After all of the older kids were off to school, and I was off to work, he decided he would give his last son a birthday cake, and he and Kenny celebrated his birthday while all of us were out.
Happy Birthday Kenny!
Our youngest now looked so grown up! He was excited about school and asked Ken a million questions about the teachers, riding the bus and especially making friends. He even asked if he could bring friends home from school if he wanted. No doubt about it, Kenny was a Friendly boy.
My first day back to work went well. I had even volunteered for some overtime work over the next few days. I planned on forging ahead, full speed to my next promotion. Now that I was an elder, I realized that there was no time to waste. I gave every task at work my full effort, and it didn't take long to realize that my full effort took more effort than it used to. I tired easily now, and by quitting time, I was exhausted.
As soon as the kids were home from school, they all started in on their homework. Grace asked me if I'd help read the numbers to her on her math assignment. Even though her glasses were the strongest we could get her she still mixed up the numbers sometimes. But what she lacked in physical abilities, she made up for in diligent effort. I had no doubt that she would make the honor roll soon.
Alex made everyone salad for dinner that night, it was great that the kids would each take turns making family meals, without being asked.
Before bedtime we made sure we put Kenny's new bed up in his room. He wasn't thrilled that he had to have the nursery as his room, he thought he was going to get to move into his big brothers' room. He didn't understand why there wasn't enough room for him too. I promised I'd make it up to him, and we'd buy something really nice for his room after Grace's birthday, when we had the money.
The next morning was more hectic than any other morning we'd had in our family, because everyone had somewhere to be today. All of our children would be in school now, Ken was going fishing, and I had work. Our dining room table was cluttered with everyone's breakfast dishes, and the kids were trying to finish their homework before the bus came.
"Holy cow, what happened in here? Was everyone so busy they couldn't take their dish to the dishwasher?"
I grumbled about it a little more before I sat and ate my own breakfast.
Kenny was going on and on about school, talking poor Logan's ear off about how excited he was to be a big kid like him now. After I finished my plate, I realized I had only a few minutes to get dressed before work, so I hurried off to get ready.
While we were all dashing out the door, I saw that Logan stopped and cleaned every dish in the house.
I tried to take it a little easier at work today, because afterward I was planning on running some errands for my boss, and I wanted to keep up my energy. My first stop? The business office. We had been waiting on some important medical supplies that haven't been delivered, so I went strait to the company offices to inquire about them.
The man I talked to there said that the hold up wasn't with the delivery, but with the approval to use the items here in Sunset Valley, which went through City Hall. He gave me the name of the guy in charge of those approvals, Luke Sheldon. All I needed to to was talk to him, that should get things back on schedule. This was wonderful news, because I knew Luke! He's Aria's long-time boyfriend!
I happened to find Luke at the beach across from our house! I went up said Hello and we spent some time catching up, come to find out, Aria and Luke had a baby girl! Her name is Tabitha and she's just a little bit younger than Kenny.I was excited that I was an Aunt after all this time! I hoped I could make time to go meet my new niece. After that, I started to explain the dilemma of the medical supplies when I heard a familiar groan from across the beach.
Sure enough, there was a young man suffering from nausea. I swear, this town needs to look into the water supply or something, because there were cases of nausea everywhere I went!
I had him feeling better in no time, and it might have actually been a good thing my medical skills were called upon, because it happened to impress Luke, who was watching the whole thing.
Once I sent the boy on his way, Luke and I picked up where we left off. Although he was eager to help clear things up for me, he said there was a crucial file he needed in order to ok the supplies and so far it hasn't reached his desk yet. He said if I could go locate the files myself, that would move the process along faster, and I could bring the files to his office, and it would be a done deal! Whew! What a relief. I was exhausted and headed for home.
When I came home I had every intention on going straight to bed, I had even put my nightgown on, but Logan stopped me.
"Mom, do you think you could help me with my homework tonight?"
Where do I start with what surprised me about Logan's request? The fact that he called me Mom? That was a first! Or, that he wanted my help with homework? Ever since Logan started high school, he has been uninterested in doing homework. I could count on one hand how many times I saw him actually pull out his homework notebook.
I'll never forget that look of acceptance on his face when I said, "Sure, Logan, I'd love to!"
As I watched Logan fill out his Vocabulary paper, with the occasional glance up at me to see if he was correct, I realized Logan was a whiz at Vocabulary. I don't even think he really needed my help. I also noticed he called me 'Mom' three more times as he showed me his work. It was apparent Logan was finally ready to accept me as his parent. No amount of sleep was worth missing this simple, yet monumental moment in Logan's life.
The minute my eyes were open the next morning, I picked up my medical journal and started reading. I wanted to make sure I had the next volume read by time for work.
I had to stifle a chuckle as I came downstairs and saw what Kenny was wearing to school."Hey, Kenny, ready for school?"
"Yep! I'm helping with a science experiment today! I love science!"
"Wow, I can see that."
Things were never dull around here, that's for sure.
I made an appointment with the City Hall records department to search for those files Luke Sheldon had asked for, and wouldn't be able to get in for a couple of days. So I focused on what I could- working on my logic, reading medical journals, and keeping my boss happy. We were close to being friends, even, I think.
I would have probably felt bad for not spending as much time with my kids, but they were actually just as busy as I was pursuing their own interests and staying on top of homework.
And, although it was an adjustment for Ken to not be home with children, he eventually started up hobbies of his own. He enjoyed fishing, and he had bought books on gardening, and was planning out a garden for our back yard.
Gracie's days of childhood came to an end. That evening, she became a teen!
Happy Birthday Gracie!
I don't think she realized how beautiful she had become. Unlike Mikinna, however, she had no interest in boys, only in making honor roll in high school. In the coming days, Grace proved that behind those mesmerizing blue eyes, was a Genius brain, she even amazed her teachers with her advanced capabilities.
After Grace went upstairs to get ready for bed, Ken and I talked as quietly as we could about the idea of getting a car, like Grace wanted. It would have to be more for shared use amongst all of us but we'd let Grace know that she could take it with her when she grew up and moved out. The problem was, we were not sure if we could swing the full cost of the car. Alex, who had been listening this whole time, then spoke up.
"Hey, I think I can help. I've been saving part of my paycheck for a car, I wouldn't mind chipping in for the family car with the money I've saved up."
"Oh, Alex, that's so sweet of you, but I don't want you to have to do that. We want to let Gracie keep the car, since that's all she's ever asked us for, and that wouldn't be fair to you, you'll probably be leaving the nest first anyways, and you might need that money."
"No, it's cool, I'm really happy to do it. It will be a while before I'd have enough to buy my own car, this way I can have a car to use when I need it sooner. I'm cool with Gracie keeping it. I know how much she loves cars."
"Well, if you're sure, then ok! Won't Gracie be surprised!"
And, in the middle of the night, we had the car delivered, to be a surprise to Grace when she woke up. It was by no means a fancy car, but at least it was Grace's favorite color, Black! I couldn't wait to see her face in the morning!
Unfortunately, it looked like I'd miss the big moment, because I got called into the hospital in the wee morning hours for an emergency. I ended up staying there all the way through my work shift. I am ashamed to admit it, but I after working those early morning hours, I was good for nothing during my next shift. I guess the little hours of sleep I was getting, along with my aging body were making this job more and more of a challenge. I just couldn't keep up the pace that I used to!
To make up for my bad day, I told them I'd take on the free health clinic the next day at the cemetery. I knew I should probably listen to my body, and slow down, but I knew I was so close to my next promotion, I just couldn't bring myself to take a break. I was going to make it to top surgeon, even if it killed me!