Magic Uncles revisited
Although, it turns out, I haven’t really visited them in the first place …
Many years ago, when I was first venturing out into the blogosphere, I had written a bit about Magic Uncles. I thought I had written a post about them, but a search of my archives turns up nothing; instead, what I wrote was a comment on Muddled Ramblings.
At the time, Jer, on his epic road trip, was visiting an old high-school friend who had married, settled down, and produced multiple offspring, and these offspring were totally excited by this stranger who had rolled into their lives, in a cool car, bringing a change of routine and representing something other than safe, ordinary, ho-hum life as usual.
I use the term “Magic Uncle” to describe this sort of relationship – the person doesn’t actually have to be an uncle, and, as in Jer’s case, may not even be a relative. A Magic Uncle is a relative or friend of the family, and his role is to bring fun and interest to the kids’ lives. He is single and childless, generally not tied down in any serious way, and he typically drives a fun car. Because he’s not fully embedded in adult life, the kids perceive him as being more like them and less like the (much too stuffy) parents. Every kid should have one.
When I was a kid, my Magic Uncle was Dupes, who can be seen at (Enter Title Here) doing something strange involving a cheese puff. He was my mom’s cousin, who had come to live with my grandparents when his home situation went bad. He was single, and he was a younger than my mom. He had recently finished a tour of duty in the Navy, and he drove a Mustang Mach 3. On the Fourth of July, he was the one who got the fireworks and then shot them off the end of the boat dock at the lake house. He was always joking and goofing around. He got married when I was in high school, but as you can see from the photo on Gerald’s blog, he never completely outgrew the silly stuff.
Captain JP has recently made some comments that lead me to believe he’s a Magic Uncle – in his case, literally. That is, literally an uncle, not necessarily literally magic. I don’t know that he’s brought any tree seeds home from Narnia. He often mentions his nieces and nephews, especially in the context of borrowing a couple of them to participate in some fun activity or other. As best as I can tell, he’s single. I don’t know what sort of car he drives, but a cool car is merely a plus and not a defining factor; Dupes continued to be a Magic Uncle even after totaling the Mach 3.
I had thought about inviting Captain JP to bring along a few nieces and nephews to enjoy the Five O’Clock Somewhere Experience. I figured he could have the elegant guest room, and they could have the one with the train set. But then, he took dibs on the room with train set. Now, that’s a defining factor of a Magic Uncle – still not too grown up to enjoy some good toys.