Saturday, October 05, 2013

On Being an Uncle

I have been in Vegas the past week. As it looks, I will stay here for some time. David and I decided to end our relationship and that is all I will say about it here, only mentioning it to answer the obvious question. I have very mixed feeling about being in Vegas. On one hand, it is really not my city. I don’t really gamble and have no need to get falling down drunk, make an idiot of myself or do stupid things just because I am here.

What I love about being in Vegas is being near family. My sister and I, while we didn’t really have any issues between us, we didn’t have a relationship that went any deeper than the occasional email or seeing each other here and there with years in between. Now we see each other everyday and it has been really great reconnecting. So far so good, but I can imagine she is going to get tired of seeing my face all the time.

But my favorite part, I have to admit, is spending time with my niece and nephews. They are just amazing and if I am feeling sad or low, just a couple of minutes with them picks me right up and puts a smile on my face.

In the past week I have been here, my nephews have decided to become little versions of me. It is amusing, humbling and scary. I am not used to being idolized, watched and copied. The want to use my toothpaste as they told me it is just better than theirs. They want to get their hair cut like mine and now every morning, I have to put product in their hair so they can take their mohawks to school, which is how they put it. The other night, Chesney and I were in the car and I was playing Lana Del Rey. He decided that “Radio” is his favorite song and a couple of hours later he suggested I take him to see her when she comes to Las Vegas.

Chase, being a year younger, has to do everything Chesney does, so I have two little versions of myself running around, competing for time and attention, each one asking me here and there if they are my favorite. The other night, I took Chesney to a concert against bullying, to kick off anti-bullying month and Chase was devastated that he couldn’t go. To add insult to his injury, Chesney and I got free t-shirts at the concert and he has not really taken it off in the past two days.

Today, I will take Chase out for some one-on-one time. First, we are going to the shark pool at the Golden Nugget, as he has never seen a shark in person. But the main thing we are going to do is go to the car museum and see Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other super expensive and cool cars. I also made sure Chase has a camera so he can take pictures, which he loves to do He likes to use my camera and at seven, he already takes his time and thinks of what he wants to shoot. Perhaps another photography buff in the family? I would love to be able to take all of them of photo safaris here and there.

This morning, I came outside to spend some time alone and write and predictably, within five minutes, Chesney was at the door asking to come out. I am surprised how paternal I am. It is chilly and I made sure he had long sleeves, socks, and all those things on before coming out. Chase followed within another five minutes and now they are sitting next to me composing some masterpiece in GarageBand.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to do something with Bentley. I would love to go out to Death Valley super early in the morning and shoot some pictures. She has a dance tonight, so not sure she will be up for that this weekend. I am also looking to see how I can hook up my camera to her telescope so we can both try our hands at space photography. I am not sure how much she really is going to embrace photography. It seems to come and go in phases, but maybe she just needs someone to encourage her and drag her along, which I am more than happy to do. Tomorrow will depend on how tired she is and what she wants to do, but Death Valley is on the agenda for sometime very soon. Maybe next weekend.

So these days have been a mix of feelings, but there are definitely many good things happening while I am here. I love that I get to b a part of their lives and a part of who they are becoming. I hope when they look back, they don’t see me as the uncle who bought them things, but as the uncle who loved them, spent time with them and introduced them to some very cool stuff. I love being Uncle Robb.

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