Daddy Blogger: Scrabble with my Son
This is Daddies & Mommies week on The Blog Tag.
Will’s dad showed up at 8PM with a big green box, he had dark circles around his eyes and his curly hair looked disheveled but he had a broad smile painted on regardless.
“Look what I brought from the attic, when last have we played this?”
“Wow it’s been eons. We use to play scrabble all the time dad. What happened?”
His dad gave him a knowing look, “You grew up kiddo. So what do you say? Game time?”
Will was the reigning champion at this game ever since his dad taught him but playing his dad was no easy task. He would always come out with these long forgotten words like a dark horse and get really close to winning. This was the only activity they did together, it bonded them somehow.
As they began picking their letters, “What’s on your mind son?”
“Just wondering if you and mom will have another kid after I’m gone.”
“Hey now don’t talk like that. Sorry bud that ship has sailed, you’re everything we wanted and then some.”
“Dad you asked, I’m just saying it as it is. Look be realistic, I’m not getting any better in fact I overheard the nurses saying it’s a miracle I’ve survived this long. Doctor Gerhard is no closer to perfecting the formula. I just, I have to know that you and mom will be ok. I know it’s going to suck, hell if I lost either of you. I’d be a basket case, I just couldn’t deal. But I mean after time you know, promise me that you’ll heal dad, that you won’t only focus on how bad I got in the end. Focus on all the great stuff we did together like that trip we took to Kansas City.”
“You know funny enough your mother and I were discussing this the other day. She was going through some of your old stuff and found that second place trophy you won for the speech contest.” His dad was already lost in the memory.
“Wow yeah I remember that Carina won because she talked about having diabetes and I was so mad that I didn’t talk about my asthma.” Will’s dad chuckled. Something he hadn’t heard from him in a while.
“No no that’s not the point. The point is that when we looked at it, it reminded us of all the amazing memories we’ve created and how proud we’ve been of you. I mean I remember the day you were born, I had been stuck in traffic frantically trying to find a faster way to the hospital while your mom was on the phone screaming my head off for not being there. When I finally did get to you they handed you to me after your mom’s turn of course. I couldn’t understand how we had created this perfect little thing, you were so small you fitted right in between the fold of my arm. Then you did the darndest thing, you squeezed the tip of my finger with your whole tiny hand. It was just this amazing sight to see your little pink fingers over the tip of my index finger. And I knew that day Will, that I would never let go, ever. So as much as I understand your wish, I just can’t. Surprisingly it was your mother with the strong wisdom. She said we might have to deal with losing you. She kept me anchored and told me there’s only one William, we need to celebrate that.”
They were playing the game, laying word after word at an almost unconscious level now as their conversation went on. He couldn’t remember a time before this that they had talked so much. It was an amazing feeling.
“Wait, are you sure you’re talking about the same mom here? The one that cried her eyes out yesterday because I threw one of my socks in the bin. She spent half an hour clutching that smelly thing, balling all over it. There’s no way.”
Will’s dad grinned, “I don’t know what to tell you kiddo. It’s true, maybe it’s because she lets it all out that makes her the stronger one. She’s always been my anchor especially when my father passed and she adored the man. Maybe that’s why it’s harder for us, I mean we bottle everything up until that breaking point and I know that we both have a hard time letting things go, especially the things we love the most.”
His dad just then played the word Grime, hitting him a high triple word score. “Oh snap.” Will snapped his fingers. They played a few more rounds before Will spoke again.
“At least one thing good did come from all of this.”
“You mean besides getting a girlfriend and you potentially curing cancer?” The question was rhetorical but Will grinned with his father anyway.
“Yeah, of course those things too. Justin came to visit today.”
“That mean kid who looks like a rhino? What did he want?” His dad eyes were holding a lot of anger behind them.
“He surprisingly enough wanted to apologize for everything he’s done to me and the other kids at school. He felt horrible for picking on me when he heard about my condition and it took time to muster up the courage to come see me. He said I was his favorite nerd.” Will laughed at that part of the memory remembering Justin’s facial expression.
“Wow that is surprising, So what did you tell him?”
“Well this and that but I told him he could make up for it by not beating on anymore kids, he agreed. The most important part was that we had our first real conversation ever. You know guy to guy.”
“When did you get so wise kiddo? I can barely give any of my friends advice.”
“Well you did always say it was easier to hate someone than forgive them. I’ve been choosing a lot of the hard roads lately haven’t I?” Will thought about what he said to Emma.
When the final bead was played and the score tallied up, Will’s dad won by seven points. Will loved that his dad had beaten him, it just felt right for him to get a win.
Will’s mom arrived with dinner a few minutes later announcing that she’d forgotten the drinks which his dad was only too happy to go get. She went around the room tidying up the place, “My God Will, are you determined to make this place look like your room? There’s clothes everywhere! Do you want the other patients to think I’m raising some barbarian?”
Will seemed to look at his at mother in a way that he’d never taken the time to before. He realized how much the posture of her stride contributed to her strength of character. He’d only ever seen her as mom but now she was something more, this force of nature that would do anything to protect him even if it meant letting him go.
“Have you thought about it yet?” His mom’s question caught his attention.
“Thought about what mom?” He inquired.
“Oh, you know about how the world is going to look once cancer is cured? That’s a big thing for the history books.”
His mother’s statement threw him for a loop, he’d never stopped to think about that. His parents always talked about consequences to the actions we take whether good or bad, they must be faced regardless. He spent the rest of the night pondering on what such a ‘Cured’ world would look like.
>> Found the PERFECT song for this, Watch/Listen to it Now or while reading!
This was a very memorable moment for me because of the sincere moments shared between father and son. The undeniable bond that developed between them during their many games of scrabble.
Enjoyed this? You can also read another excerpt of the book titled: The First Date
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