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April 13, 2005
Uncle Russ

For the past few days I've had three, count 'em, three generations of Emerson women visiting here — my niece, sister and mother.

Apparently, since I am the designated bachelor in the family, they see it as their mission to take care of me whenever they visit. Invariably, this means cleaning and redecorating my house and feeding me more/better than I normally feed myself... and I should note, as regards feeding: I'm a darn good cook, even if I do say so myself. But Mom is far and away better.

I do appreciate their concern. But it's a bit overwhelming — they whoosh in, and in an estrogen-induced flurry of activity begin moving pictures from one wall to another, moving furniture and [fake] houseplants around, cleaning things that I am perfectly capable of cleaning, and making the occasional broad hint that having what might be euphemistically referred to as a "legally-united permanent live-in decorator, chef and heir provider" might be better than me remaining the designated bachelor in the family.

On the plus side, I did get to spend a good deal of "uncle time" with my 11-year-old niece. We made it through the entire extended version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy over the course of the visit. Explaining the concept of Tolkien's conception of elves to an 11-year-old can be a challenge, not to mention teaching the difference between orcs and Uruk-Hai... but time spent with any of the kids is all good.

I have two nieces and a nephew, and they're all great, but I rarely ever get to see them. It's a pity, really... any time spent with them feels like time not deducted from my lifespan. They really are great kids. Smart and talented, and... well, apply all the superlatives you might usually associate with a proud parent's description of his kids, and you get the idea.

They're getting older, though — soon all three will be snotty teenagers with whom I, as a matter of principle, must refuse to associate [though more likely, they will not want to be seen with their middle-aged uncle, lest I do something to cause them to die of embarrassment.] The lad is already thirteen, but the snottiness hasn't hit him yet. And though I know it's inevitable, I also know that by the time they hit their mid or late 20s, they'll likely grow out of it and I can go back to being Good Uncle Russ.

I think I could use more visits. Maybe the next time the womenfolk come, I can get them to paint.

Posted by Russ at 01:34 PM, April 13, 2005 in Personal Stuff

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I wouldn't worry too much about the nieces/nephew. It sounds like you have set the foundation for a good relationship in the future. You just won't see them as much since they will want to be off doing their own thing, instead of being dragged to Uncle Russ's house.

God does have a special woman for you - you just have to figure out where she is and grab that beauty. Being a dad is the best adventure you can take, and it helps having a good wife to give you babies (the baby making is pretty good too).

Posted by: MarcV at April 14, 2005 12:37 PM