Graduation day was upon us again, and it was time for Dylan and Dakota to say goodbye to high school. All the kiddos and I got dressed up in our nicest clothes and joined the twins at the graduation ceremony. I beamed with pride as I watched Dylan and Dakota receive their high school diplomas.
After the pomp and circumstance was over, we all went home. For me, it wasn’t a moment too soon, as I felt a wave of nausea overcome me as soon as I entered the kitchen.
I made a mad dash to the nearest bathroom and confirmed to myself that I was, indeed, pregnant. Why, oh why, does the miracle of pregnancy have to begin with something so revolting as morning sickness!
I walked out of the bathroom, and as my stomach was just starting to settle, Faith came up from behind me and scared the daylights out of me.
Not pleased with her prank, I sent Faith outside to clear the breakfast dishes that were on the picnic table. I’d heard from the other kids that Faith’s idea of doing the dishes often involved licking them clean, rather than putting them in the dishwasher. I remembered all too well when I first saw Aiden acting like a slob. I was none too pleased with his behavior.
Since it was graduation day, Dylan and Dakota knew it was time for them to move out of the house and start living on their own. They changed out of their caps and gowns, and I gave them both hugs, told them I loved them and asked them to keep in touch.
Dakota had found a lovely little house where she and Dylan could live, and Dylan called for a taxi to take them on their journey to adulthood. As they walked out the door, I remembered all the trials and tribulations of raising my first werewolf, and a little piece of me went with them. I knew that Dakota loved her brother, but I hoped she would learn that she had nothing to fear from him, even when he transformed into a wolf. Dylan would never harm Dakota, or anyone in his family for that matter. As his mother, I was certain of it.
After my two biggest helpers were gone from the nest, I went back to training the toddlers on my own. I taught Gabrielle to talk, and soon enough, I was having lovely little chats with her.
With a houseful of kids in constant need of attention, my garden often got neglected. Evan was outside playing with fairy magic, and I wished he could work a little magic on my plants. Alas, he was a young and inexperienced fairy, and helping plants bloom is something he would only learn in time.
In the morning, Gavin woke up in a happy mood and was quite chatty. I suppose I’d be, too, if I’d finally learned how to talk. I expected lots of questions, but all Gavin really wanted to talk about was Mommy and food. My little boy was on a mission to get his immediate needs met. I took the hint and fed him breakfast, then did the same for his twin sister.
The days passed, and my baby bump grew bigger. For the most part, the kiddos kept themselves busy with school and playtime. Evan was a real sweetheart with his younger siblings. When I walked into the kitchen, I saw him giving Gabrielle a hug, and it was one of the sweetest things I’d ever seen. Gavin was playing on the floor nearby.
Faith didn’t see that I was behind her, and what I saw her do next gave me chills. She stretched out her hands towards Gabrielle as if to pick her up. Gabrielle responded by putting her arms up, smiling.
Then Faith stole her baby sister’s candy! The look of shock and dismay on Gabrielle’s face said it all.
Then, while Gabrielle wailed, Faith calmly sat down in front of her, ignoring her cries, and played with her imaginary friend. She was completely unaffected by her sister’s torment. I scooped up Gabrielle and snuggled her close to me to calm her down.
Meanwhile, Emma had been dancing the smustle in my bedroom. Ever since I bought a small stereo, my fairy twins have been sneaking into my room to dance their hearts out. I love the faces they make as they practice their moves.
I went into the bedroom to see Emma, and I was hit suddenly by a wave of contractions. Emma went from dancing happily to freaking out at the sight of me doubling over and grabbing my expanded belly.
“Yikes. That was a big one,” I said as my eyes turned into saucers and the contractions got stronger and closer together. “I think it’s time to head to the hospital.”
I got into my car and drove myself to the hospital. It was a route I’d driven many times. As I walked towards the building, I took a moment to take in the beauty of its architecture and manicured grounds and the majesty of the mountains to my left. I’d always been in such a hurry that I’d never noticed my surroundings before. After having 12 children, I had a pretty good idea how long labor would take.
I’d called Darin on the way, and he got to the hospital in record time. He told me he used his genie powers to levitate and glide rather than walk into the hospital to save time. He wanted to be with me when I gave birth.
With Darin by my side, I gave birth to a set of twins — a girl and a boy. Darin proudly carried his son out of the hospital while I tended to our daughter. I brought the twins home and got them settled in.
We named our little girl Hannah, and she has her father’s blue skin tone. It’s unclear whether she is a genie or not. The doctor said that genie powers won’t manifest until the child is older. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
We named our son Hunter, and he has my skin tone and blonde hair. He doesn’t look like a genie, but we won’t know for certain until he’s older.
The next day, it was beautiful outside, and I decided to take the twins out for some fresh air. While Hunter played with the peg box, I taught Hannah to talk. We were enjoying our family time until the paparazzi showed up again. My 100-baby challenge had caused quite a stir in the neighborhood, and the Moonlight Falls paparazzi couldn’t get enough photos of me and my unique family. I lowered my head in exasperation.
When it was time for our next birthday celebration, we kept it low key, with only the immediate family and not much fanfare. I was hoping to stay under the paparazzi’s radar this time. First up to blow out the candles was Gabrielle, my little witch. In addition to being a Genius and a Slob, she now Loves the Outdoors.
Her twin Gavin blew out his candles next. In addition to being Artistic and Excitable, Gavin is now an avid Angler. He has his father Dante’s reddish-brown hair.
Gavin’s first order of business was to try to establish himself as king of the castle. To Gavin’s disappointment, his “subjects” didn’t seem to pay him much mind. Maybe it’s because they knew their birthdays were coming up, and they would soon be going to high school.
I had felt bad about the lack of birthday party for Gabrielle and Gavin. I can’t let the paparazzi win. So, for Evan and Emma’s birthday, I invited the whole family, as well as Darin. Chloe was the first to arrive, and she went straight into the babies’ room, picked up Hunter and played tickle monster with him. Hunter giggled with glee.
Then I set out the cake, and we got the party started. Emma was up first. The sound of party horns and noisemakers was deafening. As if the party wasn’t big enough already, we even had a couple party crashers. Some guests like Dakota were extra thoughtful and brought food to share.
Emma made a wish, blew out the candles, and became a beautiful teenaged fairy. To her existing traits of Hydrophobic, Loves the Outdoors and Lucky, Emma gained a Good Sense of Humor. Looking at Emma, I see the reflection of her father, Matt.
Normally, Evan would celebrate his birthday on the same day as his twin. However, Evan’s been having trouble in school and needs to complete his extra-credit work to complete elementary school first.
Faith, for all her faults and lack of compassion, is quite bright and has achieved an “A” in school. She’s ready to move on to high school. So, we celebrated her birthday next. In addition to Faith being an Evil Slob and an Animal Lover, she is now Ambitious as well. She is also quite beautiful and reminds me a lot of Keith, her father.
Before the party started winding down, Faith had a chance to chat with her half-brother Aiden, whom she hadn’t met yet. It was nice to see them getting along, and I need to remember to invite my grown kids over more often. I miss having them around.
The next day while the older kids were at school, I started teaching Hannah to walk and potty-trained both twins.
When everyone got home from school and completed their homework, we had a birthday cake for Evan, who had finally achieved his “A” when he handed in his extra-credit work. He was anxious to catch up to Emma and especially Faith, who had surpassed him. After blowing out his candles, Evan became a Virtuoso, in addition to being Hydrophobic, Friendly and a Kleptomaniac.
I could hear Emma telling Evan not to worry about being a little behind in school. “Evan, everything will be OK. I’m sure you’ll catch up,” she said. “Plus, you’re kind of adorable, even if you are my brother. I’m sure you’ll make lots of friends, especially girls.” Evan grinned from ear to ear. And, my heart swelled at hearing Emma stick up for her twin.
As I wandered from room to room, checking on the kids, I found Hunter trying to chew the head off of the Daddy doll while playing in the dollhouse. I hope there’s no subliminal meaning there, just Hunter soothing his gums as his teeth come in.
I panicked for a minute when I couldn’t find Hannah, and then I remembered that some of my other kids liked to play in the toy box. Sure enough, there she was, peeking in and out of the box and taking out her favorite toys.
In the kitchen, Gavin was trying once again to establish himself as king of the castle. Most of his siblings are teenagers, his twin sister is a witch, and the toddlers couldn’t care less what he’s doing. With only his Mom around as witness, Gavin has finally succeeded in ruling over his palace, and he is one happy boy. The fact that he became king while no other kids were around was simply a coincidence, I’m sure.
As for me, once I put the toddlers to bed tonight, I’m going to put the past behind me and break up with the only two men in Moonlight Falls who don’t know it’s over between us. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to either of them, but I’m still riddled with anxiety over it. I just hope it’s not a full moon tonight.