Reconnecting With My Kids

I should not refer to Kyle and Amanda as kids. They are well in to their twenties. Yet I have known both of them since they were born and so to me they will forever be kids just as if they were my own.

Amanda was my first. Paul, one of my closest friends — we have known each other since college– and his lovely wife Maureen — they lived across the hall from each other when Paul was in his first apartment, were among the first to marry — I was the best man. They had Amanda not all that much later so she was the first child of one of my friends.

Taking care of Amanda as one of her first baby sitters continues to be one of my favorite memories. We played together on the floor, I got to carry her in my arms and put her in her crib for a nap. One of the best days ever.  She was my first little girl.

All through my single years, which lasted a long time, I became an unofficial uncle to some of my friends kids . More so with Kyle and Amanda than most. (Kyle referred to me as his fake uncle the other day. Kyle, there was nothing fake about it. Blood or no blood. For a number of years I was around much more than your “real ” uncles. Anyways I am officially your godfather.)

For Kyle and Amanda I attended birthday parties, Halloween trick or treat raids in the neighborhood, attended soccer games, plays (though I missed one of their last Shakespeare performances), Irish dancing and brought presents at Christmas. I believe that I am personally responsible for the vast majority of ice skates they received growing up.

Of course that was when they were young. Once college started I was not as good at keeping in touch. Then Amanda moved to Boston and Kyle to L.A. Sure I am aware of phones, email and snail mail. I just became a bad uncle for a while.

Fortunately they were both in town for the holidays and they made time to see me. I was able to spend three hours with these great kids. They are both interesting, articulate, athletic and attractive people. Kyle is in design. He has been on TV and just signed a book deal. Amanda is in process of figuring out the next stage of her life after 5 years in a PR firm. It was great fun to get to know them again and find out a little of what I have been missing for the past few years.

I intend to become a “good” uncle again. I am connected to both on Facebook. I will try to see Amanda since she is now local. I will miss no more birthdays. We will share in each others lives.

I will re-earn the title of Uncle Rick.

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