How do I love thee? The Fun Uncle

 

Way, way, WAY back, well before we had children, before we were married or even engaged, I learned something fabulous about my guy.

 

He was totally at ease with kids.

 

We met as college students, I a senior and he a junior. A mere three months separated us, age-wise, but our birthdays fell such that I was a full year ahead in school.

 

We liked hard rock music, playing darts, and sharing champagne late into the night. He had floppy blue-black hair, a backwards ball cap, and a wicked dimpled grin.

He also had pictures of his baby niece and nephew taped to his computer.

 

Sigh.

 

The summer after that year found me in Connecticut and him in Indiana. I had graduated and he had a year of college ahead of him. We were “technically” broken up, but the incessant phone calls and whispered “I love you”s continued on. (Our hearts were more committed than our brains, apparently…)

 

We closed one such phone convo with me promising to call him Thursday morning, before either of us headed in to our jobs waiting tables at restaurants in our respective states.

 

“That works,” he replied, “but call me at this number,” and he rattled off the digits. “That’s my sister’s number– I’m babysitting my nephew.”

 

And so I did, chatting away while he competently changed diapers, diced turkey, and provided care for this young toddler. It was so incredibly natural, it astounded me.

 

When my own siblings started having babies, it was the same.

 

We’d visit my family, and he’d insist on carrying my sister’s baby son so she could more easily peruse the shops. He’d tuck chubby thighs in baby bjorn carriers without batting a lash. He would play trains, sculpt play-doh, and build with blocks without ever seeming to get bored.

 

I was dating the Fun Uncle. And, I must say… I encourage other young women to do the same. ¬†Because, fun uncles? Frequently turn into Fun Daddies. And it’s awesome to be married to one of those.

 

Good-looking guys who are great with kids were obviously something that made me melt. Anyone else get weak in the knees at that combo? ;)

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13 comments to How do I love thee? The Fun Uncle

  • mlearley

    Neither my husband nor I had any nieces/nephews so the only chance I got to see him with kids was while babysitting for Professiors, volunteering at church or visiting family with kids. I remember the first time I saw him with a child, we were visiting my friend who was babysitting her niece. This little girl took to my husband so quickly and was actually sad when we left. I knew then that I wanted to marry this guy! The only thing that ever worried me was when he was holding his baby cousin and the baby’s head flopped backwards…I knew then that when we had kids, he’d need a lot of help with the newborn stage. Which was true! Now that our girls are older, he is a fun dad and is great with both kids!

    • We’re both the babies of our families, so our kids are the youngest of the cousins. We never had younger siblings to care for, but we definitely had nieces and nephews! :) My guy is a BABY HOG. Not even kidding. One of my friends will have a baby and I’ll hardly get the chance to hold him or her because my husband just swoops in. Honestly, it’s pretty sweet. ;)

      • mlearley

        We are both middle kids but our older siblings aren’t that much older. Our kids are the only grandkids on my side and on my husbands, our Alex is the oldest grandchild. He did pick up quickly with the daddy thing and at times he was the only one who could get our babies to stop crying. Even this week, sick Katelyn wasn’t herself until daddy came home from work. There’s something about him that calms our children.

  • Hehe my hubby was quite the opposite. He didn’t like kids and was actually planning on never having any of his own. All I can say is God is so good!! I praise Him everyday that he changed my husband’s heart. He loves his daughter SO much and is the best daddy and I think it’s because of what a wonderful example his father was to him. I wasn’t really big on kids either growing up, but I do really love my own children ;).

    • We were the ONLY ones in our circle of friends who expected to get married and have children– not necessarily to and with each other; we had only been dating a short while. The fact that he had some inherent baby-lovin’ gene? Just iced the cake for me. :) (Though I definitely realize plenty of people who don’t initially want children go on to have them and be awesome parents.)

  • Melissa D

    One of the first things that attracted me to my husband as well. His brother had two young sons 16 months apart and my husband was an expert baby-feeder/diaper changer long before I was comfortable with those tasks.

    He is an amazing dad, nothing like those inept “baby daddies” that are so ridiculous on TV and in movies.

    • There is something so very attractive about a competent man! :) And I totally agree– the ineptitude portrayed on TV and movies is ridiculous and also a disservice… kind of like how they portray married life as boring and non-sexy. ;)

  • Mary B.

    I totally agree! My hubby didn’t have any nieces/nephews of his own before we got married, but I had 9 of mine that he stepped right in and quickly became the ‘fun uncle’ to! Even now that we have 3 (almost 4) kids of our own, I’m pretty confident that he is all of their favorites. He’s awesome! :D (He even taught one of my nieces how to make deviled eggs…and to like them!)

  • Mary B.

    Yes! In fact, just last Sunday my whole family was together and he decided we should have a taffy pull…he’s more creative than me, too, and is always coming up with fun things to do with the kids!

  • Julie

    My husband wasn’t the “fun uncle”, he was the “fun brother” =) He is 17 years older than his brother so he stole my mom and grandmother’s hearts (and then mine when we met) by his care and love of his little brother. I will always remember some of our dates being taking his brother (and little sister) to the park. He is the best dad I could ever imagine with our new son!

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