Thursday, December 17, 2015

We Are All Uncles Here

I have four lovely nephews: Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Fred. They currently range in age from six to one, and so, as you might imagine, we are all having a blast.

Fred is starting to talk. He calls my daughter, "T!" (you can hear the exclamation point. T! T!). For the rest of us, when he was visiting for Thanksgiving, he just grinned. He grins well.

When I last saw Dewey, which was several months ago, he'd started calling me Aunt Kimmy. Now, very few people on earth ever got permission to call me Kimmy, and most of them are now dead. You're probably not one of them. Dewey's dad warned him that I might not like being called Aunt Kimmy, and Dewey gave his dad--my brother--a long look and said, "Well, I'll just ask Aunt Kimmy."

I really like this kid. He can call me Aunt Kimmy.

Last year, when I stayed a week at Louie and Fred's house, right after Fred was born, Louie, just turned two, called me Auntkim, all one word, usually said very fast "Auntkim, auntkim!", often while launching himself at me. But then Louie got a little older, and he started to realize that "Aunt" was separate from "Kim." He figured out that he had a certain class of acquaintances--four sets total--that went by "Aunt" and "Uncle," and somehow these were mostly equivalent, which made using two titles superfluous.  So he ditched "Aunt" altogether. I became Uncle Kim. We had Uncle Kim and Uncle Bart, and Uncle Dewey's Dad and Uncle Dewey's Mom.

Well, I could see his logic, and I was willing to answer to Uncle Kim. But then at Thanksgiving my children presented a problem. They were clearly pretty much grown-ups, in Dewey's eyes. They must be Uncles too! He started calling my daughter Uncle T.

"She's not your uncle," I said. "She's your cousin. Like Huey and Dewey. You just call her T."

Louie actually has six cousins. Four are right around his age, and the others are my children. My daughter's only 17 but she's 5'10". Louie wasn't buying any of this cousin nonsense, not for someone who was clearly part of the family but also clearly a grownup. "Uncle T," he insisted. And so she remains.

We are all uncles here.