The time for living in the fire station had come to an end, Morand realized. While that kind of situation worked for a young adult working his way up the ladder, it didn't work for a young father with a newborn child to take care of.
He built a modest two room house, basically a box with bedrooms. He didn't have the funds to build anything extravagant for his son, as much as he wished he could. That meant he needed to work even harder to keep providing and keep them both happy.
With a new house comes new chores. Through his work as a fireman, Morand had been getting really handy at upgrading appliances and plumbing, he quickly put those new skills to work around the house. Plus, it really helped to get frustrations out by beating things with a hammer for several hours at a time.
The nights that were the worst, though. It was very quiet living out on the land that was left to him, beautiful - no doubt, but very quiet. With just him and Cecil, and Cecil not being able to say much, Morand felt pretty lonely.
But a routine was established, once again. Fight fires during the day and take care of Cecil at night.
Morand loved his job, not just for the adrenaline rush, but because he felt he was really contributing to the well-being of his city. Every fire put out and every person he convinced to run from it gave him a sense of pride.
Nothing, however, compared to being a father. On those days when his work kept him late and he had to hire a babysitter, Morand raced home to be in time to tuck Cecil in himself. He wanted Cecil to know that he was loved and cared for.
Before he knew it, it was Cecil's birthday. Since Morand spend almost all his time either at work or at home with Cecil, he hadn't really had the chance to make many friends. It was a quiet celebration with only the two of them.
When Cecil wondered what his mom was doing, Morand's heart broke for the boy. He didn't want his son to feel any less loved because his mother wasn't around. He gave Cecil an extra big piece of cake to lighten the mood.
He also got a brand new bedroom redesigned in his favorite color, pink. Morand didn't question the boy's taste, he just let him choose what he wanted. After all, he was old enough now to dress and think for himself, so who was he to say if the boy liked pink, or that his favorite music was French?
Soon enough, it was Cecil's first day at school. While most kids are embarrassed to be seen with their parents, most kids don't get driven to school in a firetruck. Morand hugged his son and watched him walk into the school as an independent little man.
In the middle of upgrading the dishwasher so that it would never break again, Morand felt a change come over him. What was he doing with his life? He spend almost all his time alone now that Cecil was in school. He was becoming a recluse!
Change comes from within, but to make that change he had to go out! He threw down the wrench and decided to go to the gym. Getting out of the house felt great and it wasn't long until he was exhausted from the work out. But he still didn't feel fulfilled, his mind still craved change.
He found himself back in the tattoo chair, this time to mark himself with a positive message. Always be at the top of your game. No more feeling down and lonely, it was time to reclaim himself!
Morand picked up an award from City Hall after a particularly amazing fire and went home to find Cecil working on his homework. He sat down to help him when it finally hit him, he's not just a father, but a Dad. He was needed by this boy, relied on and believed in. He wanted to make this kid proud.
The next morning Morand caught his reflection and really started looking at himself. While he'd been doing some changing on the inside, his outsides had yet to catch up.
So, he found himself wandering into the salon on his way to the grocery store. He was almost too ashamed to admit to the stylist that he was looking for a make-over, but something inside of him desired it. This might be a midlife crisis for all he knew.
Midlife crisis or not, change had come, and Morand was ready.
|What is it with birthdays and crossed eyes?|
|Ahh, that awkward "tween" stage.|
Title / Harry Nilsson