When I was a toddler my uncle Ahmad came to visit us from Iran. I only vaguely remember the incident, but I’ve heard the story so many times I almost feel like I can now replay it in my head. One sunny afternoon my uncle took me to the playground down the street, and we played and played and played some more until the sun started to set. The whole time we played I told my uncle over and over that I loved him. “Do you love me?” he would ask. “I love you, I love you,” I would say. And I did. I think I love him as much as my own father. When it was clear that dinnertime was approaching, and we needed to head home I delivered my barb. “I don’t love you anymore,” I said to my uncle. To this day he reminds me of this — that I only love him if he takes me to the playground. And then we laugh and laugh some more, and you can just hear the love in the air. It’s mushy, I know, but I can’t say enough how much I love and appreciate having had my uncles — both my uncle Ahmad and uncle Mahmoud –Â in my life, and how much I appreciate that they are a part of Azita’s life today.
And I hope one day when Azita is older she remembers them with the same depth and fondness as I do.