Unclehood (unk-al-hud): 1. (n) All the fun of parenthood, with none of the parenting.
2. (n) A second childhood when you’re all grown up.
Technically speaking you could say I became an uncle 569 days ago when Charlie was born. But I didn’t feel anything. My sister did though, as she was basically ripped in half for 17 hours; but for me, becoming an uncle was as easy as becoming 37 this year…I didn’t feel a thing. You could say that I became an uncle 553 days ago when Charlie and I first met. She was pretty tiny, being born two weeks early and all, so by the time I held her on June 21st or so, it was pretty much her actual due date.
But I like to say that I’m becoming an uncle. I’ve never been one before and I’m not really sure what it all means just yet. One thing I’m sure about though is that I get to be there for all the fun parts, and even create some of them, but I don’t have to change nearly as many poop-filled diapers as mom and dad will. That much I know for sure.
Christmas gives way to Springtime and little Charlie is 22 months old now. I live in California and she lives in Connecticut so I’m in and out of town often, and each time I come back home I am meeting a brand new girl that it feels like I’ve know for lifetimes. She’s got more inches, more words, more expressions; things I’ve never seen before but know are somehow a part of me. This must be what parenthood feels like, I think, but with less fatigue and shit. A few poop-filled diapers and many plane tickets later and this mound of cells and drool has become a person; a full personality with opinions and preferences, like me, but not a bitch like me.
Oh, and she has mastered the art of saying the word “uncle”, which has melted my heart all over again every single time I hear it. And she knows phrases now too, like “Uncle Brian”. Sometimes it sounds like “Opey Bye”, sometimes it sounds like “Unn-al Bine” but I don’t care. When those piercing and vibrant eyes look at me, right at me, and she says my name it’s as if all things made of matter cease to matter at all. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my whole world changed when Charlie was born. She came into this world 839 days ago, and I’ve been becoming an uncle ever since. If she ever gets tired of me she can go ahead and cry uncle, but just hearing that word is going to melt my heart. You’re stuck with me kid; I’m becoming an uncle, and I’ve fallen in love.