Today my son turns 8.

I sit here waiting for my family to arrive, it’s already been a hectic day and it only promises to get crazier as the night goes on. You see today is my son’s 8th birthday, and as I type this all I can think of is how unpredictable life is.

The week began with heartbreak and loss, we buried my grandmother on Tuesday and I am still struggling to come to terms with it, for selfish reasons. I have these things I wish I could have said to her that I didn’t and wasted opportunities that I want back but know I can’t have them.

But today is full of celebration and promise, and it’s not a time I plan to waste. I never thought I would be a father and to honest I never thought I would want to be one, I didn’t think I had anything to offer a child. Today I couldn’t imagine myself not a father. I am still unsure if I have much to offer my kids,  I don’t have any great talent, I am not insanely wealthy,  all I can off them is  total and unconditional love and a vow to always be there when they need me.

My son has had his struggles in his short life, having issues with his breathing that he regrettably inherited from me, as well as a severe case of ADHD which threatened to derail his life in a major way quite early. Through it all we have fought to help him as much as we could, and through it all he never lost his smile, he never lost his sense of wonder and he never stopped laughing.

I look at my son and I am marveled by how he does things, I am incredibly proud of him and become prouder every day. I watched as he refused to back down at a very young age when he knew something was right and something was wrong. When bullies kept picking on a young girl in preschool and he couldn’t get the teachers to intervene he decided to take matters into his own hands. He picked a fight with three bullies, and yes he took his lumps and yes he got in al bunch of trouble at school, but it was hard for me to be mad at him, because I was proud of him, I was proud of him for standing up for someone who couldn’t stand up for themselves, that’s something that people older than me refuse to do everyday, yet my 5 year old knew it was the right thing to do.

He loves to write stories and create adventures, his room is full of action figures and he has created his own world for them, he loves to come to the dinner table and tell us of the most recent adventure of Batman or Spider Man, how GI Joe is raiding Cobra Island or how the Millenium Falcon is hurtling towards a black hole and how if we make him finish his dinner the galaxy may be in great danger.

He cares deeply for others, and I am worried that as he gets older that will test him. The world is a cruel one and it’s only getting crueler everyday, it’s filled with hollow people with hollow emotions. People who have no idea what it means to really care for someone else without getting something in return. My son just wants to be there for people, he wants to do whatever it’ll take to make the people around him laugh, or feel comfortable, and I think as he gets older people are going to take advantage of that. I just hope that it doesn’t harden his heart, because that’ll break mine.

He always knows how to make me smile, when I am having a bad day he always tries to brighten the day up with a knock-knock joke or just by sitting next to me and asking if he can read to me, something I never grow tired of.

 At the beginning of the school year  he had to write a paper on what he wanted to grow up to be, he didn’t say he wanted to be a police officer, he didn’t say he wanted to be an astronaut or the President, he said he wanted to be a dad, he wanted to be a dad like me because I was his hero.

When the week started I was gripped in a great despair, as the week comes to an end I would be lying if I said I wasn’t still hurting but as I hear the cars pull up and prepare for the celebration of the day of my son’s birth I can’t help but feel that things are going to get better, and my son will have allot to do with that, because just like I am always going to be there for him, he is always there for me, and with him at my side I can do anything, because I may be his hero, but the truth is, he’s mine.

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