Playing Great Uncle on Father's Day is just fine


It’s been a while since I’ve had kids in the house.
My brother is up from Florida visiting and checking in on the family. It’s nice to have an extra body around with mom’s declining health.
The fun part of all of this is he brought his two grandchildren with him.
Now, a lot of people in town know me and they would laugh at the thought of me being old enough for grandchildren, but in a nod to Father’s Day, I have two children and both would be old enough for children of their own.
But aside from the halted receding of my peppery hair, it’s just laughable to think I would be old enough for grandchildren.
Right? Am I right?
So having Daniel, 7, and Kyle, 11, in the house has been a breath of fresh air.
Kyle and I made dinner for the whole family a couple of days ago and he’s got some chops. We were in Walmart looking for groceries, and I hate Walmart with the heat of a Supernova because I can never find anything.
Here comes Kyle with his phone Googling where things are and finding the aisle with the chorizo. He did it faster than I could go the twenty steps down the meat counter to the rolled up spicy pork.
He has a quirky fixation with technology and can roll with Elon Musk in the world of find it fast.
Daniel is an orange belt in Karate or Tai Kwon Do or some other sport that usually ends up with me bruised and battered.
I’m very used to being banged around after 18 years of dealing with Hayden, but he’s just too big to bang around anymore.
Daniel’s still a little soft, so I put up my hands and get low after about three minutes of kicking and flashy hands he’s running away in the parking lot with a smile on his face.
It’s good for me, too. Keeps me sharp.
He’s a toughy and a little brave. Without even having a decade on this earth, and being unfamiliar with my haunted house on Avenue E, he runs up the stairs and hops into Kelsey’s bed all by himself.
I check on him and put another blanket on as I like it a bit chilly in the house. I smile at this little body in her bed. I’m sure she’s smiling too.
Kyle sleeps in the recliner and my brother on the couch.
When I’m done for the day, I like to sit and talk with them. I’ve only seen them about five times. They are both very functional kids with nice vocabularies and slightly raunchy senses of humor.
They fit in well.
We took them to Heron Bend for some fishing Saturday morning. Kyle caught a turtle. Daniel pulled in the only real fish of the day, about a 13-inch bass with a nightcrawler right off the second jetty in a pool just to the left.
We shot with my Red Rider Carbide action BB gun with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time, at a bottle of water away from the fishing hole. It wasn’t strong enough to puncture the bottle, but we had some fun betting a dollar on who could hit it first.
The rest of their trip has been spent hanging out with Uncle John, fighting with other cousins and nieces, swimming and eating…eating…eating.
We also went to Transformers over the weekend.
Daniel yelled in the less-than-crowded theater, “Autobots….Roll Out” I laughed and stole my niece's popcorn. She wasn’t watching and it was dark in there anyway.
This father’s day weekend, playing Great Uncle Chuck is just fine with me – But that’s Beside the Point.
Chuck Vandenberg is editor and co-owner of Pen City Current and can be reached at

Beside the Point, Chuck Vandenberg, editorial, opinion, nephews, Father's Day, weekend, weekly, Pen City Current,


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