My young nephews are currently blissfully unaware of the fact that I have firmly set myself on a course of becoming, in their eyes, the World's Least Cool Uncle for Christmas.
That's to say, I have purchased for each of my three nephews two age-appropriate science books.
Not computer games. Not fast and sleek bicycles. Not even a whiff of electronics this year. But science books.
I have already begun to wonder how I will ever make it up to them. If they were six or eight years older than they are, I could always make it up to them by slipping them some wine at the Christmas party. But at their ages, wine is still something not even an uncle would dare corrupt them with.
So, I have been pondering the idea of doing paintings of them in the style of comic book heroes. You know, paint them as if they were characters from, say, a DC comic book.
I'm not saying my skill as a painter is up to that chore yet. But I think I might -- with considerable practice -- pull off something by the time school lets out for the summer. Hopefully, they'll be over the trauma of having received science books for Christmas by then.
On the other hand, I'm not going to feel too guilty about giving them science books. After all, doing so might not make me the coolest uncle in their eyes, but it could just make me the most eccentric. I can live with eccentric.