Being the “Cool Uncle”
by Nikolas Wong
My nephew, Jack, was two years old. His eyes were glued to the television in the living room of my parents’ house. Sesame Street was on and Elmo was about to go into the episode’s second musical number. Jack bounced with excitement. A smile stretched from ear to ear on his face and his tiny hands clapped to the rhythm of the show’s jingle.
Jack’s enjoyment was contagious. Watching Elmo and friends playfully teach my nephew his 1,2,3’s made me smile too. Jack and I sat through this Sesame Street episode before, but his joy made it easy to re-watch. His tiny giggles warmed my heart, and I was suddenly inspired to be Jack’s cool Uncle Nik.
The idea of being the uncle that always had a bag of tricks ready to make Jack laugh, smile, and even feel motivated fascinated me. I quickly found myself reflecting on some life lessons that I thought were cool and that I could share with him, like…
- Be confident in your actions.
- Be open to change.
- Remember to be kind to others and yourself.
- Never forget to laugh and smile.
- You’re never too old to start or learn something new.
I thought through several life lessons and hypothetical teachable moments we could share. They all made me excited to see what was next for us to experience together. I couldn’t wait, but before I got too far into my own thoughts, I paused and threw everything in the back of my mind.
I realized that the best life lesson I could share with Jack was something I learned from his late grandmother:
Sometimes, just live in the moment.
And if living in the moment means watching Sesame Street reruns with my nephew, then I’ll gladly stay glued to the television too.
About the Author
Nikolas Wong is an internationally recognized author and digital communications strategist. His most notable works are his two books, The Coffee House and The Field Journal of a Naturalist Trainee — which lead advocacy campaigns across the state of Florida. He was later dubbed the ‘Young Money of the Literary World’ for his success.