At the grocery store last weekend, I found my way to the potato chip aisle—looking for ricecakes of course.

Behind me, I could hear a little voice coming from the shopping cart.

“I want Uncle.”

Trying so hard to ignore ridiculous toddler requests, I didn’t respond.

“Uncle!! Mama, I want UNCLE!”

I turn around to see Jack pointing at the broad spectrum of Lay’s potato chips.

He continued to chant, “UNCLE, uncle, mama, I want UNCLE! PLEEEEEEEEEEAASE!”

I got the hell out of that aisle faster than you could say ricecake.

So, yes.  Our 2 year old adores his crazy uncle so much that anything he associates with my quirky brother, he thinks they’re called “uncle.”  Potato chips, you see, are the frequent sidedish to ALL of my brothers meals next to the vegetables, rice and whatever else might be served.  Every meal.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Potato Chips.

And when we visit, guess what Jack also gets unbeknownst to me?  Yeah, handfuls of “uncles.”

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Pretzels, by the way, are also uncles.  As are Pirate’s Booty and popcorn too.  I guess we can assume that until further notice any snacky kind of food, especially the kind we don’t have in our house, will be referred to as “uncles.”

All that driving and picking up our lives and living out of suitcases for days at a time over the holidays?  Yeah, it’s little nuances like this, that make it so worth it.  If there’s anything–ANYTHING–we want to give Jack in this big, big world, it’s to provide the warmth and closeness of family, no matter how far we are.

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been home, and though I’m STILL trying to get my life back in order and get caught up, Jack still can’t stop talking about “going to the Beach” and “going to Yoyo’s house.”  It might make my heart ache when he pouts about missing Uncle and everyone else, but it makes me realize, that even at 2, just how much he appreciates our sacrifices along the way.

And the uncle/potato chip misnomer? ha.  He’ll never live that down. And if I have it my way, maybe uncle John can switch up his eating “routine” and switch the chips for something less gross.  How about it, John?

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