Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit + Giveaway - Tal Bauer

Tal Bauer stopped by the stables today to tell us the most lovely of stories!

My child reaches for the lights like he can touch them, hold them in his hand. A billion sparks of light dance around the room, stars across the universe transported into his bedroom. He wants to hold them, cradle each in his palm. The stars are like dreams to him, each one a possibility, a hope, a future he could have. It’s just a nightlight, a thing I bought on an airport layover. I saw it, and I thought of him.

Am I doing the right things? Am I being the best father I can be? Have I built a world for my son where any of those dreams can come true? Does he believe in himself, the way I believe in him?

What does my son see when he looks at me? Does he see a man who chased his own dreams? A man who refused to let the world tell him no? Does my son see me the same way I see myself? Am I the good guy? Am I my son’s knight in shining armor, the hero of the story?

Or am I shadow, the spaces between the lights? The dark parts, the scary part of the story that must be endured? Am I everything that is different, a constant, ceaseless reminder that he isn’t like the other boys in school. He is the boy with the daddy who likes other men.

Is my son happy?

Is living my life the best way I can hurting my son? Have I been too selfish? Will my choices end up harming him? Will he be able to reach for all his dreams, capture all his wonder, or will he always be held back by the shadows?

My son waves his hands throughout the lights, a surfer through the stars, trying to glide on beams of light that slip off his skin. He giggles, and then rolls to his knees. Crawls toward me, and then into my lap. There is nothing, not a single thing in the world, that feels more like love than your child curling into your arms, safe in your hold.

“Reminds me of you, daddy,” he says softly.

“What?” I press my face to his hair. I frown.

“You shine like this.” My son presses into me, relaxing. He goes boneless, curling deeper into me.

“I do?” Have I spilled glitter on myself inadvertently? Come home with a few errant sparkles? What trauma have I inflicted on my son now?

“Your smile like this. You’re happy. And it looks like this.” His hand waves through the lights again, and he giggles.

If I speak, if I say one word, if I even open my mouth, I’ll fall apart. I’ll break in two, sobbing until I can’t breathe, and if I haven’t scarred my son yet, that will be an indelible memory for him for sure. I cling to him, smelling his hair, his skin, the warmth of his little body. This tiny human that is a part of me, a slice of my own life, my identity. He knows me too well, it seems. Better than I realize.

I made a choice, and I’ve lived with it, with everything that choice to come out brought down upon me. But I want happiness in my life, as much as I can stand, as much as I can take in before I burst. I want to drown in joy, envelop myself in wonder like these lights have enveloped us. I want that, not just for me, but for my son. For what my life will be, for the both of us, when that day comes.

My son can look at me and see that I am happy, now. I will be happier in the future, too. We will be happier, together. One day, as a family.

Out of everything, this is the best thing I will have ever done as a father: show him what true happiness is, and give him a father who reached for that happiness, that joy, in his life. No matter what. 

 *sigh* Wasn't that just delightful?  Be sure to let Tal know what you thought of his fic in the comments below!

About the Author:

 Tal Bauer is an award-winning and best-selling author of LGBT romantic thrillers, bringing together a career in law enforcement and international humanitarian aid to create dynamic characters, intriguing plots, and exotic locations. He is happily married and lives with his husband and their Basset Hound in Texas. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.


 Oh, you guys are gonna LOVE this giveaway!  Enter to win a Super Secret GRL 2017 Mystery Prize Box full of books and swag from this year's GayRomLit retreat!  Giveaway ends 12/3 @ Midnight EST.  Good luck!

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  1. Beautiful fic! Just simply beautiful.

  2. So heartwarming and beautifully told!


  3. I enjoyed this ficlet, thank you for sharing

  4. WOW! Talk about beautifully captivating. <3

  5. Thank you for sharing this fic

  6. That was beautiful. I'm going to share it with my daughter who just came out and hope it inspires her to be happy with all of the choices she will make. Thank you.

  7. This is beautiful,Tal. Thanks so much!

  8. Well that was lovely! Thank you for sharing :)

  9. Beautiful. Made me teary. Thanks for sharing with us

  10. Beautiful! Brought tears to my eyes. And so right about holding your child in your lap.

  11. Thanks for the nice short, Tal. I guess every parent has such doubts, and such hopes. But being true to yourself will certainly help. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  12. Beautiful fic. Thank you for the post.

  13. heartwarming ficlet....loved it!

  14. Very lovely and sweet.

  15. Beautiful and heartwarming fic. Thank you for sharing and making my heart grow a few sizes.