It probably comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I take pride in being a geek. While when I was younger, there were aspects of my geekiness that I kept hidden to avoid appearing weird to others, I am no longer ashamed of my interests.
In fact, recently I was a volunteer staff member for a training experience for young men, in which older men that mentored these younger men were affectionately referred to as “weird uncles.” Although I am not old enough to be an uncle to most of these young men (as most of them were in the age range of my younger brothers), after a bit of thought, I realized that I am a weird uncle to my own nieces and nephews, and it is a title I claim with joy.
|My niece, Aili, receiving a more traditional gift for Christmas|
And I’m definitely starting to see that my nieces and nephews have their own geek interests. My oldest nephew is really into Minecraft and likes Avatar: the Last Airbender (even dressing as Avatar Aang for Halloween once).
The oldest of my nieces has developed an interest in superheroes (due in no small part to the influence of her dad), and whose favorite superhero is the Flash. When she was only four years old, I can recall her correctly naming all the characters on a Justice League t-shirt I was wearing.
Another of my nieces is a big fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I have often found her watching the latest TMNT cartoon series, and take an immediate interest to anything turtle related.
While some of my nieces and nephews are still too young for me to have noticed any particular interests yet, I no longer shy away from giving them geeky gifts. I will still get gifts that I believe fit their personalities and see if doing so might pique their interest in something new. If they don’t take a particular interest in that, I always have the opportunity to try something different the next time.
|I gave my nephew, Kelly, a Superman t-shirt for his birthday|
|My niece, Jolene, being taught superhero |
poses by her dad, while wearing the
Supergirl shirt I gave her for her birthday