It is all about the little things.

To be fair, Stan is not always fond of the idea. To a man who built himself in the shadows, constrained by the title of failure from the start, fame never really loses its appeal.

He can still tell when something he did was worth it. And when life shows him, in subtle daily acts, he never fails to notice – notoriety is not the best it has to offer.

He has changed. When he tries to object to the thought, still awake in the half-light of the moon, he cannot find a single argument. The weirdest part of it all, actually, is that he never knew it was happening.

So little time, Stan muses. No more than a few weeks, and he has risked it all for someone new. Someone else, for the first time – someone almost stranger, but more grateful than him for sure.

It doesn’t even end there. It has already happened more than once. Stan is fondly aware of it.

When it came to them, the sturdy defenses his life taught him to have fell pretty fast. He is hardly surprised. Who could resist those kids?

He did not see it coming, that is true. He was changed all the same. And if there was no way for him to notice, it must have happened little by little.

He knew from the moment the crowd was cheering for him. He had come a long way, if he could care less for a rush of popularity than the safety of the little bodies in his arms.

Maybe he is closer to a public hero, now. The kind of jerk who helps old people cross the road to end up in the news. But he finds, after craving a little attention for so long, that he cares nothing for being one or not.

The importance is elsewhere, and Stan can see that. It all lies in the heroic deeds of every day. Cooking breakfast for someone who lights up at the sight of your pancakes. Telling lame jokes they hate, and have fun all the same. Having enough strength, after life beat you up to the bones, to lift a little body and carry it on your shoulders.

All things considered, being a failure of a mayor could never compare to hearing them laugh.

Not that the idea will stop him from acting stupid, he grumpily thinks before falling asleep. But he learnt the lesson, and doesn’t want to not forget – the smallest acts can brighten a whole day.

The fabric band on his chair is there to prove him right.

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