One month ago this Sunday my sister gave birth to her first baby, a beautiful little girl named Raya. I am officially an uncle now. Unfortunately, I have not met my niece in person yet. My sister and her husband live on the Island and because of the pandemic, it wasn’t safe for any family on either side to come see the baby. My parents are grandparents now, something they’ve waited for a long time to be true. I feel for them the most. We are going to assess the situation again in a few weeks and see if a visit is sensible and safe for everyone involved. In the meantime, I’ve seen my niece through pictures and video calls. I am greatly looking forward to the day that I can cradle her in my arms for the first time. One day in a hopefully safer future, I will discuss with her the extraordinary world circumstances under which she was born.

I can’t say I have the role of uncle all figured out but people tell me it’s pretty easy. All I have to do is buy her things that have no educational value, let her eat junk food with me, and introduce her to hobbies like video games and skeet shooting. Some of these things I won’t be able to share with her for a few years but that’s ok.

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