We are at our place on Jekyll Island again. Grace’s boyfriend was here for a week and the family took him to the airport on Saturday morning so he could catch his flight home. The children asked for Chinese food; we ended up at a Japanese place in Brunswick. Seth and Sarah constantly ask for ramen (they watch manga) and were thrilled to get some.
Rich had a massage scheduled at a place on St. Simons Island, so as we were waiting for the kids to eat the rest of their food, he took the car in order to get to his appointment on time. The children and I took the opportunity to stay in Brunswick so we could shop for Father’s Day (which was the next day).
We finished up our food and walked across steaming hot parking lots to Target.
Why is it when a woman is in Target with five children and knows she’s stuck there for two hours, that she automatically is done with it all within half an hour?
Grace and Brittnee had their own ideas for gifts, and I asked Sarah (a card), Seth (a digital weight scale) and Caleb (a dad trophy) to each pick out something for their Dad.
He ended up with so many gifts that I made a comment on how he got way more than I did for Mother’s Day. (teasing).
Right after I said it the girls put their heads together and said things under their breath like, “We buy her things all the time, don’t listen to her, it’s totally fair, we never buy Dad anything, she’s spoiled…” and so on. It filled my heart with joy that they stood their ground, and they WERE right. I laughed and took a photo.
I was amused, but also tired out and a little snippy (not about the gifts, but just because I was tired and done and hot and wanting to go home). I was even snippy to the lady taking my order at the Starbucks in Target. Then, being an empath, I felt guilty for it and felt like a bad person. But she didn’t need to ask me so many pointless questions to try to understand why I needed a side of cream for my latte (there are NO pitchers of cream left out for customers anymore, ya know?). I like to top it off, okay? Am I that confusing for asking for a little cream in a cup? The regular Starbucks do it cheerfully without question!
So we got done with our shopping and left the store because there is NO place to sit indoors in public places anymore, ya know?
We found one bench under a tree in the shade and sat there to wait for their Dad to return.
Seth wandered off and found a bees nest.
He also stood on top of the Target ball;
Sarah cried because she needed water so I asked Grace to take her inside to buy some (there are no public water fountains anymore, ya know?)
Brittnee pretended to push the cart into the street to see what I would do. (I got more anxious).
Sarah and Grace came back and after Sarah revived she asked to go to Petsmart which was a few stores down the plaza so I asked Caleb to take her. “Why do I always have to take her?” “Because, Caleb, Jacob had his turn, Ethan had his turn, Grace had her turn, David had his turn, now it’s your turn.” (sibling age-order of responsibility). He didn’t argue with that (Thank goodness) and off they went, only to return 10 minutes later, “Mom! Mom! there’s a kitten!” “Can you come see it?” No way was I moving myself off the shade covered bench, so I sent Grace and Seth ran off to see it, too. We all miss our cats back home and have been wanting a kitten ever since we got here (a month ago). I told the children to be on the lookout for a feral kitten to adopt off the island but no luck. They looked in Petsmart before, but on that day there were no kittens. But on Saturday, June 20, their luck finally improved.
Brittnee was alarmed, she knew like they all knew that their Dad had said no to a kitten, but I was in that perfect *mood* to do what I wanted to do. She stayed behind with me and took a call, she wanted no part of the kitten adventure.
We also took a selfie.
Soon, Grace and Seth came running back, “Mom! It’s so cute, she said we could have it for 25 dollars!”
I handed over my credit card and wallet and they were astounded, followed by instant and joyful glee. Seth took his flip flops off so he could keep up with Grace as they ran back to Petsmart as fast as they could go.
And then Rich arrived, all relaxed from his massage. We loaded up the purchases and hopped into the air conditioned car.
“Where are the others?”
“Oh they will be right back, they are in Petsmart.”
(This is where I would have known right away what was happening, but he is so trusting, so honest and pure, that he had NO suspicion of wrongdoing.)
Grace came running back, again. This time with a clipboard that I had to sign in order to adopt the kitten.
He yelled. “WE ARE NOT GETTING A KITTEN!”
I didn’t know what to do so I signed the paper and Grace left looking worried but determined.
I sound like such a terrible wife, but I know my husband and this family better than they know themselves. I KNEW without a shadow of doubt, that we needed a kitten. And I knew from experience, that my husband would come around.
“NO! I TOLD YOU NO, I TOLD EVERYONE NO! SARAH ASKED JUST YESTERDAY AND I TOLD HER NO!”
“YOU ALREADY HAVE THREE CATS AT HOME, WHY DO YOU NEED ANOTHER ONE?”
“I’M TIRED OF SPENDING HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS ON CATS!”
To each claim, I countered.
He sat there, looking out his window, and trying not to smile.
We drove down to Petsmart so the kids didn’t have to walk back AGAIN in the heat.
waited and waited
And they came out triumphantly, all in a row, Seth carrying a litter box and cat food, and Caleb carrying a cardboard box with a kitten inside it.
Rich continued to look very disturbed, but melted just a tiny bit when we realized the kitten was already spayed and he wouldn’t have to pay for that. She had all her shots, too.
“And they gave us coupons for the litter and the cat food.”
The kitten was pulled out of her box as soon as the doors were shut to the car.
“IT’S NOT EVEN CUTE.” he remarked.
We went home. Everyone wanted kitten time and I ended up having to set my timer in thirty minute increments.
my turn was short changed and also I wasn’t left alone with her. 🙂
The kids are IN LOVE.
Sarah being consoled because it was Seth’s turn next.
By the end of the day, someone else even had a turn.
“This kitten is skin and bones. I think she’s cold.”
He has so much grace and forgiveness for his wife and family.
We all see it. We all love him. We all want to please him.
On Sunday morning, he opened his numerous gifts as we sat and watched. He opened each one carefully and thankfully, ending with a note from Brittnee, who thanked him for being the Dad she never had, and asking him to dance the Father/Daughter dance at the wedding next year. “Of course, Brittnee, of course I will,” he gently said.
“This day is special because of you all, you know that, right?” he started to cry a little. “You are the ones who make this a wonderful day for me.”
It was such a pure and tender moment, time stood still for a moment, and several of us also shed a companionable and understanding tear or two.
He works so hard as the rest of us spend our days having fun in paradise.
He wouldn’t have it any other way and resentment is never part of his character.
I look up to him and respect who he is. I wish I could be more like him.
He comforts me and protects me.
In return, he has the love and respect of a family of ten………….
…….and, a kitten.