I don't own TMNT, okay?
My sons look to me for guidance and knowledge. As a teacher and a father, I will always be there for them. They have learned so much in these many years we have been together. But what my sons do not know is that I learn as much from them as they do from me. I remember one day in particular, years ago. I was with one of my sons that day. We had been coming back from a very unsuccessful outing for supplies. He could not have been more than three years of age. So strange, it seemed. I was but a simple pet rat not too long ago. Now I had become something much more...
I could sense the little turtle that had accompanied me had fallen behind and I turned to see what was keeping him. He was leaning over the lip of the walk way, starring in awe at what appeared to be the iridescent reamnace of motor oil in the water below.
"Be carful, little one", I called, "Stay close."
He looked up at me and smiled. That smile...so innocent.
"Kay, Mas'er Spwiner." He said, hurrying over to me.
So strange... This little child had taken to me so quickly. He had identified me as his father without question. I, however, still pondered what fate had in mind that day I stumbled upon those four baby turtles. After all, I had no idea how to raise a child. I was born a rat and as such had no natural paternal instincts. I had to fend for myself most of my life. That is, until I met my beloved Yoshi...
A bright stream of light shook me from my musings. It was an uncovered manhole. Daylight poured down brightly through the opening, illuminating the tunnel. Light, although beautiful and useful at times, is not a ninja's friend.
"We must hurry", I whispered, "Stick to the shadows."
"Kay." Came the child's reply. Then suddenly-
I quickly turned around, slightly startled at the sudden outcry. The toddler stood under the open manhole we had just past under, his hands scrubbing furiously at his eyes.
"What is it, my son?", I asked, kneeling in front of him, "Is there something in your eye?"
His head shook up and down from behind his hands.
"Uh huh. Dat." He mumbled, pointing upward.
I squinted against the bright light in the direction he had shown me.
"I see nothing, my son." I said.
"Dat, dat!", He pointed upward again, "I's too bright, Mas'er Spwiner! Hur's! In my eye!"
I finally understood...and my heart sank. Had this really been his first time seeing it?
"You mean the sun?", I asked, "The sun is in your eyes?"
"Huh?", He let his hands drop away from his face and gave me a quizzical look, "I's me in my eye?"
"No, no.", I said, "The sun is what that light is."
He seemed to take this information in slowly. After some time his face scrunched up into an annoyed scowl.
"Wait da mint", He said with a pout, "You call me 'son' a'weady. How's dat 'son' too?"
"That is a different kind of sun." I explained.
"Y'mean dere's more than one 'son'?" He asked, tilting his head to one side.
"Do I not also call your brothers 'son'?" I questioned.
He gave a defeated sigh.
"I don' geddit.", He huffed, "Wha's the diff'ence tween me and him?"
I stared at him for some time. How to explain to one so young. For one, the sun is not a he, it is an it; a star burning billions of miles away in space. 'Sun' is also spelled completely different from 'son'. Yet, as I looked back at my child, his hand pointing upward still and his face contorted with confusion, I realized that logical reasoning would never do. And then a new thought came to mind. This child would never spend a day in the sun. He would never be able to walk or play freely in the daylight. He would have to spend his whole life shrouded in darkness. A secret from the world. My heart sank once again, but only for a moment. For I knew that through all adversity came strength. I knew that one day he would become stronger than even I. He would rise above all opposition that faced him and give aid to those in need. He would be his own beacon to the dark life he lead. He and his brothers, together. I gently placed my hands on his shoulders and looked into his eyes.
"The difference, my son, is that you shine far brighter."
His hand slowly dropped back down to his side and his face slowly melted into that genuine smile of his. His eyes sparkled with glee. A giggle was his reply. I smiled.
"Now then," I said straightening up, "We had better hurry home. There's no telling what your brothers may be up to."
He giggled again at that and clasped both of his tiny hands around one of mine.
I cannot explain the feeling I felt in that moment. As I walked hand in hand with him, it felt as though my heart had swelled inside my chest to the point I thought it would burst. It was as if I were with Master Yoshi once more...only more so than that. Yes, I had become something much more than a pet rat. I had become something more than anything beyond my wildest dreaming...
I had become a father.
If you're wondering who the little turtle tot in the story is...well, it's whoever you want it to be, actually. haha
Although, I had Michelangelo in mind while I was writing it...