I've really enjoyed Christmas shopping this year as I have an amazing new guy to shop for. Sorry, Dr. Jon and family, but you're taking lower positions on my Christmas List while I find the perfect presents for Luka. Luka was born two weeks ago to Dr. Jon's brother Jeff and his wife, Kailey. He was a big baby, but a few weeks premature, and so had fragile baby lungs that needed attention. He spent the better part of a week in an incubator. They sent pictures, I wish they could dress those incubators up a bit. He looked so lonesome in that little chamber, I would have loved to send little posters of Coldplay or Modest Mouse, but I don't know what he likes yet.
Anyway, after those tense early days of hospitalin', Luka proved to be a strong baby who didn't care much for his baby aquarium, and was sent home, happy and now totally healthy, with his parents. His parents. Because Jon and his brother Jeff have never lived close since Jon and I have been together, I'm ashamed to say I don't know Jeff and Kailey as well as I should. I see them at holidays, I went to their wedding, and they seem like happy, friendly, regular young people. Younger than me by a few years, in fact. So it blows my mind that they are parents now. Not that they won't be great parents, you understand, they are smart, loving people who will surely raise a great kid, but I still have trouble understanding that anyone hovering around my age could possibly be somebody's mother or father when I still can't be counted on to rinse toothpaste out of the sink, or eat spaghetti without getting it all over myself. Parenthood is a ways off for me, but I'm ready to embrace Unclehood whole hog! I hope I'm good at it.
Dream: Be a good uncle.
Goal: Achievable, thanks to great life experience. I've had almost nothing but great uncles myself across the board. My parents each have three siblings, which gives me a couple good uncles right there, and the aunts all married equally good uncles themselves. If I've done my math correctly, I've had about ten uncles in my life. I'm counting the boyfriends of aunts as uncles officially, because I am merely the boyfriend of Dr. Jon, and if someone were to accuse my uncleness to Luka of being somehow "lesser than", I'd rip their balls off. Anyway, most of my uncles have been really top-drawer, so I have no excuse not to rise to the occasion myself.
Plan: As of today, December 15, 2011, I vow to you, Little Luka, the following:
- I am your uncle, but not your parent, so you can still talk to me when you're pissed off at your folks.
- I will learn how to fish if you want to go fishing.
- I will always have gum.
- I will teach you that intolerance is a sign of weakness and it takes a real man to be a feminist.
- If a series of books becomes a series of movies, I'm just going to buy you the books.
- Let's go to McDonald's!
- A t-shirt with a joke written on it is only funny once.
- Don't sass me, unless you can come up with a creative way of doing it. Learned a new swear? Sass me wit' it!
- Refrain from comments regarding Uncle James' appearance or odour and I will do the same.
- Your gay uncles will cry if you do something well, like sing a song or give a speech. Sorry, we just will.
- I can probably count higher than you, but I'm not going to make a big deal out of it.
- Uncle Dr. Jon will take you clothes shopping and this is a good thing. He'll say, "Oh just get it! You look great!" if you're unsure about an item, and if you say it's too expensive, he's probably gonna pay for it! Bam!
- I always want to know what you're reading, so please always read.
- Try not to sext anyone.
- I'm sorry we messed the world up so bad, in terms of the environment, the economy, and human rights, but if you want to tackle any of those problems, I will help in any way I can.
- Be good to animals because they'll always be good to you. But not, like, mountain lions.
- Don't be an asshole.
- Except for this blog, avoid the internet for fifteen years.
- No woman born has ever been seduced by a car horn, a demeaning nickname, or the "honking" of her breasts. Please remember this.
- Imagine stuff. No one can police your thoughts, so think about whatever you want.
- If I get the name wrong of a hot new band, please correct me. I called Rihanna Rhiannon for months, like the awful Fleetwood Mac song.
- Joni Mitchell made me see the world differently. Find an artist who does that for you.
- Don't pull the chair out from under me right before I sit down. That's such a dick move.
- No matter what happens, even though we're not related by marriage or blood, I will always be your Uncle James.
I will meet Luka for the first time over Christmas. Rather than onesies or diapers, I've been going the totally non-practical route and buying Luka books. I'm not certain he can read yet, but I'm getting those oversized cardboard ones so at least he can nibble on the corners while being read to. I can't believe I've already become that relative who gives you a Christmas gift you neither need nor want, but I can't risk him growing up without a Corduroy book in the house. I hope he doesn't feel awkward about not getting me anything because, cliched as it is, I can honestly say his presence is my present.