March 4, 2010

Say Uncle

Everyone has more than one familial title. I am a son, a husband, a brother, a cousin and a nephew. But I think the title I take the most pride and joy in is uncle. I remember as a kid I mispronounced “uncle” calling my mom’s brother “knuckle Joe”.

I was so excited when I became an uncle for the first time. A whole new dynamic was added to my family. All of a sudden my sister was a mom, my parents were grandparents and my brothers also became uncles. As my nieces and nephews grew in numbers and years, we had to start utilizing our new titles.

“Can you say hi to Uncle Phil?”

“Thank Uncle Phil for the birthday present.”

Being an uncle is a lot like being a grandparent. You get to play with the kids, brag about them to friends, write shameless blog posts about them and really enjoy them without the hang-ups of having to change diapers or discipline. I always looked forward to becoming an uncle and I hoped that I would be the “cool uncle.” I try to remember birthdays, sending a card with stickers every year.
Uncle Phil with Emma, Noah & Hope

And we uncles do it all for no special recognition although there is a little known “Aunt & Uncle Day” every July 26th. The title of uncle isn’t specific to blood relatives either. Pretty much any close male friend of the family can be called uncle.

I realize I am following in the footsteps of a lot of famous uncles before me. Here’s my ten favorite uncles of all time:

Uncle Rico (Napoleon Dynamite) – If the coach had put him in the game in ’82, they would-a went to state, no doubt in my mind.

Uncle Fester (“The Addams Family”) – The best uncle trick: making a light bulb light up in your mouth.

Uncle Buck – For showing us how to make enormous pancakes with a snow shovel.

Uncle Phil (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) – Nice name.

Uncle Ben – Like white on rice.

The Man for U.N.C.L.E. – Actually this is two men who may or may not be uncles.

Uncle Remus (Song of the South) – Zip-a-de-doo-da!

Uncle Dave Macon – The Dixie Dewdrop of uncles.

Uncle Sam – He wants you, and it's nice to be wanted.

Uncle Owen (Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope) – Just a simple moisture farmer who raised the last of the Jedi and the galaxy’s only hope for peace.

Who are your favorite uncles?


Anonymous said...

I always thought Theoden from Lord of the Rings was a good uncle.

Anonymous said...

What about Bilbo? He was an uncle.

Peter said...

Uncle Ben from Spider-man