I shut the door. Glen and I sat in the living room. “I hope that Frankie makes it. Don said he had some serious internal problems from the beatings. How can a father beat his son so bad that he may die.”
“Better yet, why beat him in the first place. That boy is going to need a lot of positive love.”
“We have that. Kevin, we need to think about these boys, we now have two sons and soon we’ll add five more.I know what you’re thinking about Frankie and Stevie. Can we continue to bring these boys into our family?”
“Glen, what can we do but not bring them into our family. I can’t turn them out and back on the streets. We have the means to support these boys and they aren’t a problem. Soon we’ll find ourselves alone, kids grow up fast. Next year, Scott and Travis will be in college. The boys in grade school will be in high school and then time flies and soon it will be just the two of us.”
“I don’t want to become so involves we forget about ourselves. We need time for ourselves as well.”
“Yes, we do. I worked too hard to get you to marry me to lose you now. We are not the only people who have big families and if they demand too much of our time, we’ll hire help. Although, I don’t think that’ll happen. David already has Adam as a personal responsibility and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t soon add Peter to his special concern.” I gave Glen a kiss and took him by my the hand to our bedroom. I felt he needed some special attention today and I was ready to give it to him.
The five thirty alarm went off, I was still thinking work and quickly got out of bed, disturbing Glen as I did, so now he was up as well. “Did you forget that today is the first day of your three week vacation?”
“Yes, I did but I’m up now so let’s go and workout. “
We followed our normal morning routine. After showering, we check on the kids in the workout room and noted Stevie and Robby working out under Andy’s eye. We went and dressed casually, “Glen, where is that birthday chart? And when you get a chance send up Stevie and Robby, might as well add them to the chart.”
“You said you had a job for Stevie, where?”
“At the Wharf, he can help Mary, clean the rooms and bus tables. Better than the street.”
“Have you talked to Mary about this?”
“No, but I will today when we come back from shopping.” Glen looked at me as if I may be counting my eggs before I had chickens.
Glen brought the boys upstairs, I told them I was working on a birthday chart and I wanted to include them. They told me their dates, I added them and then I printed off a chart for each boy.
I could smell someone frying bacon, so with the various copies I went to the kitchen to see who was cooking breakfast. There was Glen and Scott cooking. I took a cup of coffee and soon had someone else on my lap. “Morning little one, ready for breakfast?”
“Un huh, I worked out this morning.”
“Yes, when you work out you get hungry.”
How could anyone turn away a six year old? Glen needn’t worry about the number of boys that hang here as friends or as sons, I had decided when Scott came, I would never turn a child away. I just hope Glen doesn’t leave me.
It wasn’t long before the dining room doors were opened as the boys brought their breakfast with them. Each had one pancake and one egg with bacon on their plate. I just took the egg with toast and one piece of bacon.
“I have a birthday chart for everyone here. We’re going shopping today, to buy birthday presents for everyone on the list. So it’s going to be a fun day.”
“Dad, we need more paint supplies, can we get that also?”
“Sure, make sure you get what you need also Travis.”
“Dad, can we look for more books?”
“Sure but they might make a nice birthday present and then the boy can donate them to the library for all to use.”
“I need more clothes, some of my clothes are getting tight, can we get clothes today as well.”
“Sure, why don’t you all make out a list of clothes and shoes you need. Haircuts as well today. I better call Paul so he knows we’re going to hit him. Remember we have fish to deliver today as well, so we’ll be very busy.” I looked at Glen he was laughing.
The boys were very serious about buying their birthday presents. I toldRobby and Stevie they are part of the troop now so they must get presents as well. The way itworked was quite clever, each boy took a basket, then Glen and I were at the checkout counter, we paid, they packaged it in bags, put their name on the bag, the store clerk then stapled them shut. Once all of the boys had finished shopping for presents, then they shopped for themselves, books, painting supplies and boat models. Next was haircuts and then clothes. “Kevin, I’m going to the office store and get your office furniture. I’ll be back to help with the packages.”
It was late when we finished, “I’m glad we delivered the fish before starting to shop.”
“Who’s hungry?’I looked at Glen, what boy isn’t hungry all of the time.
“Boys, we have two choices, we can get something to eat here or go to the Wharf when we go home.”
“Dad, can we do both?” I looked at Glen, he was laughing.
“Yes, we can do both. So what should we get, hamburgers, hot dogs, Chinese buffet, pizza?What do you want, but decided on one we don’t want to stop at a half dozen places.”
Pizza was decided, so we went to a small Italian pizza place where you could buy pizza by the slice. Walking in I think the owner had a heart attack. “Too many, we can’t make them all a pizza, it would take too long.”
“You sell by the piece, so one pizza would feed several boys.”
“Dad, let’s go somewhere else. We can get hot dogs and chips and then eat when we go home.” I looked at the boys, they nodded their head so we left. As I closed the door, I heard a woman’s voice yelling at the man. One word was said over and over, stupido.
“There Dad” It was one of those food trucks that sold hotdogs. We walked there, the woman smiled as the boys lined up. Some lined up twice, Glen included.
“We should get some for the boat.” I had one and a half, Adam had my other half.
We drove home, a car and a truck. “Jamie, I think I’m going to have to buy a van. I need at least four rows of seats.”
“There are some pretty cool vans being marketed. The advertisement said you can drop the last seat down for cargo space and they drive like a car.”
“I’ll go on line and see what I can find.”
“I had fun today, spending your money.”
“I bet you did but I’ll take it out of your bank account.”
“No, it was my treat today. The fun was worth the money for me.”
Arriving home, “Boys, take your package to your rooms. Charles, show Stevie and Robby the rooms next to yours. Then come back and we’ll walk to the Wharf.”
That is what they did, only they had to try on the new clothes as well. By the time we left, I was getting hungry as well. Adam rode Glen’s shoulders, we had to stop and check out the crab beds. The sun was setting and this was the first time I watched the sunset from land shining on The Peter Charles. “Dad, I need a camera, that would be agreat painting.”
Walking into the Wharf with the boys is always something for me to laugh about. The Captains at the captains table, just watch. Uncle is all smiles, but the others except Jim, just look. Andy led the boys to a table and then went to talk to his Aunt Mary. I waved to Barney and he knew it was a round of drinks for the Captains and beers for my boys. Andy came back and spoke to Scott. Both he and Scott went back to the kitchen. Scott came back and took the four oldest boys back with him. It wasn’t long when they came out with chicken soup.
“Andy, what happened to your Aunt’s cart? It would be easier than carrying out bowls.” “I don’t know, I think David is looking at it.”
It wasn’t long before David pushed the cart out with chicken soup. “I fixed it and Aunt Mary said I did a good job. Now she wants me to take a look at that clock. I think they are just dirty and need cleaning. That’s all the cart needed.”
“Let that be your secret, unless she asks, then tell her.” I looked around our table and the older boys were still gone.
Soon Mary came out and sat down at the table. “Your boys are doing the cooking. They told me to come and sit with you.” I raise my hand and Barney brought a drink over for her.