Chapter 43: Liam
Chapter Forty-Three - LiamPrompt #2: “Write about an event that has occurred in your life, and how it has impacted who you are today.”
The first time I looked at my son was the first time I realized that I wasn’t ready to be a dad. I thought during that nine-month period that I had gotten everything down-pat and under control, when really, I’ve just been preparing for the wrong things.
I had diapers for days stocked up, as well as baby formula and all the other things babies need.
The second time I looked at my son, I knew that it’d just be him and me going through life together. His mother left him with me seconds after she was well-and-able to leave the hospital, and my parents left me to take care of him four months after I came home with him in my small arms.
I was fourteen when I welcomed my son into the world; but no one else seemed to want to welcome him in their lives as well.
I never gave up on him, and I thank whoever is up there every moment I spend with him. He is the reason I smile everyday, despite the things that pull me down.
As we both grew, I became increasingly aware of my mistakes in the past, as well as of how much I’ve changed since that freshman year of high school. There is a reason that his mother left me; there is a reason that I accepted this fate. It was my fault, I had reasoned back then. But whose fault was it really when it came to a life? Was it really a fault at all?
Raising my son in an apartment by myself did not have many perks, but it definitely had some depressing moments. But did he ever let that get us down? No. Instead, he’d learn how to walk a day when we ran out of food to eat; he’d come home to a house with no power and tell me with the biggest smile on his face that he learned how to write his full name.
I find myself looking at him when he’s not paying attention, watching as he does the things that little boys do while they can. Color outside the lines, draw abstract pictures of the family, ask me to push him on the swings.
He asks me at least once a year where his mom is, somehow forgetting my answer from the previous year. How do you tell a child that their mother just wasn’t competent enough to take care of them? So instead, I’d tell him the story of how I met her. How we saw each other and we smiled from across the room and we just knew that we would end up doing something great one day.
Little did we know, we’d create a new life.
Every time he would nod and accept the answer, and together we’d do something afterwards that would make us happy.
Together we formed relationships over the years, with people from all over the city. Parents from his school; the boss from the music shop I work at, which I picked up when I first had him, and his wife; a frat-dud who became my roommate, and turned out to be a pretty remarkable person at that; a woman who unmistakably picked me to be with for a summer and became one of the most loved people in my son’s and my life.
Having my son in my life is not a mistake I would take back. He is the event that has happened to me who’s impacted who I am today. He’s made me mature, strong, confident, and - most importantly - a dad. And who am I to say that that’s the most incredible thing for me to be?
That night, Timothy Renee Bentley past away in his sleep.