It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own little world sometimes. We focus on school or work or errands or chores…and forget that there are other people in the world. Some call it “zoning out” and others call it “focus,” but in the end it still means that you’re tuning out everyone around you. We forget to consider how the people around us might be feeling or what they might be going through. Sure, we can make an effort when we think about it, but it doesn’t always come naturally.
One man decided that he would purposefully make an effort for the sake of his nephew…and it was the best choice of his life.
It was just 15 years ago that I was changing diapers on my nephew. My sister had him at 18 years old. She was living with my parents while I just graduated college and had my first real job.
Her son was just 18mos old and his father was in the Airforce stationed on the east coast. It was just my sister and mom with him all the time. I decided he could use a little “male” in his life, so everyday after work, I would stop off at my parents house and take him to the park and push him on the swing.
He really grew fond of me. Since then, my sister had 3 more girls and I used to drive to Tracy, CA and spend about 3 weekends out of the month with them. It was tough on my sister and her husband. Money was always tight, so I’d show up on Halloween with pumpkins for a pumpkin carving contest, or we’d pitch a tent and “camp” in the backyard or we’d jump for hours on the giant trampoline that I bought them one year.
Now the boy is 15, and his sisters are between 6 and 12.
Since I am married now, I don’t get to see them as often, but I’ll tell you, when I do go and see them, it is overwhelming how they treat me. They always come and give me a big hug and my nieces don’t let go of me. I am just amazed at how much these kids love me. I do not have children of my own yet, but I feel like I was meant to be part of their lives during a rough time.
Children more than anyone need good role models in their lives when they are young. Become a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister” or try to spend extra time with your nieces and nephews. Sometimes a parent figure outside of their immediate family can make all the difference!
The effort that he put into the lives of his sister’s children might not be recognized by the kids until they are much older. Having a positive influence in their lives will affect them in ways that they won’t notice right away. It might be small things, like their first reaction when something bad happens, or choosing a certain thing to say over another. The truth is that this well-meaning uncle may never know just how much he influenced their lives…but they will always remember the effort that he put into their happiness. And I’m sure that his sister will always be grateful!
To see more inspiring articles and uplifting content, check out Happy Tango every day! If you loved what you saw here then like and share this with the links below!