It was time for little Robby’s birthday. Up in the air he twirled around and then came back down into his mother’s arms, suddenly a toddler, with much to learn and many new experiences to enjoy.
Jeremy knew it was his job to teach Robby how to do things, like how to hang upside down without throwing up. (In other words, before he has his bottle.)
Robby loved his toys and spent hours mastering the different ones.
One of his favorite things was bath time with either his Mama or Daddy. Mama threw him up in the air and made him laugh a lot.
When it was time to learn to use the potty or walk or talk, Robby’s parents always wore their thinking cap and gave Robby Smart Milk. He was a very good student and learned fast this way.
Now Gillian had told her brother, Nicky, there was no way that she was going to supply the six grandchildren her mother desired. However; she did have plans to do her share. She talked to Jeremy about having another child.
“What if they’re twins? They run in the family, obviously,” she worried.
“We can handle that if they are, Gill. Remember when we bought this house; one of the reasons we fell in love with it because there was plenty of room for lots of children?”
Gillian nodded, “I don’t want to shortchange Robby though.”
“Gill, you don’t have to have more children if you don’t want to do so. But if you do want to and there should be twins or even if it is a lot more work than you figured for one child to be added, we’ll get help.”
She looked at him, “Really?”
Jeremy grinned, “Probably we could hire your mother for very little.”
Gillian roared with laughter,
“She’d work for nothing just to get her hands on Robby and little whozit more often!”
So they decided to try that very night for a baby, while Robby slept blissfully unaware across the hall.
In an amazingly short time Gillian was hugging the porcelain teddy bear at least once after every meal and she knew that a baby, or babies was on the way. Madeleine would be utterly thrilled.
Margo was excited because her older sister, Gillian and her husband, Jeremy, were coming over to see the twins. They’d been over before this but always there had been a lot of people around, this time it was just the two of them—they’d left Robby over at his grandparents where he would be spoiled to death. Margo hoped to have some time to talk to Gillian alone; they rarely got to talk on the phone anymore because both were busy with their babies.
The guys went upstairs to play pool, but Margo and Gillian stayed downstairs to be able to hear the babies if they cried. Gillian told Margo her secret, that she was pregnant, but warned her not to tell anyone else yet (except Kevin of course).
Soon enough Jamie and Maddie were crying for their diapers to be changed and something to eat and Gillian was happy to help out. Someday the twins would be little playmates for their cousins, Robby and Whozit.
Margo fixed supper for the adults. She was always just a little nervous when she cooked for Gillian; who had gone to culinary school, but Gillian didn’t even pay attention because she was caring for the twins while Margo prepared the meal. Gillian was never pretentious or snobbish about her cooking, anyway; it was just that Margo was aware of how good Gillian was. Besides, although Margo was herself a perfectly acceptable cook, her real hobby was gardening. She’d match her tomatoes, strawberries and eggplants against anybody’s. Actually, she did have some great recipes using her produce; tomato pie, lasagna with eggplant, strawberry shortcake, cucumber salad and she canned excellent orange marmalade and strawberry jam. But it had always been this way; Gillian the oldest child was confident and talented, Nicky the youngest child (before the twins arrived) was the cocky charmer and then poor Margo was the middle child, unsure and clamoring for a place in the sun as far as her parents and siblings were concerned.
Gillian helped with the dishes as they talked babies and wondered what the chances were that Gillian’s new baby would actually be twins and then the Blackfords left.
“Dinner was great, you know,” Kevin smiled at her.
“Thanks, honey. I can always count on you for my rooting section.”
That night in bed when Kevin had his arms around her and was snoring softly, Margo went over all her blessings including and especially the two sweet babies sleeping in the other room, and decided to quit worrying what other people thought about her. Especially since probably no one was thinking anything bad any way.
At the moment, Madeleine and Shep did not see how life could get any better. Nicky was back in Pleasantview (to stay, according to him) and now seemed marriage-minded for the first time in his life. All they could hope for him was that the right woman would come along.
Holly and Harvey had graduated from high school and would be off to college this fall. Harvey and Lori Lassiter had broken up but were still close friends who sometimes went out together to concerts or to the mall. Gareth Caswell was still enamored of Holly and hung around for supper over half the time. Their little Debbie-cakes was doing extremely well in school and soon would have a birthday.
Gareth waiting for Holly to finish the dishes and come out on the porch so he can say goodnight. Properly.
Gillian and Jeremy were happily married and doing well financially and so were Margo and Kevin. And now there were three grandchildren who were healthy toddlers, the twins having just had their birthdays over the summer. Madeleine was so happy when Gillian told her a new baby was on the way as well.
Once their high school graduation was over, Madeleine took Holly on a trip to Takemizu Village for her graduation and they brought Chelsea Lomax with them where they spent a very relaxed and ladylike time sipping tea, visiting the hot springs, playing Mahjong and raking the Zen gardens.
Shep decided to take Harvey on a fishing trip at Three Lakes and invited his other son, Nicky. It was not as exciting as a trip to the Orient, but the three men enjoyed it immensely, fishing, sitting around the campground playing cards, axe-throwing and log-rolling.
They were all at the dining room table talking the night they got back home. Madeleine was standing behind Nicky’s chair and playing with his thick curly hair.
“You need a haircut, Nicholas,” she murmured absently.
Then she looked more closely at him, “When was the last time you shaved?”
“Mom, for crying out loud, you know I have a beard!”
“I know but, well, you know what I mean; dear, you have whiskers on your cheeks and your neck. That’s not like you.”
Nicky always trimmed his beard closely.
Nicky always trimmed his beard closely.
“We all have whiskers”, Harvey crowed, “Dad said no one should shave during the trip, we’d be warmer.”
“Was it cold up there?” Madeleine worried.
“Well, you know, Madeleine, the temperature always drops at night especially in the mountains," Shep said.
“And there you were, in pup tents!”
“Not all of us!” Harvey said and looked at Nicky, “Just Dad and I slept in the tents.”
Nicky gave Harvey a hard look and Harvey just said as if surprised, “What?”
“Well for heaven’s sake, where did you sleep?” Madeleine asked, still the concerned mother although her strapping oldest son was nearly 30.
Harvey was laughing, “He slept in the hammock!”
Nicky shrugged as if somewhat embarrassed, “Those little tents give me claustrophobia, I just can’t shut myself up in one. I was fine in the hammock, slept like a baby.”
“But weren’t you cold?” Madeleine continued, “What if it had stormed?”
A sneaky smile slid up the corners of Nicky’s mouth, “Yeah, there I was out in the cold in this nice big hammock and not one beautiful girl to crawl in with me and keep me warm.”
“Oh, you!” Madeleine slapped the top of his head and Nicky laughed out loud.
Nicky in the hammock:
Harvey getting in some early morning fishing
Shep had quite a beard started, too, which ordinarily Madeleine could have lived without, but she missed him so much while he was gone, she didn’t care at the moment.
It had been a lovely summer, but it was coming to an end. Madeleine had to get busy readying the twins to go to University. It was time.
Next update: The Errol Flynn Family Ch. 4 Lalique's Back Pt. 1
Next installment of the Ferguson Clan HERE
Harvey at University go HERE
Holly at University go HERE