Monday, April 25, 2011

A - Z Challenge: Uncle


Through no fault of theirs, these two uncles were remote men who lived on the other side of the country in a time when travel wasn't as convenient as it is today.  I knew them as characters in stories that my mother told me from when she was a girl.  And there were a few - very few - photos.  In  recent years, there have been more and more photos surfacing as estates and the old photos  are sorted. And there were, of course, letters.  My mother carried on a constant correspondence with two of her older brothers.  While they may have seemed faraway to me they did take an interest in their sister's children.


My children had a much closer relationship with their uncles.  These men were nearer, geographically, which I'm sure, made all the difference.  There were summer holiday visits and vacation trips with cousins. My kids' uncles were always a presence in their lives - and still are.


The latest generation of uncle is no less close.  I can't imagine being hugged like this by my uncles.  I never saw those photos of them as young men until I was an older adult.  They always seemed kind of starchy - probably a result of  posing for photos.  There would have been no baby-tossing for the men I saw.  And, definitely, no sitting around in the summer eating hot dogs and having burping contests with my uncles.  My sons see their nieces and nephews often.  They get down on the floor and play. It makes me smile to see them together.

I often wonder if mine would have done that if they had lived nearby.  Or would the times have dictated a certain distance for them as adult males?  Maybe they would have just cried "Uncle!" if we had attempted to rough-house the way kids do now.

11 comments:

EmptyNester said...

Clever ending! My mother has only one sister and she's the best aunt in the world. My dad has one sister and three brothers--my uncles are...how should I put this....interesting creatures. Let's just leave it at that. LOL My brothers are good uncles--actually, two of them are great uncles. One of them is a poop head. We're almost to the end of the alphabet! Are you as excited as I am? :)

Rudee said...

My kids are close to their uncles, too. My youngest brother helped me raise my first daughter, so he's pretty special.

When my son and nephew play golf with my brothers, they call my oldest brother Aunt David to needle him a bit. They derive great joy from this teasing and look forward to their golf games with enthusiasm.

Ginny said...

Aunts and uncles can be such a wonderful blessing to children! Phil has an uncle just ten years older then him, and they had such fun when he was growing up!! They rather ran amok, they are still close today.

Amanda Trought said...

This is a lovely post. Had my brother and sister over at the weekend, looking through family photos, our kids are close, and we all try and play a part in their lives....but unfortunately we didn't see our uncles and aunts very often.

Lovely visiting your blog, have a blessed week.

Amanda

Amanda - Realityarts-Creativity
Art Blog

Laura said...

A lovely post - me and my siblings are not close to our uncles as my parents moved away from the family nest when they were a young couple, but you have just inspired me to be a close and accesible aunty to my brand new nephew.
Lx

SELVIDGE by Rachida S said...

In the past, I’ve never thought of the kind of relationship between me and my uncles till I read your post. A strange feeling of memories carried me through a journey of childhood. Before, I just thought of myself, a niece, and the others, the uncles. While, in fact, each one of them holds a special place in my heart. They are all loved and each one of them has a special personality that has taught me the gift of love and laughter. Thank you for reminding me :)

Michelle Teacress said...

I didn't have a close relationship with my uncles either, though they lived close by. People who do are blessed. :)

baygirl32 said...

What a very nice post

SquirrelQueen said...

That's a great photo of your uncles standing on the porch. I don't remember much about my uncles even though they and their families lived nearby. I remember playing with my cousins but my uncles were always very reserved.

Cruella Collett said...

I love this post! How interesting to see the generational uncles - from the remote to the very close, from old to recent. I adore old photos, but you're right - newer ones often give the impression of the subjects being closer. In your case it reflects the reality, while in my family I think there have been a similar closeness for generations. My mother will often speak of her uncles and aunts - of the generation of the first picture - and they seem to be as close as I am with my nephews and niece today. Or almost. I hardly think my mother used her uncles as gymnastic equipments...

Theres just life said...

I love my Uncles. Since I was the first born on both sides of the family, I was spoiled rotten by them.
I am sure your Uncles would have been the same. The pictures everyone took at the time made everyone look stiff and conservative. I think sometimes that is the only time my Uncles looked like that.

Pamela Jo
http://theresjustlifeyaliveit.blogspot.com

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