Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

30 days of thankfulness, Day 19: Thankful for my nieces and nephews

On day 4, I blogged about being thankful for my family. And I am. But I decided my nieces and nephews needed their individual day, so on day 19, I am thankful for my 3 nephews and my 3 nieces: Stephanie (19), Allison (16), Caitlin (14), Josiah (13), Benjamin (10), and Nathan (8 on December 3).

  One of my biggest regrets in life, and something I have shed many a tear over, is that I never got  the chance to have kids of my own. Even more than my desire to marry, I wanted to be a father. Maybe that is a lot of the reason I pour so much affection and love onto my nieces and nephews.

  I remember when I got the news I was going to be an uncle for the first time. Nineteen years ago. I'd always wanted a brother, so I hoped and prayed for a nephew. I even vowed that if it were a girl, I would have nothing to do with her. And it was a girl. I was won over immediately. She was only 2 months old her first Christmas, and I went all out. Then she was followed by another girl. And a couple of years later, another girl.

  Then my other sister got married. I can still remember the day she stopped off at my apartment and told me I was getting what I had been wanting for a long time. I was clueless, and asked what it was.... and she said a nephew. Her sonogram or ultrasound (I still don't know which is which) showed a boy. And he was followed a few years later by another boy, and two years later by another.

  By the time the boys came along, there was no chance of partiality towards them. I love my nieces and nephews alike.

  Unfortunately, I haven't lived close enough to the boys to see them and do as much with them as I have been able to do with my nieces, but I try to do my part as uncle to all six kids. I love it when all six are around, though work interferes and keeps me from spending as much time as I would like to.

  But I love what I can get. Playing board games with my nieces, playing Wii games with nieces and nephews, even when my youngest nephew goes around the house bragging about how many times he beat Uncle Mark in Mario Karts....

  They are growing up too fast. It seems just yesterday I was holding them and feeding them their bottle, watching them eat their first birthday cake. And now the two oldest are driving, and the youngest is still a little boy, but not that little. I'll treasure memories of him running and jumping in my arms to hug me....... not sure how much longer I can handle it, but I'll treasure it.

  I hope some day when they are grown, they'll look back and remember me with only fondness and see only the good in me. The day may come when they won't need their Uncle Mark as much, but for now, I'll take every minute I can get, and be thankful for these six great kids who call me Uncle.

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