Natsume has come a long way from the scared young man we met in the first volume, and a lot of that has to do with him coming to terms with his powers through his interactions with yokai and with the help of his various friends. But it also has much to do with the stable home he has with Aunt Tôko and Uncle Shigeru. He knows, no matter what happens, that he has a place where he belongs.
We mostly see his relationship with Aunt Tôko, but let's not forget the pivotal role Uncle Shigeru played in rescuing Natsume from his situation as unwanted and unloved surplus relative. He was the first person to want embrace Natsume since his parents died.
Shigeru can't rest after seeing the isolated Natsume at a family event, and even starts to make room in the house for the child before he's fully made up his mind to offer Natsume a place. It's an almost instinctive expression of protection.
And once Natsume joins the household, whenever we do see Shigeru, he is taking an active interest in Natsume's happiness--wether it's making sure he gets enough to eat to helping him build flowerbeds in the yard. Shigeru might not have a flashy relationship with Natsume, but it is one he can trust and one he knows will last.
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