This post is inspired by a recent post by her Canuck Coolness, Snooze:
Nieces and Nephews are the best! It's so much fun to corrupt them and then return them to their parents...
Some of the highlights from my "career" as an uncle:
I first became an Uncle when I was just shy of my 5th birthday. I asked my father and grandfather (they were both in the room at the time) if that meant that when I grew up I'd be a grandfather. They explained that it didn't quite work that way.
When she was about 2 and I was about 7 my niece, Justine would say silly but cute things like "Unka Dawwin I want to marry you when I grow up." And then my sister and I would have to explain to her that "that just isn't done." Incidentally, Justine (who is now in her mid-20s) still refers to me affectionately as "Unky D" (which makes me feel like a failed white rapper a la Vanilla Ice or Snow-- although I think my bling would be far more fly than theirs ever was).
Convincing Justine and her younger brother, Michael, that their mother and I were brother and sister was met with disbelief at first. It was quite amusing.
I remember the first time I met my niece Kristy. I was about 12 and she was about 6 months. My sister and her husband had flown in from California from the holidays. Every time Kristy would look at me her face would light up brighter than the Christmas tree. She was absolutely adorable, my heart totally melted at that. I think that was kind of when the "daddy instinct" first kicked in. Of course I didn't want to be one at age 12, but from that point on, I knew that someday I wanted to have kids of my own.
I once convinced my then 3 or 4 year old nephew Gregory (he's now 16, btw) to go ask his mother if we could have "air biscuits" for dinner. She was not quite as amused by this as I was.
This past Thanksgiving Toni & I totally doted on my great-nephew, Kevin. I think moreso than with any of my other nieces or nephews baby Kevin feels like a nephew to Toni as well as he's been the only one born AFTER Toni & I married. The kid has the cheeks that babies in my family are notorious for (heck even my 18 year old nephew, Trevor, still has "the cheeks"-- poor kid will probably get carded even when he's old and gray).