Views On A Nephew

I say “a” nephew, but I mean “the” nephew, because I only have one.

He is the biggest nuisance I have known, but at the same time he’s awesome. But, because his father is useless, I, as his eldest uncle, feel like I should take a bit more responsibility for him.

I would love to, I really would, but it’s not as simple as that. I do play with him. I play games, I play football. I sometimes take him the park. But I have nothing else to offer in terms of doing things. The kind of things a father is supposed to do.

The main reason for that is because I don’t have any money. I would love to take him to the cinema or to a football game or swimming or ice-skating or whatever… but all of these things aren’t cheap.

Furthermore, until now, I hadn’t been around all that often, thanks to university. But now that excuse has gone.

My nephew is now nine years old. He is starting to notice the fact that his dad is a waste of space, but at the same time he will never be able to admit that his dad is not the hero that he claims to be. His dad plays perpetual mind games with his mum (my sister) and the impact of this psychological warfare – and I can see it as clearly as night follows day – is definitely rubbing off on my nephew.

Thing is, I don’t really see him as a nephew. He is more like a brother. If my parents had had just one more child only four years after their eventual final one (and they easily could have done) then I would have had another sibling of the same age. The age gap is not significant enough to make me feel like an uncle (I became an uncle at the age of 13). Spare a thought for my youngest brother and sister, who became an uncle and aunty respectively at the ages of 5 and 4.

And so, not feeling like an uncle, my mindset is trapped in a brother mentality. And much as me and my brothers all like each other, we don’t tend to do an awful lot with each other. We give each other their own space and freedom to do what they want with life. We don’t do anything together, and though this is much more obvious now that we’re getting older, it has generally been the case throughout our lives.

So I treat him like a brother and do not much with him other than brotherly things, like playing with Lego.

I feel like I ought to step up to the plate. His dad is a non-entity, a worthless loser, who does nothing other than fill my nephew’s mind with rubbish about his mum and the rest of the family. My nephew still likes him, but maybe it’s just because he’s the only male role model that gives him some attention, even if it is only on one day a week.

Maybe I can do something about this in the forthcoming summer holiday.

Well, I would if I had some bloody money. And the money I’m owed from the council from a job I did is now delayed until I fill in a medical form so they can tell me I’m fit to do the job. Which I’ve already done and won’t be doing again. Bureaucracy…

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