This I Believe

Bryan - Vancouver, Washington
Entered on November 28, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, family

Finding out I was going to be an uncle at the age of 15 came with many indescribable feelings. To me, the word uncle was followed by many qualities that I was not sure I possessed. Also, the thought of trying to be as great as my uncles were, turned my stomach into butterflies. At the age of twenty, my sister became pregnant and I was not sure she was ready for a responsibility as big as motherhood. Becoming an uncle was about to change my life more than any pervious experience.

My parents had known about her pregnancy a month before I found out and my sister was waiting for the right moment to tell me. The right moment however, was my dad asking me if I was ready to be an uncle in November? This news stunned me at first and I convinced myself it was a joke, but then I looked at my mom and her eyes were glistened over while a tear ran down her cheek. At that moment, I swear my heart stopped. I realized my mom did not seem ready to become a grandma, and just as I had thought, was worried about the responsibility my sister would soon gain. My dad on the other hand always looked at the positive side of situations and was looking forward to becoming a grandpa, especially at the age of 52.

As her due date neared, I finally become accustomed to comments about my sister being pregnant, but then she went into labor three weeks early. With this early arrival I had experienced change once again that I was not yet prepared for. Within five hours, I was officially announced an uncle and for the first few days, I was only able to look at my nephew Tarik. As people began to ask me about how I liked being an uncle, I was honest telling them it would take some time getting used to, but I would hopefully enjoy this new experience.

As months passed, I was still trying to understand how a great uncle would act and what emotions came with the responsibility. How I was going to participate in my nephew’s life was another question that I wanted answered. Each month progressing, I realized that my sister was a natural born mother and with her change, everybody around me had adapted to the new crawling toddler.

By the sixth month, Tarik was starting to become interactive with his environment and by eleven months was walking. This is when I finally got attached to my nephew and was looking forward to the daily visit. With this life changing experience that I continue to endure, I believe that unless you accept change and evolve with your surroundings, you will be left in the past and miss many wonderful life experiences.