Boxes lay everywhere; the remnants of the New Year’s gifts. James had made sure he didn’t have any wrappings but he could do nothing about the containers they came in. The kids ripped them like little gremlins; nothing was getting in the way of them and their prizes. The look on their faces was great but James would rather not fork out a hundred dollars every month for whatever holiday it was; it wore him out. The worst part of it was the little buggers weren’t even his.
James sat down; he loved the boys, the same way he had loved their mother. He had adored her, trusted her and she had abused that trust. Sure he was stupid for assuming guardianship of the boys before they got married and sure he shouldn’t have deposited that ‘healthcare’ money but he was in love; madly in love. Being stood up at your own marriage throws things into perspective.
Life was tough when you had kids especially when you are a sole parent. He had to be the best parent he could be but that was hard to do when you were a middle-class worker and paying off a huge debt. Sure it was hard and sure James considered himself a fool for ever falling in love but as he looked on the faces of the little monsters who were fast asleep, he smiled. The sight of them holding their toys firm as they snored into the night filled his heart with warmth. No sane person would want to be in his shoes but James couldn’t imagine his life without the boys. Maybe he was a little bit crazy; maybe. James looked out into the horizon. It was covered in trees but all he saw was hope; hope for the new year.