There was very little time for Meadow and Brian to talk privately, but she came in there on this day to ask what he wanted for dinner. While she talked she fussed with his attire, removing imaginary lint and checking to see if anything on his studded leather vest needed sewing. She really just wanted to cuddle and have some sweet talk, but there was never enough time.
That seemed to be the case more and more. Finding nothing wrong with his vest, she went off to defrost some pork chops. Evidently Brian was feeling the same way because when he worked in the yard later and Meadow came out to shake out her dust mop over the back porch rail, Brian called her over and took the opportunity to get a little frisky with her; goosing her naughtily which made her giggle and then serenading her with a love song which charmed her. Overcome with amorous intentions, Brian pressed his advantage.
“Brian!” she protested after he’d grabbed her and kissed her thoroughly, “You’ll scandalize the neighborhood!” She was laughing, though.
“Like who? Momma and Daddy live behind us and I don’t even know the people who are across the street yet. We’re just a happily married couple, we don’t need their approval.”
He looked up and down their backyard and then back at Meadow. He grinned,
“But it would be nice if we didn’t have to meet in a back alley like this.”
Heath often told his schoolfriend Tessa Ramirez of the great music career he intended to have one day.
“Playing guitar? Or the piano?” she asked curiously.
“Either one or maybe both,” Heath assured her, “My Dad plays both of them, plus drums and bass.”
Tessa had nursed a little crush on Heath since the third grade and she didn’t care if he wanted to play the piano, strum a guitar, or, frankly, slap spoons on his knee, just so he kept on talking to her.
The family was excited that evening because it was time for Brook’s birthday.
“Hey, Brookie!” Brian teased, “You’re going to be a big girl going to school with Heath now!”
She had no idea what he was talking about, it was all good to her.
Tessa had stayed to supper and now they were all blowing horns and swinging noisemakers as Meadow helped her blow out the candles. Brook was quite pleased with her new look and jumped up and down then ran for the mirror to look more closely.
Little Willow’s birthday took them by surprise a few minutes later. They barely had time to take her to potty for the first time, bathe her and give her a bottle before everyone had to hit the sack to be ready for school and work the next day.
Brook and Heath became much closer after her birthday. They talked things over a lot and often had lunch together even on weekends. When Brook had gone off to her first day of school, she knew Heath would be right by her side if she needed him, even if he was two grades ahead of her.
One of the things the kids loved best about their daddy was that he never was too busy to take time for them. Even if it was just a quick game of “Red Hands”.
A few nights later Brian started to talk to Meadow about how they never had time alone together anymore.
“You realize don't you that we’ve never been alone together—except for a few hours at at time—since we got married. We’ve never even taken a honeymoon.”
“I know,” Meadow nodded, “I’ve thought about it too but can’t figure out how we can change that with three kids.”
“We can go on a trip, just the two of us.”
“But—“ she was immediately worried.
“Now don’t race your motor, Sunshine, I know we have the kids and I’ve talked to my parents, they would be more than happy to take care of them while we go somewhere to be alone for a few days. They said they would come here because all the kids stuff is here and, frankly, our place is bigger.”
“But they’re getting older now, Brian, and the kids take a lot of energy, we both know that.”
“I’ve mentioned that to Momma and Daddy and they say not to sweat it, they’re not that old yet,” He smiled.
“All right,” Meadow said cautiously, “If you’re sure, Brian.”
“So-o-o, where do you want to go, kiddo?”
He got online and, with Meadow looking over his shoulder, checked out various places. They both agreed that Twikkii Island was where they really wanted to go and Brian scouted for accommodations.
That night they were almost too excited to sleep as they talked about their plans.
Samantha Ottomas could not get enough of being with the grandchildren she’d wanted for so long. Willow took to her immediately. For his part, Pete had promised Brook he would help with her homework, but hadn’t realized how early in the morning that would be. Nevertheless when Brook knocked on the door at 3 am and asked in her soft voice,
“Papa? You up?”
He got to his feet as quickly as those old bones would permit. Brook’s eyes were shining as he followed her to her bedroom to help her.
Over breakfast Heath and Brook discussed the days ahead and how much fun it would be over the weekend with Nana and Papa there. Meadow was surprised at how nice it was to have these communal meals with three generations of family all gathered together.
Samantha was already up and had bathed and dressed Willow warmly before she took her out to the kitchen to eat her oatmeal.
The rest of the family enjoyed pancakes that day--even though it was a weekday--in honor of the first morning Nana and Papa were visiting.
Meadow went to Amelia’s Closet in Bluewater Village to pick up a few last clothing items for the trip and while there, she ran into her sister-in-law Elaine. Brian’s kid brother, Damon, who was in high school, would be staying with Dylan and Elaine while his parents babysat his cousins. No one wanted to hear later that he’d stayed at the house alone and had parties every night, so that was why he was packed off to Elaine’s. He didn’t mind, though, he loved music and all of Dylan and Elaine’s friends and interests revolved around music, too. He only wished that he was old enough to go down to the club with Dylan and hang around the band and even the disc jockey. But, no, he'd hinted as much to Dylan who told him he was underage to be at the club during opening hours.
Meadow whispered to Elaine that this would actually be the only honeymoon she and Brian had ever had. Smiling, Elaine had teased,
“Be careful, that island is very romantic—and you’re a real fertile Myrtle, honey.”
Meadow blushed but had to joke,
“Yeah, I know I am—sometimes Brian and I are afraid to even pass each other in the hall!”
That night was another family dinner, there wouldn’t be another one for Brian and Meadow for a few days; they were leaving early in the morning.
Meadow suddenly had a few little qualms on the morning they left. What if Brian’s parents couldn’t hear the baby crying? What if one of the kids got sick?
“Meadow, they raised five kids and Damon will be the sixth,” Brian assured her,
“Anyway, who couldn’t hear Willow crying? She’s like a siren! If one of the kids gets sick, they will take them to a doctor, the same as we would. Dylan and Elaine are only a few blocks away, they can help too if necessary. You’ve written down all kinds of notes and instructions and left numbers for the doctor, the hospital, our cell phone numbers and they can get hold of us on the laptop, too.”
He saw her begin to get a little teary-eyed and pulled her to him, kissing her forehead,
“I know you’re a little nervous, you’ve never been away from them before; neither have I. This trip is important though, and we will all survive. Now come on, you don’t want to let the kids see you’re upset.”
When Brian reasoned with her and had his arms around her, Meadow could never be scared so she wiped her eyes and finished putting on her makeup. She gave some extra hugs and squeezes to her littlest one, Willow.
Then both Brian and she went into the playroom where the kids were playing while they waited for the school bus to come. Meadow hugged her oldest daughter and reminded her to help Nana care for the baby. Then Heath came over to her for his hug and she kissed his cheek and told him he should be the good boy she knew he was and to help and listen to Papa as he manned the house while they were gone. Brian was all smiles as he hugged both of the kids goodbye too. They heard the school bus honk its horn at the same time as the shuttle bus beeped. So as Heath and Brook boarded the bus, Brian and Heather left for their long postponed honeymoon on Twikkii Island.
Next update: Brian Ottomas Ch. 7 Twikkii Island Pt. 1