Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Rewards of Being an Uncle

--by Brendan, posted Apr 18, 2006
It was just 15 years ago that I was changing diapers on my nephew. My sister had him at 18 years old. She was living with my parents while I just graduated college and had my first real job.

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!
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Readers Comments

jsmc10 wrote: Bless you for spending so much time and love with them :)
Aurelia wrote: Brendan, You are such a loving person.You did the right thing for those kids and for YOURSELF! One day I hope you get to experience being a parent for your own children...but you know you've bonded with your sisters kids and made a difference in their lives. Good advice given...thanks. ~Aurelia
TMP wrote: You sound exactly like my brother who died last Thanksgiving. Uncle Jesse adored my 2 children; bought them gifts during 'tight' times, paid for plane tickets so we could visit, asked "How high do you want to go?" on the swings, spent TIME chasing them around & teaching Ethan to play video games...they will always remember those times & you can feel the love when they talk about him being in heaven. His -& yours- unselfish examples speaks volumes.

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