STURGEON--Matthew Bruce watches SpongeBob SquarePants to remember his 16-month-old son Brenden Bruce, who lives in Huntsville.
Matthew, 22, lives and works as a welder in Las Vegas. He grew up in Moberly but regularly visits his mother in Sturgeon, a northern Boone County town, population 837.
While visiting, Matthew is able to periodically see Brenden, who lives with Matthew’s former fiancee in Huntsville.
On a recent Thursday afternoon, the sun highlighted the father and son pair as they walked to the back of the white-painted home, Brenden’s small hand clutching his father’s index finger.
On this visit, it was the first time Matthew saw his son walk.
“I am so proud of him,” Matthew said as he raised his son into the air, Brenden’s face lit by the sun breaking through the trees.
“You mean the world to your daddy,” he told Brenden.
Matthew said he has had run-ins with the law but found motivation to change after Brenden’s birth.
“After he was born, I changed,” he said.
“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have done anything,” he said. “I haven’t even gotten a speeding ticket since he was born.”