I had the pleasure to be asked to be a chaperone for a Sweet 16 Party last weekend, and because no one has ever trusted me with that kind of responsibility I immediately said yes. My dear Sophie, who I have loved since she was a small child, was growing up right before my eyes. She was dressed as a princess that night, wearing a dress that captured not only her beauty, but it was as if the sparkles of light reflected her inner and loveliness, too. She was becoming a lady – and she had the tiara to prove it.
It seemed only yesterday when she was in the garden swinging on the hammock with her even younger darling little sister Reilly. Two of the most amazing, well-mannered girls I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Polite, and fun to watch, as they and their parents joined me in the garden that hot summer day. Truth be told, I knew from that moment they arrived I wanted to become their devoted “Uncle Marsly”, the man they can ask for anything – and I would give it to them.
Being single myself and having two older unmarried brothers, it’s probable that there is no chance in hell the stork will ever be visiting me or them anytime soon. Mother has come to terms with this years ago and accepts Violet as the closest thing to having a granddaughter. So what is a lifestyle expert, single guy who loves children to do? The answer is simple – dote on other people’s children and offer up the “forever available and supportive uncle” role.
My friends have welcomed me into their lives in this self-proclaimed role. Children grow to become young adults, and young adults go away to school, get married, and have kids of their own. Being a part of their lives enriches mine and allows me to spoil them. Offering love and affection fills my heart and it gives me such joy to witness their journey through life, as a dear friend, and as their proud “surrogate uncle Marsly”.
As Sophie blew out her candles surrounded by her 50 friends, she displayed poise and maturity beyond her 16 years of life, and I witnessed the celebrations with Reilly by my side. Okay, so I had to pay her $20.00 bucks to hang out with me, but so what, it was worth it.
Soon the stork will arrive for my dear friend Audra Lowe, Host of Better TV, and I can’t wait to be there to love and adore her new baby. Audra, you might have the most amazing husband and a perfect career in television but soon I’ll have the best job of all – spoiling your new baby and being able to give him/her back when I’m done.
Birthday parties will come and go and we will look back at the photos (and wonder “What were we wearing?” and “Why?”). Children grow up fast and we grow older even faster, but knowing I can do it together with my friends and their families makes me truly lucky – and proud – to get to be an Uncle, a friend, and a colleague.