Day 215: To The Nine Year Old

Dear Birthday Boy,

I was warned about you before we met. And as suspected, you instantly hated me. You greeted me with a hiss and a swat, and it didn’t get much better from there. I wanted so badly to win your mother over and you sensed that from a mile away. And you tried like hell to get in between us, but it didn’t work. As time went on, you grew accustomed to my presence and I to yours. I could walk freely in the dark without shoes on, but I know better than to ever touch you. I know now that it would bring dire consequences.

We may not be close, but I still love you just the same. I suppose that’s the life of being a stepdad. We don’t have the same bond that you and your Mother have and I’m okay with that. We still have our occasional bonding moments. Whether it’s watching Japanese Wrestling at 4 AM or all the times I gave you treats after Mom went to bed, we have our occasional bro downs. But you’ll never, ever let me be close to you and I’ve learned to accept that. I’m more than content admiring you from afar.

Because every little thing about you is perfect. From your kitten-like face that never ages to your fluffy, chonky paws, you’re a bonafide work of art. And you absolutely know it. You’re never afraid to be photographed in the sunset and you always subtly try to pose in the most pristine and proper ways. You sit like a lion, surveying his land from up high. Your outstretched arms give a sense of nobility, but the way you cross your paws lets us know that you’re also playful.

I always wonder whether or not you’re happy. If this is the life that you expected to have. Some days, you carry an air of sadness that I can’t ignore. I know there isn’t a lot for you to do. I know that staring out the window can get tiresome. There’s a great big world out there and you’re stuck in your little box. Knowing that this is all your life will be is a lot of weight to carry. I understand. You don’t have to go it alone. If you ever need a shoulder to mew to, I’ll always be there for you. No matter what.

You’ve been through a lot, kiddo. I’m sure you’ve heard the story a million times, but you were left for dead as a baby. Your Mother found you in front of her house, shivering and malnourished. The doctor said that you probably wouldn’t live two weeks. And now it’s been a whole 9 years. It’s nothing short of a miracle. Just like what happened to your Mom. Remember that few months when she didn’t come home? She was really sick, just like you were. The doctor said she had a 5% chance to live. And yet she came home for us. You both defied odds and logic.

That’s why I watch you at night. When you climb onto Mom when she’s sleeping. You’re both perfect miracles and I truly don’t know what I would do without either of you. I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to fix myself since Mom got sick. I want to so badly, but some days it just doesn’t work. But I’m going to keep trying. You both deserve so much better. You both went through hell and all I can do some days is just mope. You both deserve the world. And I promise that I’ll try my best to provide that. It’s just going to take a lot of time and patience, which you both have in spades.

I hope your 9th year is much better than your 8th. I hope you continue to have adventures on the balcony and never take the sunshine for granted. I hope you’ll enjoy the central air this summer. I hope you win the fight against the spider. I hope it’s the best year of your life. Happy birthday, Willy. I’ll be sure to sneak you 9 treats later.


The Fat Man