In case you’re wondering where I’ve been for the last year, I’ve been busy raising an eight year old.
Yeah, I’m being serious.
I actually have another son – a twenty two year old – and he’s an insufferable, entitled little hipster jerkoff with a terrible haircut. I really only have myself to blame; I had almost no impact on his life, other than reminding him that I was a deadbeat and his mother was a whorebag. Like he needed reminding; that woman is so loose, her vagina is like a two man tent with the flaps left open, flopping around in the breeze. Also, it smells like it was used to store a crate full of rotting tomatoes.
Anyway, when I got word that Sam Gracie – that’s the little guy’s name – was suddenly left without a mother or any next of kin after a terrible car accident, I decided that I had a second chance. I never would have thought I had it in me to step up to the plate like this, but I guess people really *can* change, because the idea of him going to an orphanage broke my heart. So I adopted him – the papers finally went through about three months ago, and I now have full custody of him.
He’s a weird kid. He’s got one of the driest, most serious dispositions of anyone I’ve ever known. For Christmas, he wanted a set of plumber’s tools. I figured he was old enough to actually have a few real tools, so I went out and bought him a decent sized toolbox, a set of crescent wrenches, a pipe wrench, and a set of joint pliers. So, Christmas morning, he opens it up, and calmly takes inventory of the kit, and says in a totally deadpan voice, “Hmm. There’s no putty, and I could use a ratcheting PVC cutter, but I think this will do.”
So apparently my eight year old has the soul of a thirty-five year old.
A few weeks ago, he comes up to me, and says, “Stockton, will you play plumber with me?”
“Sure, kid,” I said.
“Okay,” he said, “You sit around and act a little awkward because there’s a stranger in your house, and I’ll get to work on replacing those hot water lines running to the downstairs bathroom. They’re shot. I saved up my allowance and got a really good deal on some copper pipe, so I won’t need anything from you.”
So the little dude spends about forty minutes in the basement, comes upstairs, goes out on the back porch, and pulls out a box of candy cigarettes, and slowly eats one, except for a small nub, which he dropped on the stoop, and crushed into a powder with the toe of his steel-toed boots (another Christmas wish of his).
Then he goes inside, and spends another hour or so. Afterwards, he comes up, and tells me he needs a few parts. He left for an hour and a half, and I have no idea where he went, but he came back with a plastic bag full of stuff, went back downstairs, and about two hours later, he comes up, absolutely filthy, and announces that he’s done.
Yesterday, he presented me with an itemized bill totaling around $250. And you know what? The water pressure has significantly improved in the downstairs shower. I probably would have had to pay a professional twice as much, so I paid him in cash. He went out and bought a wagon with it, so he’d have something to haul his stuff around in.
Also, he wants my help filing his taxes and dealing with his write-offs this year. He said next year, once he’s gained some capital, he’ll hire a CPA, but this year, some help from dad will have to do.
Like I said, he’s a weird kid. But he’s got it together in a way that Jason probably never will. I kind of feel like the kid is raising me, instead of the other way around.
That said, I’m enjoying being a father. It probably doesn’t hurt that he’s so self-reliant, but he was pretty sheltered (he was home schooled, something I immediately squashed like a cockroach), and he knows I have something of a checkered past, so he’s got plenty of questions. And he never seems to judge.
So there you have it. I’m sure I’ll have more stories to share in the coming years. But this little guy is a trip. After 40 years of decadence and debauchery, I’ve finally settled down. My wild days are more or less over, and while that might have depressed me a few years ago, I now get a second chance to do for this kid what I never did for Jason. And honestly, that makes me happier than I’ve been in years.