The Fun Uncle
Last week I was chatting with a nurse and a young resident doctor about family and children. The nurse and I were sharing stories about our own young children and all their shenanigans. The nurse asked the young resident if he had any children to which the 28-year-old with a perfectly shaved face, set hair, and a tie under his crisp lab coat emphatically said, “Oh no. Just a girlfriend. It makes me nervous just thinking about kids.”
Later that week, I ran into an industry colleague I’ve known for a number of years. He’s an affable guy, knows how to work the room, and always charms the ladies. Again, family and kids came up. Ben is still in his newlywed phase and proud to announce it, but unlike the young doctor, Ben’s not afraid to share he’s childless—at the moment. He calls himself “The Fun Uncle.”
“There’s no rush, Ben,” I told him. “Take your time.”
There is no rush, truly, to have children. To all the Fun Uncles out there, enjoy that time. The Fun Uncle phase is a beautiful, magical era. You’re out of that collegiate stupor—for the most part—and into your career. You’ve made a decision about who you want to be with for the rest of your life having either committed to partnership or marriage. You’re leasing and buying your homes. You’re furniture is now matched, and you’ve let a woman’s touch erase the artifacts of bachelorhood.
This phase of manhood is imbued in romance. There’s just something sweet and sexy about this time. If you’re here now, you know how intimate your time is with your Number One, how awesome it feels to be “Just the Two of Us.” You’re developing, and so is your lover. If you’ve passed this phase, roll the tape back and remember how adventurous you were, how you once bought your wife’s clothes, picked out her undergarments.
Underneath this fun phase, however, there is a metronome tick-tocking ever so quietly in the background. Kind of like the crocodile after Captain Hook. It’s so quiet, you don’t even think about it until one day, it’s the only sound you can here. It’s the sound that says, “Fun Unclehood will be ending soon, buddy. Get ready.”