The Gift of Heartfelt Sentiment
I got the most amazing letter just the other day from my young nephew that really brought a smile to my face. It's one of those special things in life that you just can't get from anything else, or from anywhere else. Interestingly, there was no special occassion for the letter. My birthday is not until June 1st, and so it wasn't for that. There is no Uncle's Day that I can see anywhere on my calendar, so it wasn't for that. I don't even think that there was any intention whatsoever on the part of my nephew for me to even read the letter.
Scribbled on the back of a picture that came along with the letter that is supposed to be me, my sister wrote;
"James, I was going through Ian's school papers and found this. Thought you would like to have it."
She could not be more right.
You know, we grow up and become adults and life becomes very cut and dry. We look through a very different set of eyes as adults than when we were kids growing up without a care in the world. We forget about the wonder and the amazement that the world presented to us then.
Everything is fun and new in the eyes of a child.
Not that we don't find the time to appreciate things in life as adults, nor that we lack the ability to be amazed by things we see in the world, or by the things we learn or discover. Just that we see it on a different level than a child does. As adults, we have a higher expectation from our experiences. It's harder to be amazed and impressed.
So, when you sit and show your nephew a couple things on a guitar you just chalk it up as a little bit of quality time. When you set down a plate of spaghetti riddled with meatballs in front of a kid, you say to yourself, "that was nice." You don't consider the impact of just a few minutes. You don't comprehend the makings of an experience. And, you really have no idea what your time means.
Until a very special letter arrives in the mail with a portrait attached to it.
The letter says I'm a hero. To me, I'm just an uncle who enjoys the company of his niece, and two nephews—which will soon be three nephews, by the way, later this year. They are great kids. Who wouldn't want to hang out with them? And my niece? Wow. She can sing. She can act. If I could have a couple of my own just like them, I'd not think twice about it.
It is from a moment like this, and from a letter like this, that I am reminded of how special life is, and how amazing life can be. It is the simple things we take for granted when we grow up. We think in terms of fancy cards, toys that wow, and boquets of flowers.
Often times in it all, we forget about the gift of heartfelt sentiment. It is, by far, the greatest gift of all, and is as irreplaceable, and as genuine as things can be.
How amazing is it to be someone's hero for a day? Awesome if not a bit humbling.
My uncle is my hero because he cares about me. A hero to me is a loving and kind person that cares about you. He taught me how to play guitar, he cooks awesome food, and he takes me places.
My uncle taught me how to play guitar when I went to Wisconsin. He taught me how to play Wild Thing. He also taught me which string is which. After that I taught myself how to make my own song. Me and my uncle enjoy playing the guitar.
My uncle cooks awesome food! At night time when we go over in the summer, he cooks steak. His steak is juicy and good. He also cooks spaghetti. His spaghetti is saucy and good.
My uncle takes me lots of places. He takes me to my great grandpa's house. We have reunions there. He also takes me to good restaurants. He buys there. I like the places he takes me to.
I had a lot of fun going to these places, playing guitar, and eating food. My uncle had fun too. I hope we can do it again.
Gets me every time.
And for the record Ian...you are my hero too. To all of my sister's kids: uncle thinks you guys rock!
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