I got an email a while back that pretty much summed it up...
Something like "girl, I will help you show your daughter that real men exist in this world -- I want to do my part to show her they're here."
She's got a lotta uncles, and combined, they make the perfect man. For me, as a loverfriendmothermadwoman, and for her -- the daughter who constantly needs guidance.
There's her only real uncle -- the smiling Hawaiian who will soon marry into our mad girlfest of a family... who scowls at her when she does wrong, and she scowls back... but she also listens to him, like he has some damn married-in familial authority that no matter how much of my blood is flowing through her veins, i just won't ever equal. Where the other boyz get titles like "Uncle X," this Uncle is, plain and simple, "Uncle". We will see how that plays out when my other sister gets married and that man is clamoring for some clout in the girl's world. Then "Uncle" may have to have an actual name.
Then there is the one who wrote the email that sparked this post. Prettyflowers is good to her, when he's around. For his vagabonding he gets the distinction of being the One We Admire For His Prowess at Prowling. Not for chicks, or for trouble (necessarily), but for the simple, constant and noble on-the-move that i hope to breed into that child. He has some other good qualities that earn him uncle-status. He too does not put up with that child's misguided attempts at funnery. When she lies, he points it out in a most chiding tone, and you can tell she's actually thinking all of a sudden about whether lying is actually cool. He also steps in on the "fun" of her driving her mother crazy with the yelling-in-the-car -- and will stop that shit with a simple word or two. Again, stuff i just can't do. Protecting her from weirdos at "Tweaker Park" and on trips to the remote Washington wilderness are some of his other qualities. Oh yeah, and he buys her stuff on trips.
There's also Uncle Merry Christmas. This uncle is part of a duo -- usually running together, but since we are talking about uncles today, we will focus on the male half of the duo. This is the uncle who has cooler toys than she does, and she regards him with a kind of awe for it. When she hears he's coming over, her ears prick up, with the promise of another new, yet old toy he's picked up on Craigslist or godknowswhere. Did i mention she likes gifts?
Then there's Uncle Vikingo, who she doesn't see very much but comes alive in stories and occasional trips to Disneyland (gods strike me down for subjecting her to that place but damn, it's free for me once a year). He's big, bold, and doesn't give a shit about what people think about him. All of the best qualities a budding revolutionary can have. He also gets the distinction of being the one to feed the girl her first real food. When she was just a bright eyed baby still living on breast milk, he gave her a bite of his creme brule' -- her tongue poking in and out of her mouth like a turtle's head, blue eyes all wide like she'd just discovered the fruit of the gods. Mmmmm... creme brule'.... Some of the stories about him will remain censored though, like the one where he got kicked out of a high school play -- where he was playing a cop -- for making it look like he was whacking off with his night stick.
Then there's Uncle Oo-ray... who she sees quite often, and who and loves and protects her like a father. We have a running joke about him feeding her ice cream, which i am quite aware of and fine with, but still i pretend to disapprove, so the two of them can have their conspiratory chuckles. He rents her princess movies and generally lets her run the house when he's babysitting -- for which he gets major points in her book. I am convinced that he is the reason she loves brown men -- or boys i guess. When choosing among preschool-aged crushes, the girl will almost always go for the boy with the dark skin. I guess she is already dreaming of her own brown sugar babies. But he is unequivocally a wonderful man. His wonderful wife definitely gets the distinction of Auntie -- but i will sing the bountiful praises of that Fire and Ash in yet another post.
Lessee... there are the uncles who get uncle-status... even though they only see the child a scant once a year or so... the ones who stare at her in awe and wonder what to say... but then she starts a'talkin and there's no need for any of that awkwardness no more...
Like Uncle Damick -- who watched her like a hawk at aforementioned Tweaker Park...
Like Uncle da Rip -- who may someday teach her what a good poem is really all about...
Like Uncles Scratch and Scoot (god, those sound like some mangy-ass dog names -- sorry), who encite the awe in me... and i always find something awkward to say... (by the way these types are usually the ones she doesn't like, and will tell them so. It's nothing about their characters -- i think she senses i am paying them more attention than her, for perhaps a stolen moment)
Like the Andys -- who know she's gonna come hungry to their house so they better bust out the goldfish (o.g. of course) or else.
Like i said, combined, all of these men make the perfect man, and we are so blessed to have their loving eyes upon us.
I neglected to mention her grandpa before -- because he does not need to be combined. He is very nearly the perfect man, all on his own. I hope this revolutionary i am raising respects me half as much as i do him.