but I'll tell you, when I do go and see them, it is overwhelming how they treat me. They always come and give me a big hug and my nieces don't let go of me.
I am just amazed at how much these kids love me. I do not have children of my own yet, but I feel like I was meant to be part of their lives during a rough time.
Children more than anyone need good role models in their lives when they are young. Become a "Big Brother" or "Big Sister" or try to spend extra time with your nieces and newphews. Sometimes a parent figure outside of their immediate family can make all the difference!