I’m great. Really.

No, no, not like THAT (don’t make me blush). I’m a great uncle, which means two things are true: 1) I have the cutest grand-niece on the planet and 2) I’m gettin’ old. Not having any kids of my own, it never occurred to me that someday I would be the relative of a “grand” anything. As it turns out, it truly is the best status there is. I can get her all cranked up and energetic and giggling (and maybe misbehaving a little) and then drop her back into the arms of my niece and her husband. Enjoy…I taught her to make funny noises with her mouth when you weren’t looking. You’re welcome.

So how exactly does an old fart like me bond with the cutest grand-niece on the planet? When she was 3 it was easy…all I had to do was make a lump of Play-Doh into something vaguely recognizable to be a true rock star (okay, the Play-Doh thing still works¬† but I have to keep upping my game to stay on my pedestal) but shapes of turtles and cartoon characters are fleeting. Where is the connection of my inner child to her actual child?

Music, of course. Singing, of course. Duh.

Fast forward to the cutest grand-niece on the planet’s most recent family visit and there we were sharing a song. She had learned Iz’s “White Sandy Beach”¬†and I knew how to sing it and play it on the uke and she was certain she could put together a few hula moves and a show was born. She in a grass skirt and lei (thank you Long’s Drugs Hawaiian stuff section), me in my Maui Jim’s and a floppy beach hat with my uke on my lap, the lights off and proud papa using a flashlight as a spotlight. As you might imagine, it was absolutely priceless (the missing front teeth really did make it all work). Once again the magic of song and the joy of music found their way into my world, as they have so many times before, and I was reminded of what a gift it is. Sing, people. Sing.

And the payoff?

Best.

Hug.

Ever.

So maybe gettin’ old has its moments.