It was late but the large grocery stores stayed open till 9 at night. Pete took the shopping cart, Joey walked next to me. As it turned out, we needed a lot more than just our menu for tomorrow night. “Pete, Joey take the cart and get what we need, I’ll meet you at the meat counter.”
I never bought a roast, as I was looking at the various meat, I must have shown that I was way out of my element. The butcher asked if I needed help. I told him about guests and my sons said their grandmother made the best roast beef. “How many for dinner?”
“Three adults and two teenagers” “
You’ll need at least a 4-pound roast. The best is this, prime rib. You’ll need at least 5 ribs, I’d suggest 6 or 7 ribs. You could always use the leftover for sandwiches.”
I must have had a dazed look on my face. He wrapped the meat, “Here take this, it’ll tell you how to cook this roast.”
I thanked him and then went to look for my boys. It felt great to say that, my boys. I found them in the fruit section, “Dad, can we get some of those. That lady said they were good to eat.”
“Yes, take two, and take two of those.” Checking what else they had in the cart, “Pete, we need lettuce. We can get some frozen vegetables as well.” That was a mistake.
They saw frozen berries, “Jim, we use to pick those at the farm.” So I added another bag.
There were a few other items we needed that the boys hadn’t got. Laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and bathroom supplies. On the way out, the boys stopped at the pastry counter, doughnuts, cupcakes, and bread went into the cart. They passed up the cookies, I didn’t mention that. At the checkout counter, the boys packed as the food was rung up.
“Pete, don’t put the eggs in the bottom.”
He looked at me, “We didn’t buy any eggs.”
“I know but I hear a lot of parents tell their kids that when they are packing their grocery bag.”
Joey’s chickens have started to provide us with eggs. That old rooster finally figured out what his job was. On the way home, we stopped for ice cream. As I watched them eat their ice cream, I could get used to this easily.
Arriving home, unloaded the car, food put away, “Dad, can we have a snack?”
“You just had ice cream.”
“Yes, that wasn’t a snack.”
“Okay, what’s a snack?”
“A cup of hot chocolate with a few cookies”
“Okay, go and get ready for bed, I’ll fix you a snack.” The hot chocolate would be okay, but the cookies they didn’t need. I added some mints to their hot chocolate, this would be different. I cut up one of the melons and set that out, they could have that.
The boys came down in their pajama bottoms. Ever since they saw what I wore, they wanted to wear the same thing. I watched Joey, he looked, then looked at me. “No cookies, too much sugar at this time of the night is not good for you. Try the melon, you’ll like it.”
They did and the smiles told me they liked it. “Jim, can we grow these?”
“I think we can try.” I had discarded the seeds. I watched as they sipped their hot chocolate.
“Jim, what did you put in our hot chocolate?”
“Do you like it?”
“Yes, what is it?”
The smiles were rewards enough. I also realized that all hot chocolates from now on would require mints.
Snacks over, the boys headed to bed, “What book are you going to read to us tonight?”
From the time I started reading to them, it became a nightly event. “We finished Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, let’s check the office to see what books I have.”
I had several books based on history, even some books from when I was a kid. “Let’s try this book. If you don’t like it, we can select another book.” I had picked one of my favorites by Zane Gray. That night when I hugged the boys' goodnight, it was different. I hugged my sons.
The next morning I was reading the directions the butcher gave me for the rib roast when Pete and Joey showed ups in their pajamas. “What are you reading Dad?”
“Good morning boys, I’m reading directions on how to cook our dinner tonight. Ready for breakfast?”
“Yes, can we have hot chocolate?”
I chuckled as I knew this would be their favorite drink from now on. I made a mental note to buy more mints. Pete watched me as I made their hot chocolate. When I was about to add the mint, I gave him one. Then I had to give one to Joey as well. I was learning. Breakfast was oatmeal and Pete fixed that. I watched just in case he needed help. That is what I told him. When it was ready, I told him to add some of the berries to it. He did and they liked that. Now I knew mints and frozen or fresh berries would be on my weekly list, I was learning.
“If you get dressed while I clean up, you can come to the office with me.”
“We don’t have a suit.”
“You don’t need one today. We’ll have to buy suits.”
I thought that would be a good idea when we have to go before a judge to finalize the adoption. I’ll ask Lenny tonight about the timing.
The boys came down dressed, “Dad, what about our studies?”
“Take your computers with you. You can set them up in my office.”
“Pete, it’s a little chilly. You should get Joey and your sweaters. Soon we’ll have snow and you’ll need a heavy coat. If we have time today, we can shop for a winter coat.”
Pete went to get their sweaters, Joey was in the car waiting. I was going to be a little late this morning, I don’t think the boss will mind.