The word “uncle,” the official role, means many thing to many different people. For me (Glynis Ratcliffe, EIC of UncleNomics), uncles embody the spirit of education combined with fun. Being able to learn about jazz and Bob Dylan and zen Buddhism from my uncle in CA during the same trip that he introduced me to sipping tequila perfectly summed up that role of being a teacher but also being a source of awesome.
I asked some of our contributors what it meant to them, and here’s what they came up with:
My role as Uncle is to be that checks and balance when my nieces and nephews thinks their parents are too hard on them or the parents thinks the child is out of hand. I’ve always been able to step in and help and as I’ve said before I am the “go to” Uncle. Now with that said I am guilty of spoiling a few but hey it’s not only grandparents that get to spoil the kids.
– Mark Chambers
The world uncle to me means family no matter what may come. My Mom was an only child but my Dad was one of seven! His brothers have always looked out for me. Especially after my Dad passed away. I’ve maintained a close relationship with my Dad’s younger brother. He has always been there for me as a child and now as an adult he’s connected with my family. I’m grateful everyday I’ve had him he helped me through a lot of difficult times losing both my parents. – Jeanine Lebsack, Jsack’s Mom’s Blog
I had three uncles when I was a kid. Two of them were goofs and the other was pretty straightlaced. I remember being completely embarrassed by them as a kid, but thinking about it now, I’m a little disappointed my kids won’t have the same experience because I have two sisters. – Lola Marguerita, Live By Surprise
My uncles have been safe havens, amusement parks and fearless protectors. They have enough distance to be more objective than a parent, but close enough to balance that with love and loyalty. – Alison Tedford, Sparkly Shoes and Sweatdrops
An Uncle is someone who actually has you down on his bucket list – you are part of his life mission. He wants to show you places and experiences your mother, his sister (ahem) doesn’t really care about, teach you new things and share funny stories of the two of them growing up. He just totally gets you. My brother is an amazing Uncle to my three kids – he is allowed to comment on their Facebook posts and I am not – what does this tell you? – El Tan
Uncles are family, even when there is no blood relation.
Uncles step in and step up when needed, but step back to give you space to figure things out on your own. – Mother of Serendipity
The one you call as you are figuring out the story you will tell your parents.. especially the slightly wild, ex-military uncle because you know HIS stories.. and yours are mild in comparison… – Evelyn Chapman Aucoin, My Life Between Coffee and Wine
What does the role of uncle mean to you? Let us know in the comments!