As it happened, they didn’t wake until they felt the bump when we landed. “We are almost home, boys.”
With the plane parked, we were ready to get off. Jimmy handed each boy an egg croissant. Peter was there with the Limo. As soon as we cleared customs, I was surprised only to see Steven.
“Where are the rest of the boys?”
“They are waiting for you at home. Hi, I’m Steven.” As Steven introduced himself to the boys, they introduced themselves to Steven. The boys rode in the back. I rode up front with Peter.
“I have orange juice for the boys in the back.”
“Does Steven know?”
“Ok, he’ll offer it to them I’m sure.”
“I was surprised to see three special boys. Maria told me one just lost his mom.”
“Yes, it was his sister, but she raised him. The poor woman worked herself into the grave. She died of cancer. What is happening at the house?”
“I have never seen so many contractors and carpenters work on a building as I have seen at the house. They are all over like ants. Poor Maria, she has worked hard in keeping the boys away. She doesn’t want them to get hurt.”
“She works hard, I’m going to have to give her a vacation.”
“I don’t think she’d take it.”
“You’re probably right. I think she believes she’s the boys’ grandmother.”
Peter and I talked a little more about the work. “You cleaned out the garage?”
“Only partly, we wanted you to see before we threw stuff away. There were a lot of clothes, those we gave to the recycling store in town. Some of the other boxes contained knick knacks, Maria said you might want to keep them. Besides all of the boxes, once we were able to move some of them out, there was a door in the back of the garage. We thought it led outside, but it leads to an apartment over the garage. I claimed that as my space.”
I chuckled, “I’m embarrassed. I never really looked at everything. I bought the property for the house, that I did see, and obviously, I didn’t see all of that either. It wasn’t a few weeks ago when the boys showed me the conservatory.”
When you chit chat, you never really pay attention to the road or the time. Peter pulled into the driveway, tooted the horn before we came to a stop, the front door flew open, the boys rushed out, Maria following. Steven led the boys, introduced them to Maria and then to the boys. They all headed into the house, leaving Maria on the porch with Peter and me.
“Peter, just set the bags inside, I’ll take mine. Maria, I could use a good cup of coffee.”
I took my suitcase to my bedroom and then went to the kitchen for my coffee. I sat at the breakfast bar, as usual, while the boys were entertaining their new brothers.
“There’s always excitement when you come home.”
“Yes, I’m glad that they welcome the new boys. Harry has had a hard time. He lost his mother just before flying here. I promised him we’d go back when the stone was ready.”
“Do you ever think of the suffering you stop when you bring a boy home?”
“No, I think sometimes I save someone from a life of hurt. I wish I could save more.”
“Have you seen the architect’s plans? You might just get your wish.”
“Speaking about that, I need to sort out sleeping arrangements.”
“You don’t have to do that. The boys have already done that. Get ready; someone is heading your way.”
I looked out of the corner of my eye; there was Charlie with a big smile. I pretended I didn’t see him. He climbed on the chair next to mine and then launched himself at me, landing in my arms. He was all smiles, “Did you miss me?”
“Yes, I had to sleep all by myself”
“You did. No one would let you sleep with them, not even David?”
“I do not. Don’t listen to him, Dad. He slept in your bed.”
“Did you sleep in my bed and not yours?” Smiling, he nodded his head, yes. I just hugged him more.
Now that David spoke out, the other boys came and welcomed me home. I watched Harry, Paul, and Nick. They were the last in line.
“The boys said we could call you Dad, is that right?”
“Yes, you can call me Dad if you want to. I would like the four of you to call me Dad.”
Nick looked at me, “I never had a Dad. Some of my friends said their dad was mean. Are you going to be mean?”
“You need to ask your brothers, they’ll tell you.”
“I guess I shouldn’t call you Gov any more.”
“Is that what you want to do?”
“Yes, I like the sound of Dad. Gov is the name we give to any bloke.” I smiled and reached around Charles and hugged him.
Paul just looked and nodded yes,
“Gram, have you sorted out the kitchen help yet?”
“Yes, David is going to help cook, and Chris is going to help clean up. They agreed that will be a rotating chore, and Chris is first.”
“How about sleeping arrangements?”
“I got that Dad, Mathew will continue to share my room, Ronnie and Cliff will share their rooms, and Charlie’s room is available.”
“Where is Charlie going to sleep?”
“Where he’s most nights, in your bed.”
I looked at Maria. I didn’t think it was appropriate for the boys to share my bed.
“Anthony, you are the same age as Charles. Would you share your bed with him?”
“I’ll share your bed with him.”
How did I get into this? I didn’t want any of the boys sharing my bed with me, of course, if they have a nightmare or something, but that’s different.
I’m going to have to give this a little thought.
I had a late lunch. The boys had eaten earlier. I was looking over the blueprints. The design of the bedrooms were quite different. They were narrower than what we had now, but they seemed functional. The draw for the kids, each room had a small balcony. Of curse, what did I worry about? What if one fell.
Steven stopped at my office, “Dad, what do you think about the layout?”
“It’s a little different. The beds will have to be narrower. You know, since each room is the same, why don’t you try your hand at laying out a room. You need everything you have in your room now.”
“Why don’t we make a contest out of it?”
“And the winner gets?”
“Their choice of a dog”
“Steven, as much as I like dogs, each boy will want their own dog. That’s too many, right now we have 11 boys, that’s a lot of dogs.”
“We would take care of them.”
“I know you’ll take care of them and probably do an excellent job. You know they’ll need a place to run safely. You won’t be able to have them in the house. If they came into the house and had an accident, who’s going to clean it up, the dog owner or owners. What if they aren’t here when it happens? It wouldn’t be fair to ask Gram to clean it up.”
“Don’t rule it out. Let me talk it over with the guys.”