Best of Friends
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Every Father’s Day for the past few years has been one of special significance for Jason, but not in the way you might think. You see, he had dreamt of being a daddy since before he could actually produce a child, but part of that dream involved providing an ideal environment, meaning a white picket fence and all the stability which it should surround. And so Jason had held off until he grew into life, enough anyway to where there could be a nursery and not just a playpen. A wardrobe of new threads, not second, third, fourth hand of faded hand-me-downs. Real milk, not powdered. Basically providing the kind of childhood start he never had for the precious child he had always wanted.
Finally reaching such a point in his life, Jason was so excited that he convinced his significant other to double their efforts for that supposedly extra 23% chance of conceiving by doing what the doctor called ‘intimacy’ not every other day during what should have been the ovulation period, but every day.
Unfortunately their efforts didn’t pay off, each monthly attempt failing to produce the happiness Jason had been waiting for for so long. But onwards he marched, refusing to sulk on that special day where fathers are honored by their children, instead choosing to make it a day of preparing for what he still believed lay ahead. After mentally selecting a special location from his past Jason would write a letter to his future child, explaining to him or her why this particular place held such memories. The park he grew up running in, the library he grew up reading in, the town square with the statue of its founder, where he had had his first kiss. Even the fast food restaurant where he had had his first job. With each Father’s Day had come a letter, followed by a trip out to the place he described, not leaving until he had found a secure place to hide the secret message. Buried under a patch of grass, tucked away within the pages of a book so old it hadn’t been checked out in decades, slid into the hollowed bronze boot of the town’s father. The most difficult had been finding a secure hiding place at the fast food joint, Jason finally settling for a spot under the foam floor of the plastic ball pit of the children’s play area, hoping each and every letter around town would lay undisturbed until he one day returned with his precious child.
And so marks another Father’s Day of not yet knowing what it’s like to look into a pair of eyes that is so much like his own. To look upon a face and see himself, starting anew in this world, only this time with a guiding hand he never had. And with that guiding hand to introduce the world and all it has to offer. The subtle miracles of life such as how water works, how bubbles fly and POP, how to observe and respect other living beings both big and small. So many first-time experiences to offer those eyes that are sure to widen each and every time.
And so Jason continues to wait, continues to prepare, not caring if his bundle of joy turns out to be a boy or girl, as long as they’re brought into this world in good health. Every good book he reads, every good film he sees, every delicious food he tastes, and of course every little bit of wisdom he has gathered along the way Jason can’t wait to share, for he knows he and his child will be the best of friends.