Jack had had this feeling for a while. Though he hadn’t been able to
quite put a name on it. There was this innate sense of longing that he couldn’t place. It didn’t make sense because everything else felt fine. Him and his husband Bitty were having quite a nice life in Providence, Bitty with his couple of cook books and youtube channel, and Jack with his hockey career. Everything was going great, but something just really felt off.
It all clicked at his 30th birthday party. Bitty had made an entire buffet spread of treats. “Nothing was too much for his man’s special day”. Friends and family there to celebrate the big day.
“Happy big 3 0 my man! What’s it like to be old now?” Shitty ragged on him while clapping him on the back.
“Not as bad as actually looking old, how’s that one working for you?”
“Har har. Good one. But really, how are you feeling?”
“Good, good. I am starting to feel a little old but I think that’s the hockey talking.” Jack laughed.
“Yeah, the sports will age you.” Shitty laughed along.
He gets lots of “happy birthdays”, opened up his presents, got a new camera along with some fun hockey bobbleheads, but all that paled in comparison to the piece de resistance of the party. The prized, glorious cake that Bitty had to his word spent hours making “just perfect”. He succeeded in that goal.
It was while taking down his 2nd, okay maybe 3rd slice of cake (it was his birthday dang it. He was gonna let himself get spoiled) where the click happened.
His cousin and him had started having a conversation about her child that she had brought with her to the party. A cute little 3 year old girl with chubby cheeks.
“Yeah, we can’t take our eyes off of this little one. One second everything’s all fine and dandy, look away once, and boom! 20 different things are all on the floor.”
They laughed as they watched the little girl walk into the couch in the living room and then get right back up on her feet like nothing had happened.
“Sounds like a lot.” Jack commented.
“Oh yeah,” she sighed. “But there are cute moments too. Along with her stuffed animals and dolls she moved two house plants and the salt and pepper shakers to her little tea party in her room!”
“She feels that plants have feelings because they’re living and she thinks the salt and pepper shakers are alive because of Blues Clues. “
“It is. But honestly the best part is seeing her grow into her own personality and wait to see who she grows to be and know that you’re helping on that ride.” A fond, warm smile spread over the mother's face. “ could you keep an eye on her while I head to the bathroom for a sec?”
“Yeah of course.”
The little girl then came up to him to ask for a piggyback ride while she shouted directions for him to steer. While playing with the little kid a warm glowing feeling started to form in Jack’s chest, and that was when that nagging feeling of his had finally made sense.
Jack wanted to be a dad.
Jack and Bitty had agreed quite a while ago that they were both open to becoming parents. However Jack didn’t know if Bitty was ready to be a parent now. But, Jack had to bite the bullet and just say it.
They had been watching a movie on the couch one weekend when he finally brought it up.
“Hey, bud.” Jack started, “can we talk about something?”
“Uh, sure.” Bitty looked at him, “what’s up?”
“Bitty, do you ever… think about us getting a kid? Like, in the very present future?” That was it, it was out there. Can’t take it back.
“Oh,” he seemed a bit surprised, which was not shocking considering the abrupt serious topic, “um, sometimes. I think it would be nice having a little one around to love. Why? You think we’re ready to have one?”
“ I think so. I think we’d be good parents.” Jack was feeling relieved. It was seeming like they were on the same page, good.
“Yeah I think we would.” Bitty was smiling brightly now. “You’re sure you think we’re ready?”
“Yeah, I think so.” Jack said softly.
It was serious mode now. Jack and Bitty started researching adoption centers and everything imaginable under the sun to know about parenting. From mommy blogs, to books, to researching child psychology. They were gonna act like college students writing a thesis for this child, dang it. It was the bare minimum the future little one deserved.
They even got a stuffed animal and practiced Parent Conversation ™ on it.
“Now,” Bitty said to the teddy bear, “ we don’t care how the cookie jar got broken, what we do care about is that you're honest with us. Now can you tell us what happened?”
The teddy bear’s head fell a little and Bitty accepted this as an answer. “Alright. We understand. We just ask that you be more careful next time.”
They took they’re parenting training seriously to say the least.
They were at the store getting stuff for what would be the child’s room. The furniture and toys were pretty easy, the standard thing but of best quality were what to get. They got the range from little trucks, to baby dolls and stuffed animals. When they child got progressively older and developed more of their own personality and interest they would buy more stuff that went with them. But for now their future kid was going to get the pick of the litter for options.
The only real debate that happened between them was what to paint the walls. Jack and Bitty could not decide between the patterns they saw. There were animals, sports things, and circus themed. They were torn. But Bitty knew what his favorite was, the precious little baby elephants.
Jack, after some convincing, agreed that the elephants were the most adorable, and therefore best option.
“We should have a really light soothing color. Like one of those colors that are scientifically proven to be calming to people. That way if they’re ever upset about anything the color will make them feel better.” Jack was feeling pretty good about his reasoning if he did say so himself.
Bitty had giggled a little. “That’s one of the cutest things I’ve ever heard you say.”
“I have my moments “ Jack said with a self satisfied grin while looking at paint swatches. “How about this light blue?”
“That’s perfect!” Bitty exclaimed.
They’re kid, would be one scientifically happy child.
The application process was an absolute nightmare, and extremely long. It took months of interviews and home visits when finally the call came.
Ecstatic was an understatement of how thrilled they were. Finally after all this wait and prep it was time. They were finally going to have a child to call their own, and to love and care for. And they couldn’t wait.
The time had finally come. They were going to go and meet their little girl. They were having a girl! The car ride there was filled with excited energy. Bitty couldn’t contain his leg bouncing in the passenger seat, and Jack had the biggest smile known to man stretched across his face.
Once they finally got to the place the finality of it really settled in like a warm blanket. It was finally here. They were officially going to be parents. And nothing after today was ever going to change that.
They met the lady who brought in their new daughter. Little 2 year old Kara. She had the roundest, brownest eyes that looked up at them in curiosity. She had shoulder length black hair with fringed bangs that hid her forehead, and was dressed in a cute yellow dress with blue flowers on it.
Jack leaned down and smiled at her. “Hi there. My name’s Jack, we’re gonna be your new dads. What’s your name?” It was the absolute gentlest tone that Jack could use to make sure the little girl was put at ease.
“I’m Kara. I’m this many.” She said holding up two fingers.
“Wow, I’m this many.” Jack said flashing his hands three times. Her eyes widened like Jack was some kind of magic being for being so old. Bitty chuckled in the background. Then he bent down to say his hello.
“Hi. I’m Your new dad too. You can call me Papa or Bitty if you like.”
Kara giggled at that. “That’s a funny name.”
“I know.” Bitty agreed.
And this was it. This was their daughter. Their beautiful little daughter who they are to care for. Everything was great.
Everyone in the family absolutely adored Kara. If the mounds of presents her grandparents got her indicated anything, it was that Kara was going to become very spoiled rotten.
Her absolute favorite toy became a giant stuffed teddy bear which she named Captain McSnuggles, and promptly never let him out of her sight. Proclaiming him her protector.
It took a good few months before Kara really felt at home in her new home. She never quite asked for much. Just kinda sticking to her doll and stuffed animals and setting up elaborate scenarios for all of them. With of course Captain McSnuggles as the hero every time. There were a lot of action scenarios with her. Once she got Bitty to help her and the Captain to defeat the “evil snake” that was attacking the kingdom.
Bitty would often bring Kara into the kitchen with him while he worked, both to keep an eye on her and to spend time with her. The web audience absolutely loved her as well, which to be fair was not hard to do. She was very lovable after all. Kara enjoyed being in the kitchen with Papa Bitty as she liked to call him, but that was mostly cuz she got to have a lot of samples of whatever it was they were cooking that day.
Jack, at any opportunity he had, was taking pictures after pictures of little Kara. The guy already had about a quarter of a photo album filled of the cutie pie. She really liked posing for the pictures a lot, Bitty joked that Jack was going to make a little diva out of her, but Jack brushed that off.
Overall little Kara was fitting into the family very well.
After Kara turned they took her to the ice rink for the very first time. Jack was ready on the ice with his phone to capture their little girls first steps on the ice.
“Alright. Easy there, easy there. Keep hold of papa’s hands. There you go sweetheart” Bitty encouraged Kara.
“Daddy! Daddy! Look I’m skating!” She yelled with the brightest smile on her face.
“Yes you are sweety, you’re a natural.” Said Jack.
They stayed there for quite a while looping and gliding about the ice. Kara was giggling the entire time, loving every second out there.
Unfortunately after a few hours they did have to return home. Kara had tried to beg for them to stay on the ice longer but it was nearing dinner time and taco night waits for no one.
While in the car driving home Kara was still blathering on about how much she loved the ice. “I wish we could live there!”
“Trust me after a while it feels like you do,” Jack replied.
Jack and Bitty shared a fond look, there was nothing like their little girl was there