jaiden-161.html

Amateur

Gregory Patrick

03/26/2022

Jaiden � Chapter 161

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Greg Patrick

 

“Hey, Mom, welcome to the house of horrors where chickenpox reigns supreme.” Dr. Mom started clapping her hands and howling when she saw Peyton looking like Chik-Filet”s peppermint milkshake. “Peyton, I”m sorry for laughing, but you and Jaiden look so funny, all broken out and spotted like a leopard. I can tell all of you are miserable, so I have some good news: I brought some medicine I can shoot into your butt that will make you think chickenpox is awesome.” “In the butt, Mom?” “Yep, in your butt!”

 

“Jaiden, come here for a second. Turn around.” When he turned as his mother ordered, she folded the band of his briefs down a little bit and let him have it.”

 

“Damn, Mom, that hurt, and it”s stinging like the dickens.” “Yeah, it did, and it does, doesn”t it?” “Geez, Mom, you ought to warn a guy before you do that!”

 

“Jaiden, if I had told you what I was going to do, you would have run like a rabbit; you know you don”t like shots � you like to give them, but you don”t want to take one.” “When they sting like that, you bet I don”t.”

 

“Jaiden, you might want to go lie down; your gonna pass out and sleep like a well-baby in about ten minutes.” “What was that Mom; I”m already extremely drowsy?” “Son, it was something you wouldn”t think of taking for chickenpox, but it does help you get some well-needed rest.”

 

“Mom!” “Phenergan, Jaiden; old fashioned Phenergan.” Jaiden barely made it to his room before passing out on the bed.”

 

His mother had three more of the injections prepared, and when Peyton walked by, she got him the same way she jabbed Jaiden. But, like Jaiden, Peyton was a wimp when it came to the stinging in the medication; he danced a jig when Dr. Mom got him in his butt. “Peyton, don”t tell Charley and Dale; I have an injection for them too.” “Don”t worry, Mom, I can”t wait to see them get it after they laughed at Jaiden and made him mad. He scratched his butt and put his fingers under my nose last night, so Charley deserves what he gets � and so does Dale.

 

Dale was in the kitchen making a pot of coffee when Dr. Mom walked up behind him, took aim, and gave him a quick jab in his fanny. He put both hands on the counter and jumped up and down until the stinging stopped. Charley walked into the kitchen while Dale was jumping up and down and asked, “why are you jumping around like that, babe?” “I have some gas pains in my stomach, and I”m trying to shake them out.” “In that case, love, I think I”ll walk back into the den.”

 

Charley was dressed in a pair of gym shorts, and when he walked by Dr. Mom, she looked at him and said, “Charley, that looks like an infected pox mark; let me check it.

 

He turned to let her look at his back, and she pulled the waist of the shorts out a little bit and let Charley hold it in his right butt cheek. He let out a yelp like a newspaper-whipped puppy and ran toward his bedroom.

 

Good direction to run, Charley; you might want to lie down before you fall out on the floor. That”s a potent medicine I just gave you. Dale, you may wish to join Charley, and quickly; you”re already getting wobbly. All four dads slept and snored in their beds in less than ten minutes.

 

Peggy called Phyllis and was asked, “Did you give Peyton the injection?” “What do you think, Phyllis?” “You did. How”d you do it?” “Oh, he had a suspicious spot I `needed” to look at, and when I did, I popped him with the needle before he could run and hide.” “That”s genius, Peggy; what did Peyton do when you did that?” “He yelped like a newspaper-whipped puppy and took off for his bedroom. When he got there, he fell into bed with Jaiden and fell asleep.”

 

“Hilarious! How does he look – and the babies as well?” “They all look like peppermint milkshakes. I have some different medications for the children; I don”t want to give them a shot that stings like Phenergan does. Everybody is asleep right now and getting the rest they need; they looked rough when I got here.”

 

“Well, I appreciate your looking out for the boys; I”ll come up if I need to, but I haven”t had chickenpox, and I don”t want the virus at my age.” “Phyllis, stay home. I”ve had chickenpox, so I”m not worried about them. Then again, you could milk it for all you can with Jim. I”m sure he would like to wait on you hand-and-foot for two weeks.” “Ya know, Peggy, I might just come up for its fun.” Dr. Mom heard Dad Riley in the background say, “like hell you will!” Both ladies started laughing. Dad Riley knew what those two ladies were cooking up, and he wanted no part of their scheme.

 

Jaiden was tossing in bed, scratching inside his butt cheeks like nobody”s business. “Jaiden, so help me, if you stick those fingers under my nose, I”m gonna sit on your nose and let you enjoy aromatics of ass � my ass!”

 

“Babe, don”t worry, I won”t do that to you again. If I did, I would run like the wind before you got me back.” “Jaiden, you really don”t want to do that again; I will get even, and you know it!” “You would do that, wouldn”t you?” “Stick those fingers under my nose and find out. By the way, I love you!”

 

Jaiden snuggled into his pillow as Peyton dug in, scratching his butt. He had a wicked smile as he threw his left hand over Jaiden and stuck it under his nose. “Damn, babe. Why did you do that?”

 

“Smells good, doesn”t it?” “No! Holy crap, move your hand.” “I”ll think about it, babe.” “Peyton!” “As I said, I”ll think about it. And by the way, it is crap, but I guarantee you, it isn”t holy!”

 

“OK, we”re even. I won”t do that again, so, PLEASE, move your hand.” “OK, I moved my hand.” “Yeah, two inches, maybe; I can still smell your butt.”

 

“Jaiden, I promise; I moved my hand completely away from your face. You”re smelling Tartuffian soot I rubbed on your upper lip.” “Damn, I”ve gotta wash my face.” Jaiden got up and did just that.”

 

Peyton got out of bed, washed his hands, grabbed Jaiden”s face, and gave him a gentle kiss as he said, “I”m sorry, sweetheart, I couldn”t resist doing that after you did it to me.” “The heck, you couldn”t! Now kiss me again, that was nice, and I need nice right now.”

 

The following morning, Jaiden hugged his mom and thanked her for the shot she had given him the night before. “Did it help you sleep, son?” “That is an understatement, Mom. I slept really well until Peyton scratched his butt and stuck his fingers under my nose.” “Did you learn not to do that to him again?”

 

“Quickly, mom. How did you know about that?”

 

“He told Phyllis what you did, and she told me. Did Peyton get you good?” “Let”s just say he deposited some Tartuffian soot under my nose. After that, I had to get up and wash my face.” When Jaiden told his mom that, she laughed so hard she started coughing.

 

“It”s not that funny, Mom!” “Maybe not to you, but it”s hilarious to me.” “Dang, I can”t even get sympathy from my own momma.” Peggy really laughed hard when Jaiden said that.

 

Peggy walked into the kitchen to fix breakfast for the guys and the babies. She shook her head as she said, “Tartuffian soot; damn, that”s funny!”

 

The babies walked into the kitchen and said, “Hi, gamma, lu you.” She melted and told her grandbabies she loved them too. “What would you guys like for breakfast?” “Gits an egs, biskit and jewy, an miuk.”

 

“OK, get mezitli escort in your chairs, and Grandma will give you some grits and eggs, fix you a biscuit with some butter and jelly, and get you a cup of milk.

 

When the children got into their chairs and were given their breakfast, they scarfed it down like they”d never had a meal. Their Grandma was surprised at how they ate and asked Jaiden and Peyton if the children had been eating OK while they were sick.

 

Peyton said they had, but not as much as they would usually eat. “Well, let me tell you, those children made up for lost time this morning.

 

When Dale and Charley walked into the dining room and looked at their children, Charley said, “Guys, you look like you had a good breakfast this morning.” “Charles Logan said, Gamma fix biskit and jewy, gits, and miuk.” “Was it good!” “It was good, Daddy. I go potty now. His brothers and sister followed closely behind.” Dale looked at Charley and said, “Your turn!”

 

Charley grimaced, got up from the table, and headed to the children”s bathroom to help them clean themselves.

 

The children walked back to the dining room with Charley. Dale asked his children if they felt better today, and they all said, “Uh-huh.” Finally, Benjamin Dale asked his Dad, “Daddy, we go outside and pway?” Dale looked at his son and said, “Grandma is the boss and our doctor; you have to ask her today.” “Gamma, we go outside and pway?” “If you feel good, I don”t see why not. Don”t play too hard, OK.” “OK, Gamma, we pway good.”

 

With that, all ten children headed to the door and outside. “Dale, that”s a good sign. They aren”t complaining about itching, don”t have a fever, and want to be more active than they have been since they got sick.

 

Maybe that is a good sign for you, Charley, Peyton, and Jaiden.” “Lord knows I hope so, Mom, the itching was horrible! It was awful for me too, and I was about your age when I got chickenpox from a pediatric patient. Hope the children don”t get exposed to measles before getting their final vaccines; measles is worse and more dangerous.” “OH, NO! We haven”t had the measles either.” “If you do get them, Dale, you may have to go to the hospital due to your age. Measles can wreak havoc where you don”t want it.”

 

“Jaiden, we got a letter from Wellstone today. Graduation is scheduled for May 28 at 10 am.” “Do you and Charley have your commencement speeches ready?”

 

“We do; we need to be sure we don”t forget them when we leave for the University.” Go ahead and put them in the van now. I have a car carrier picking up the cars like we did when moving to Memphis. We”ll take a slow trip to Erie with the children in the van and enjoy ourselves until we get home.”

 

“After Wellstone”s graduation exercises, I thought we could spend the day with family and then head to Abingdon and let the children rest at Mom”s before heading to Erie. It”ll be interstate driving all the way, so it should be easier on the kids. Hopefully, the hum of the roadway will help them sleep most of the way.”

 

“Dale, I tried to find children”s activities along the way, but nothing I saw seemed safe enough for three-year-olds. If we see something any of us feel like the children would enjoy, we can always stop and let them play until they tire themselves out. Nothing says we can”t get to Erie a day later than planned.”

 

“It sounds like a plan to me, Jaiden. We know the restaurants we like along the way, so finding somewhere to eat won”t be a problem.”

 

“There”s one thing we”ll face this go-around on the ride home that we haven”t faced before: Toll Roads. There is nothing I hate more when traveling than toll roads. First, they tax us to hell and back to build the roads, and then they charge us again to use them. So to use an improper double-negative, it just ain”t right no matter how you look at it.”

 

“Jaiden, why don”t you run for Governor someday?” “I can”t afford the pay cut, Charley; I have ten children to look after.”

 

“You only have five children, Jaiden.” “Five biological children, yes, but I”m not going to do anything that might jeopardize the lives of the ten children in this household. The way I look at things, they are all mine whether they are or not.”

 

“You really feel strongly in that regard, don”t you, Jaiden?” “More than even I realize, Charley. The only thing I will kill over is the safety and welfare of our children. Mess with my children, and you”ll pay a steep price for stupidity.”

 

“Dale, did you hear the conversation I just had with Jaiden?” “I did, and he means every word he said. Nothing and nobody comes before the children except maybe Peyton. So when he says we are his brothers just as if his mother birthed us, you can see the seriousness in his eyes.”

 

“Jaiden was sitting on the deck reading medical journals while the children were napping. Charley walked onto the deck, handed Jaiden a cup of coffee prepared his way, and said, “enjoy, bro, you”ve earned some downtime with Dale”s amazing coffee.”

 

“Bless you, my son. Even though I am not a priest, I absolve you of all your sins for this delectable cup of coffee.” “Thank you, Father Jaiden; can I sin some more if I bring you another cup?” “Only if the coffee is accompanied by a fresh peach knish, my dear boy.” “Oh well, I guess I have to be a good boy; we are out of peach knishes!” “Too bad, my child, you could have had some real fun today. Since there are no knishes to be had, you must sit on the deck and remain quiet whilst I finish reading this medical journal.”

 

As Jaiden got back to reading the journal”s articles, Nathan Robert walked outside, climbed into his Dad”s lap, snuggled into the crook of his arm, and went back to sleep. Jaiden smiled as he kept reading � on top of the mountain he was now on.

 

His mom looked out the doors leading to the deck, and as she did, a tear began to course down her face. She remembered seeing Jaiden”s Dad holding him the same way at the same age as Nathan Robert. Nothing could be more endearing to her than seeing her son sitting with his son asleep in his arms.

 

Peyton walked into the den, looked at his mother-in-law, and surmised how upset she seemed. “Mom, are you OK?” “I am; I just had a melancholy moment.” “About what?” Look out the door at Jaiden cradling Nathan Robert in his arm.” “I love to see that too, Mom. He has a special bond with each of the children, especially with Nathan Robert.”

 

“Peyton, the last time I saw Abe holding Jaiden at home, he held him the same way Jaiden is Nathan. That was the last time I ever saw Abe holding our son; then, less than a month later, Abe was killed in the plane crash.”

 

“Mom, sometimes when Dale, Charley, and I take the children outside to play, Jaiden will go to the bedroom, sit by the window, and watch the children play. When you look at his face, he seems as if he is a million miles away. We have no doubt he remembers some moments he spent with his Dad. We”ve tried to talk to him when he does that, but he won”t say anything about watching the children the way he does.”

 

“I”m sure he is thinking about his Dad, Peyton. He has never talked to me about how he feels either; that is how I learned to let him sort out his feelings his way in his own time. If he needs to talk, he will.”

 

“Jaiden is such a great dad to the children. I”d give anything to have been able to meet his Dad, if for no other reason than to learn just how Jaiden became such a loving father to the kids.”

 

“Peyton, just watch Jaiden. If you do that, consider yourself having met his father; there is no difference between the two men.” Peyton didn”t say a word as he and Jaiden”s mother moved to the chairs by the door so they could observe Jaiden holding his sleeping son.

 

The other four boys woke up, walked into the den, and climbed in Peyton”s and Peggy”s lap. She examined the children as she held them and told Peyton it appeared the chickenpox was clearing up.

 

“Good. Jaiden”s and mine seem to be clearing up as well. Ya know what”s nice?” “What”s that, Peyton.” We have another mandatory week off that we can spend with the children. Maybe we can go somewhere and do something fun.”

 

“You might as well; you are out of the infectious stage.”

 

“The guys set about planning a trip to Orange Beach with the children. Jaiden made a few calls and chartered a private jet for a round-trip flight and was surprised that it would only cost in the neighborhood of 7K. Peyton called his mom, and she was excited that the children would be coming for their first visit to Orange Beach. He told her pozcu escort that they should arrive at the main airport in Mobile around 11 am Sunday and that they would rent a van to drive to Orange Beach. Jaiden secured and paid for the reservations for the round-trip flight. The trip was all set.

 

Peyton let it be known that he wanted to take the children to his favorite seafood buffet on Saturday evening. Since moving from Erie, they hadn”t been to a seafood buffet, and he knew the children would also enjoy getting some fish and shrimp � one of their all-time favorite meals.

 

Peyton called Richard to tell him what they would be doing in their final required week off. Richard said that he had taken no time off since arriving in Memphis. However, since the hospital hired several new intake physicians, perhaps he and Sally might be able to go to Orange Beach with the family. He would check with his boss and let Peyton know that evening.

 

Around 6 pm, Peyton”s phone rang, and it was Richard calling to let him know that he and Sally would be able to take the week off to go to Orange Beach. Peyton told Jaiden that Richard and Sally would be able to make the trip, so Jaiden told him to get Richard to meet them at the metropolitan airport at 5:30 am Sunday morning for the 6 am flight. Jaiden pulled out his phone and called Mobile to arrange for a limousine to pick up Richard and Sally and take them to Orange Beach. Sally being pregnant, it was Jaiden”s aim to ensure she was as comfortable as possible.

 

“Jaiden, I need to call Mom and let her know Richard and Sally will be joining us.” “Why? I think it will be a fantastic surprise for your parents to see their pregnant daughter-in-law delivered to their home in a stretch limo.” “Ya know, babe, you”re right. Mom will have a happy fit when she sees Sally in Orange Beach.”

 

“My old room has two double beds in it, so we can stay in the room with Dale and Charley. The children can sleep on the floor on pallets, and Richard and Sally can have the spare room.” “That works, but I bet your mom has small air mattresses for the children to sleep on.” “Probably. It will be nice if she does, but we can camp with them in the bedroom if not.”

 

“I kind of hope she doesn”t. I enjoyed camping in Leon”s and Peter”s basement with the children; that was really fun.” “In that case, Jaiden, we are all set.”

 

On Sunday morning, when the van pulled into the airport in Memphis, Sally and Richard were there waiting on the family crew. They got the children on the jet, secured them in their seats, and took their seats. The luggage was stowed in the luggage compartment of the aircraft. Then, promptly at 6 am, the jet took off for Mobile. The flight lasted right at an hour before it landed in Mobile; the limo was waiting for Richard and Sally, and the van for the guys to transport the children was right behind the limo.

 

Thirty minutes later, the limo and the van pulled into the driveway of the Riley”s home. When Mom Riley saw Sally, she started joyfully screaming and jumping up and down.

 

“What a pleasant surprise. Sally, was the flight OK? You didn”t get queazy, did you?” “No, mam, I just started having a backache.” “YOU WHAT?” “I started having a backache.” “Jim, call Dr. Shapiro and tell him Sally needs to see him as soon as possible.”

 

“Mom, I”ll be OK.” “Sally, how far along are you now?” “Right at nine months; why?” “My dear, I think you”re in labor!”

Ten minutes later, Dr. Shapiro drove into the Riley”s driveway. He, Sally, and Richard went upstairs so he could examine Sally. Suddenly, Dr. Shapiro stuck his head out the door and told Dad Riley to call an ambulance; the baby was coming – and coming quickly. Sally was fully effaced when Dr. Shapiro examined her.

 

The ambulance arrived, and Richard, his parents, and Peyton climbed into the car and followed the ambulance to the hospital. On arrival, Sally was taken straight to labor and delivery.

 

The baby was coming so fast, there was no time for an epidural, and 15 minutes after entering labor and delivery, Richard and Sally had a son.

 

While the doctor and nurses wrapped up the delivery process and got Sally situated, Richard carried their son to the nursery to be examined by a pediatrician they knew well: Dr. Peyton Riley-Reynolds. The Apgar scale couldn”t have been better, and the baby couldn”t have been healthier. It was a perfect delivery.

 

When the baby had been examined and the nurses in the nursery were getting him situated, Richard and his parents went and sat in the waiting room until Sally was taken to a room. It was in the waiting room where Richard finally broke down and cried. Having the baby in Orange Beach was not something he and Sally had envisioned.

 

A nurse came to tell Richard that Sally was being taken to a room if he wanted to walk to the room with her. His parents said they would give him some alone time with Sally before they walked down to check on her.

 

In the room, Richard pulled a chair close to Sally”s bed, held her hand, and cried with her. When they calmed down, Sally asked Richard what he wanted to name the baby. “Sally, what do you think about James Seth?” “I think the name is perfect, sweetheart. It”s the name I was thinking about.” “Really, Sally.” “Really, sweetheart.” Richard cried again.

 

“Richard, you need to calm down. You still have a phone call to make.” “To whom, Sally.” “Think, honey!”

 

“I have to call Seth.” “Yes, you do. Why don”t you do that now.” Richard took his phone out and dialed Seth”s number. When Seth said hello, Richard said, “Hey, Uncle Seth, how are you doing this morning?” “I”m doing OK, but I have a pot load of work to do. Vet school is tough, but I enjoy it to the max.” “Have you gotten to help deliver any babies yet?” Seth thought Richard”s questions were a tad strange, so he asked Richard why he asked those questions. “Seth, think for a moment.”

 

“Seth finally put two and two together and then said, “No, she didn”t, did she?” “This morning at 10. Mom and Dad are on the way to the room. We got to Orange beach at 7:30 this morning, and when we got to Mom”s and Dad”s, Mom thought Sally was in labor, so she had Dad call a doctor friend of theirs. As soon as he examined Sally, the baby was on the way and moving fast.”

 

“Richard!” “What, Seth?” “Do I have a nephew or a niece?” “You have a nephew, 8 pounds even, 22 inches long, born at 10 am.” “When you and Sally decide on a name, let me know.”

 

“Seth, we have already named the baby.” “And?” “Sally and I named him after the two greatest guys we know.” “And?” “What do you mean by and?” “Richard, come on, you”re driving me nuts; what did you name the baby?”

 

“Seth, we named him James Seth Riley.” There was dead silence on the telephone. Then, Richard said, “Seth, are you still there.” That is when Seth let the tears flow. He could barely say yes to Richard.

 

“Richard, I wish I could be there. I want to see and hold my nephew so badly.” “Seth, hold on a minute; Dad wants to talk to you.”

“Hey, son, this is Dad. Aren”t you on Spring break this week?” “Yes, sir, I am. I thought I”d try to get ahead on the reading.” “Well, throw your books in your backpack and head to the airport. There is a first-class ticket to Mobile waiting for you. Your flight leaves at noon, and you”ll be in Mobile by 1:15.” “Bye, Dad!”

 

“Seth is really excited. When I told him there was a ticket for him at the airport, and that the flight leaves at noon, he said bye Dad, and hung up the phone. So my guess is I need to pick him up at the airport at 1:15.” “You better get going; it”s 10:45 now, Jim, and it”ll take 40 minutes or so to get to the airport with traffic. I have a feeling Seth is going to be pounding on the cockpit door telling the pilots to push it.” Everybody laughed at that comment.

 

There was a knock on the door as it slowly opened, and the baby was brought into the room. When Mom and Dad Riley looked at the baby, tears started flowing down their faces; they couldn”t be more proud of their newest grandchild.”

 

“Dad Riley looked at Richard and Sally and asked, “So, what have you all decided to name the handsome little bugger?” “Dad, his name is on the card on the bassinet.”

 

“When Dad Riley looked at the name card, he slowly turned his head and asked, “Really?” “Dad, we wanted to name him after the two best guys we know.” Dad Riley grabbed Richard in a bear hug and held him tightly as they cried together. Mom Riley held Sally”s hand, watching their two favorite men having a memorable moment together. Yes, they, too, had tears flowing from their eyes.

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Dad Riley excused himself and grabbed Peyton as they headed to the airport. Seth arrived about thirty minutes later and was chomping at the bits to get to the hospital.

 

When they arrived at the hospital, Seth jumped out of the car and was gone in a flash. He got to Sally”s room, knocked on the door, and walked in when Sally said, “Come in.”

 

Seth walked to Sally”s Bed, hugged her, and cried alligator tears. Then he grabbed Richard and wouldn”t let him go. The love the two brothers showed to each other got to everybody in the room.

 

When Seth finally let go of Richard, he walked over to the bassinet and said, “Hey, little buddy, I love you so much; I will always be here for you.”

 

Sally pulled Mom Riley down to whisper into her ear, “Mom, would you hand Seth to Seth so he can hold his nephew?”

 

“Seth, son, you need to sit down and get your color back.” As Seth sat in the chair by the baby, his mom picked little Seth up and placed him into his uncle”s arms.

 

Seth held the baby to his shoulder, closed his eyes, and wept silently. Life was coming full circle for him in a most blessed way; he and Richard couldn”t be richer than at that moment.

 

Peyton walked into the room and let Richard know all the required paperwork had been completed. He had called Richard”s supervisor at the hospital to tell him the baby had arrived unexpectedly.

 

 

“Richard, Dr. Thomas said to tell you to take two more weeks to help Sally after we get back to Memphis.”

 

“Wow! I didn”t expect that.” “That”s funny; Dr. Thomas said you”d say that. He knows you pretty well.”

 

Peyton called Jaiden and let him know the baby boy had arrived, that everything went perfectly; the baby was handsome and in perfect health. “What did they name the baby, Peyton?” “James Seth Riley after Dad and Seth.” “That”s nice. What a great way to honor those two men.” “I thought the same thing, Jaiden.”

 

Jaiden called his mom and let her know the morning”s events and told her Mom and Dad Riley were at the hospital with Richard, Sally, and Seth � both Seths.

 

Dr. Mom called Phyllis and said, “Congratulations, Granny, how”s Grandpa doing?” “He”s beaming as bright as the sun, Peggy, and so is Richard and Seth.”

 

“I wish you could have been here when Seth walked into the room. He was so loving and happy. He seemed like life had come full circle for him in the best of ways.” “That”s good, Phyllis. Those two young men deserve all the happiness they can get after all they went through.”

 

“Thank God you and Jim walked into their lives.” “That works two ways, Peggy; we have been so much richer because of those young men and Sally.”

 

Seth”s phone rang, and when he looked at the caller ID, Jenny was calling.

 

“Hello.” “Hey, little bro, I heard you got an awesome surprise this morning.” Seth choked up when he replied, “I did, Jenny; I have a nephew. We all have a new nephew. Sally and Richard named him James Seth after Dad and me.” “That is nice, Seth.”

 

“Now, are you doing OK?” “Yes, mam. I”m a bloody mess with my emotions; I am so proud of Seth, Richard, and Sally.”

 

“I understand, buddy; I just wanted to speak with you for a minute. Can Sally talk with me for a second?” “Yes, mam, hold on.”

 

Seth handed Sally his phone and told her it was Jenny. “Good afternoon, Jenny, or morning in your case.” “Hey girl, how are you doing?” “A little sore, but the birth was so fast I didn”t have time to hurt.”

 

“You are so lucky! Did you get a chance to bite a plug out of Richard during the birth?” “No, Richard read the monitors, and when I went into a heavy contraction, he backed up at least one foot.” “That”s funny, Sally. I grabbed Ron by his cahoonas and told him if he ever put me in that condition again, I”d make him regret it. It must have worked because I haven”t been pregnant since.”

 

“I”m glad everything went well for you. If you need me to help, call me, and I”ll fly down.” “I may do that on the move back to Erie. Thanks for calling.”

 

Charley drove Peyton”s old car to town and bought a dozen red roses for Sally. They”d be at the house when she got home the next day or so.

 

Mom Riley suddenly perked up and said, “I get to go shopping with Jim”s credit card. Hand it over, hon!” Dad Riley smiled, gave her his credit card, and said, “It better be the best money can buy!”

 

“Don”t worry, honey, it will be the best, the most expensive, and the prettiest. Bed, mattress, clothes.” “Phyllis, don”t forget diapers, bottles, pacifiers, toys, and anything else you can think of.” Mom Riley walked out of Sally”s room singing, “We”re off to do some shopping, some wonderful, wonderful shopping” to the Wizzard of Oz tune.

 

That evening, Richard called his Dad and said Sally would be released from the hospital at 11 the following morning.

 

When Dad Riley told Jaiden and Peyton, Jaiden called the limo service and arranged for a Rolls Royce to pick up Sally and Richard. He asked if they had new infant car seats, and they said they had the best made by the Rolls Auto group. So, Sally and Richard would be going home in grand style.

 

The next morning, when it was time to head home, Richard”s and Sally”s eyes almost popped out of their heads when they saw the Rolls Royce. They couldn”t believe what everyone was doing for them.

 

When they got to Mom”s and Dad Riley”s, each of the children were standing in a line holding a long stem red rose. Dale and Charley brought up the rear holding the final two roses. Everyone had made Sally and Richard feel so loved.

 

Later that evening, Sally”s parents flew into Mobile. Dad Riley picked them up at the airport and took them to his home. Sally started crying when her Mom and Dad walked into the house. She had no idea they were coming. However, the bearer of gifts knew; he had arranged and paid for their visit.

 

As they were sitting in the house talking as Sally fed the baby, Sally”s mom asked who Dr. J. Riley-Reynolds was. “Mom, are you telling me Jaiden arranged your trip to Orange Beach?” “That”s what I understand, Sally. He must be a great guy.”

 

Sally yelled, “Jaiden, get your butt in the den!” “Jaiden walked in and said sheepishly, “OK, what did I do wrong, Sally.” “Mom, meet the most loving brother-in-law in the world; this is Jaiden.”

 

“Young man, thank you so much for what you have done for my daughter and Richard. Your gestures have been so loving and thoughtful. Thank you as well for our trip to Orange Beach.” Jaiden said, Mom, you are very welcome. We are a family who loves and acts in the best interest of all of our family members. We have the means to do what we do, and we are blessed to do whatever is needed. I am happy you could come to be with Sally and Richard and meet your new grandson.” Jaiden thoroughly enjoyed the hugs he got from Sally”s parents.

 

“Sally, we”re going to the seafood restaurant for dinner tonight; what can we bring you to eat?” “Peyton, how about some fried shrimp, baked fish, a baked potato with sweet butter, some fried clams, a dozen raw oysters, and a roll of fresh sushi from the sushi bar. I think I”d like to have a dozen fried oysters too.” “Anything else, Sally?” “Yeah, change the baked fish to fried fish. And hushpuppies, don”t forget the hush puppies and slaw with jalapenos and some deviled crab.”

 

Sally”s mom was sitting in the den with her mouth on the floor. “Sally, you have got to be kidding about all that food!” “Not at all, Mom; that is what I want for dinner, but since Peyton and Jaiden are pediatricians, I”m sure they will bring me something healthy.”

 

Peyton spoke up and said, “Yes, mam, Sally told the truth. There isn”t a chance she”ll get any of what she”s ordered, especially not shellfish with the vibrio vulnificus bacteria in the Gulf and up and down the east coast. So, baked trout, a baked potato with butter, some slaw, and green beans it will be. I will bring you some hushpuppies for good measure since you love them so much. The milk is in the refrigerator. No tea or coffee since you are breastfeeding. We don”t want to upset Seth.”

 

“See what I have to put up with, Mom. Peyton and Jaiden have been like this the whole time I was pregnant.” “Sally, I think I am falling in love with these young men!” “Mom, I said you would, remember?”

 

When everyone got back to the house, Jaiden gave Sally and Richard their dinner, and it was precisely what Peyton said it would be. However, Richard was lucky; he had some fried shrimp and clams, deviled crab, and baked trout. When Peyton and Jaiden weren”t looking, he slipped Sally a taste of the shrimp and crab. When his mother-in-law caught him passing the forbidden foods to Sally, Richard got his hand popped � with a laugh, of course.

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