There are Uncles, and there are Danger Uncles.
Regular Uncles come with contraband candy and chocolate. They are the ones who help with outings or just order way too much pizza for a night on the couch with their little people.
These are not the kind of Uncles I am talking about. Let us discuss the Danger Uncle. As all things fascination and excitement tend to be, a cool Uncle who lives to conquer risks becomes the main dude for kids. My kids anyway.
He is the shiny dude with a race car who causes my children to lose their wee minds with worship. This Uncle knows how to build, and rebuild a race car. He wears a white race suit that glimmers in the summer sun, and a helmet with demons screaming “winner!” painted on it. He slides into his four wheeled rocket through the window like the bad ass he is. My kids can’t get enough of that maneuver.
On race days, my two get to go into the pit, and sit in the car as it is prepared for the race. They happily eat pink cotton candy in the car, because he lets them. He is Danger Uncle. He doesn’t worry about silly things like sticky seats, he drives a race car, he is a mega dude, and that is the single coolest thing my kids can imagine.
When the cars line up to race, my kids take their seats in the VIP section and order more cotton candy. As the engines rev, the little fans start to cheer and shriek. Uncle Danger puts it in gear and is away at top velocity.
This is the most exciting and risky thing my kids get to see up close. They love the smell of the track, the high speeds, the danger and their special status.
After hours of watching cars go around the track, always mere inches from disaster, my children run out of voice from all the screaming. They have eaten their body weight in track junk food, their faces are covered in dust, and they have rubber cast off pebbles under their feet. They don’t really care who wins, they just love being the fan club for their Uncle.
When the cars have been parked for the night, and the engines wind down, it is time for the drivers and crew to head home. When Uncle Danger comes up to the stands, he finds two little people in their blankets quite asleep after their big day. He picks them up and doesn’t even try to pick the cotton candy out of their hair. That’s not his job, his job is to just be their Uncle and keep them safe from danger.