Life is perfect. Brayden is turning 16 today, so I am taking my boy out shopping for a new truck after school. He and Logan started calling me dad not long after Annalise started learning to babble. I didn't bother to correct them or ask them why they called me dad, I was actually pretty proud that they felt that way about me.
I get Brayden picked up from the high school, and we head to the next town over. Deals are better there, and there is more of a selection. After three lots, he finds the truck of his dreams. Fully loaded already, very nice, and has about 10 miles on it. We take it for a test drive, and he is already calling it his baby. We talk to the sales guy, and he tells us the price...$62,000 and change. Brayden starts to look disappointed.
"Why the frown, son? Don't you like that truck?" I ask him, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"Yeah, I love it. But Dad, it cost more than I have. I can't afford it." he says.
I smile, take out my checkbook. "Greg. Write it up. We are not leaving here without my son's new truck." I tell the sales guy. He ends up finding us some rebates and discounts, so we paid a few thousand less for it in the end. All that matters is that smile that is plastered on my boy's face right now.
"I love you, Dad. I'll get the money out first thing and pay you back." he says, eager.
"Just take care of it. Keep your grades up and get into college. Don't forget your promise to my mom." I tell him.
"I know...be a gentleman, take my brother for rides, blah blah blah." he says, sarcastically, but then smiles. "I'd never break a promise to her. She was my girl." I nod with a smirk understanding. I can totally get that.
I follow him home and we pull up into the driveway. I go get the rest of the family, and we all ogle Brayden's new baby. He is so proud of it. Logan asked to go for a ride, and we said it was okay but to not be gone long. They take off, radio booming and the faint sounds of laughter coming from the rolled down windows. Yeah, my boy is going to be a chick magnet with that truck. Guess it will be time to have 'The Talk' with him. We don't need grandkids running around here anytime soon, that's for damn sure.
Later, we are sitting around the dinner table, and the kids are all going on and on about things. I look at Evelyn, and I still get taken back by how gorgeous she is and how much I love that woman. She has been through hell and back, and I was the lucky guy to hold her hand through it all. My life is complete. I went from being a felon, to having a family. I know not many people can appreciate it, but what I have means everything to me. I can only hope that I continue to make those around me happy and loved.