On Saturday morning, the triplets were all abuzz about prom. I congratulated Isaac and Isabella on being crowned prom king and queen. Isaiah was grinning from ear to ear as he regaled the wonderful time he had with Esther Abreu, the girl he’d had his eye on since the first day of school. Isaac and Isabella had also found first love at prom, although from what I could gather, things hadn’t gone as expected. I said, “Why don’t you invite your new friends over today? I’d love to meet them.” The boys seemed a little reluctant, but Isabella said, “Sure,” and placed a call.
I was a little confused when Isabella answered the door. I was expecting to meet a boy, but in walked a girl. “Mom, this is Monica Ingram.”
“Hi, Ms. Thomas. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Hi, Monica. It’s nice to meet you, too.” Isaac started walking over to talk to the girls, so I gave them some space. I was still in earshot, though, and overheard their conversation.
“Hey, Monica,” said Isaac, ignoring his sister. “I thought we were getting along great. Why did you ignore me at prom?”
“Isaac, you seem like a really nice guy, and I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings by spending all my time with Isabella at prom.”
“I’m confused. Why did you let me think I had a chance with you if you like girls?”
“Actually, Isaac, I like boys and girls. So, I wasn’t leading you on. It’s just that Isabella and I really clicked, and the more time we spent with each other, the more I liked her.”
Isaac just gave Isabella the stink eye and then walked away. I don’t know if I like this Monica. She hurt my son’s feelings.
Isabella took Monica’s hands and said quietly, “I like you, too, Monica.”
Then, when she thought I wasn’t looking, Isabella kissed Monica sweetly on the lips. Well, I guess that answers my question. Isabella’s gay (or maybe she’s bi?). I wonder why she never said anything to me. She must know that I accept all my children for who they are. Maybe that’s why she never felt the need to tell me. She knew I wouldn’t make a fuss about it. Love is love, as I’ve always said. I just want my kids to grow up to be happy.
I invited Monica to stay for dinner, and I could see there was still some tension between Isaiah and Isabella. Isaiah had been the one to give Isaac Monica’s phone number. He probably felt somewhat responsible that Isaac had his feelings hurt at prom. I busied myself in the kitchen so I could eavesdrop on their conversation.
After dinner, Jayden taunted Isaiah. “Isabella has a girlfriend, and you don’t. Na-na-na-na-na-na.”
Isaiah scowled at his little brother and said, “Jayden, watch how you talk to me. And, not that it’s any of your business, but I do have a girlfriend.”
“Pfft. I don’t believe you,” said Jayden as he walked away.
Suddenly, I was overcome with a wave of nausea, and I had to make a mad dash for the nearest bathroom. I hadn’t eaten anything questionable, so I knew I must be pregnant again. I hadn’t seen or spoken with Jameson since our first date, but I found myself thinking about him now that I knew I was carrying his baby(ies).
It was getting late, and I asked Isaac to help me put the triplets to bed. He was so loving with his baby brother and sisters. He picked up Kendra, brought her into the babies’ room and put on her pajamas. Then, before he put Kendra in her crib for the night, he gave her one last snuggle. Isaac didn’t even seem to mind that the little tykes liked to grab onto his hair when he hugged them. If I was a toddler, I’d probably do the same thing. Isaac had the most amazing head of hair.
After playing with Kevin for a few minutes, I changed him and placed him gently in his crib for the night. Meanwhile, Isaac went through the same routine with Kiley. As we were leaving the room, I placed my hand on Isaac’s shoulder and said, “Thanks, sweetie. You’re always such a big help.”
Isaac smiled and replied, “No problem, Mom. I love these little guys, and I know you have your hands full.”
I got up in the morning and went about my normal routine. As the warm water washed over me, I thought about my night with Jameson. When I finally stopped comparing him to Garret, I realized what a wonderful man Jameson is, and he’s a great kisser to boot. I found myself wanting to see him again, especially since I hadn’t even told him that I was pregnant.
Alas, it was back to maternity clothes for me. My growing baby bump made it impossible to fit in my normal wardrobe. I’d developed a love/hate relationship with maternity wear. On the one hand, I loved being pregnant and witnessing the miracle of birth. On the other, I hated that there were so few fashionable options for pregnant women. When would clothing manufacturers realize that pregnant women would be willing to spend considerably more on clothing that made them feel vibrant and sexy, rather than frumpy?
As I was standing near the kitchen table, I looked up and saw Isaiah put his hand on the stove. “Isaiah!” I said with alarm in my voice, “What are you doing?”
“Just checking to be sure the stove isn’t on, Mom.”
“Honey, the stove is off. Just look at the knobs. They’re all pointing up, which means they’re turned off.”
“Sometimes I can’t help myself. I get a little freaked out, and checking it calms me down.”
“Oh, honey. If it was actually on, you would’ve burned yourself. Next time, just check the knobs.”
With that, Isaiah turned and walked out of the kitchen. His face looked more serene than usual. Hmm. I guess it was just one of Isaiah’s quirks. Nobody’s perfect. In fact, I think I love their imperfections most of all. It’s what makes each of my children special.
In the living room, Isaac was teaching Kevin how to talk. He wanted to be the one to witness his little brother say his first word.
Isabella had fallen behind in high school, and I asked Isaac if he’d mind tutoring her. He had been upset at Isabella about being with Monica at prom, but I knew he would help her study. All I had to do was ask. Considering Isaac was a genius and Isabella was … not … he seemed to struggle every now and then to explain things in a way that she would understand. Whenever Isabella scratched her head and said, “Huh?” Isaac knew he had to try a different approach.
Today was the triplets’ birthday, and as I looked down at Kevin, I decided to throw a small party for the little tykes. I called Garret and asked if he’d like to join us. They were his kids after all. I was surprised and happy that he accepted my invitation. I told Isaac, Isaiah and Isabella they could each invite someone to the party, too.
First to arrive was Isaac’s friend, although from the way he was looking at her, I sensed she was more than a friend. “Mom, this is Faith MacDuff,” Isaac beamed.
“Hi, Ms. Thomas. You have a lovely home.”
“Hi, Faith. Thank you. It’s nice to meet you.”
Garret arrived next, and it was even more awkward than I expected. I tried making small talk with him, but Garret just raised his hand in a “stop” gesture and said, “I’m just here for the kids, Jill.” Garret looked down at my baby bump, shaking his head, and a pained expression crossed his handsome features. My God, this man still makes me weak in the knees.
“Oh. Garret, I’m so sorry.”
“I know. I just … I can’t … You broke my heart. It’s hard to be near you when I can’t be with you.”
“It is for me, too. For the kids’ sake, we have to try.”
“It’s too soon. I have to go. Please give the kids my love.” Garret looked at my belly one last time and, with his head held low, walked out the door.
I don’t know what I was thinking, inviting Garret over while I was pregnant with another man’s child. Of course, he would be hurt. While all I wanted to do was run into my bedroom and cry, I held it together for the kids. Their Daddy wasn’t going to be at their party, but the show must go on.
I picked up Kevin, aka mini-Garret, first and helped him blow out his candles. While most of his siblings cheered, Isaac pointed at him and laughed. It always amazed me that my incredibly smart son could also be so inappropriate at times.
As a child, Kevin became a Supernatural Fan. He’s a Good kid, though slightly Insane. I like to think of it as quirky.
I went into the babies’ room to pick up Kendra, and when I came out, I saw Isaiah in a major lip lock with a pretty brunette. My, my. I couldn’t say I was too surprised that Isaiah had a girlfriend. He was a born salesman and a smooth talker. What surprised me was that I hadn’t even noticed our other guests had arrived. I was too busy trying to console Garret.
As I walked towards the kitchen table, I cleared my throat so Isaiah would know I was in the room. He put a little distance between himself and Esther, but they continued gazing into each others’ eyes.
“It’s Kendra’s turn. Here we go!” Everyone started cheering — well, everyone but Isaac, who jeered — and I helped Kendra blow out her candles.
After I brushed some lint off my leggings, I looked up to see Isabella and Monica making out. When did my kitchen become makeout central? I just smiled to myself and thought — well, I’d rather have them at home, and they’re teenagers, so it’s perfectly normal behavior.
As Kendra aged up, she became a Couch Potato. She’s a Good kid, like Kevin, and she Loves the Outdoors.
Over in the living room, I could see Isaac making a move on Faith. Apparently, Faith wasn’t interested in getting cozy with Isaac in front of his whole family.
It was Kiley’s turn now, and I helped her blow out her candles. Her big brother, “King” Jayden looked on, seemingly done with the whole cheering thing. He wanted to rule the kingdom now, and we were in his way.
As a child, Kiley became Grumpy. She’s also Easily Impressed and Disciplined.
One night, completely out of the blue, Darin showed up at the house. Of course, I invited him inside. Immediately, his face contorted in anger and he said, “I heard you kicked Hannah and Hunter out of the house, Jill. What the hell!?!”
“I didn’t kick them out, Darin. They moved out on their own. They’re adults now, remember?”
“Sorry, Jill. I should’ve known you’d never do such a thing. Serves me right for listening to the rumor mill.”
“Seriously, Darin, give me the benefit of the doubt next time and just ask me instead of accusing me. They’re renting a lovely house together, and Hunter has it made with Hannah doing the cooking and cleaning.”
Darin just smiled. “Yeah, it’s easy for us, so we usually don’t mind helping out. She’s a good kid, that Hannah. I contributed to the gene pool, but you raised her and Hunter, Jill. You did a great job, and I’ll bet you don’t hear that often enough.”
“Thanks, Darin,” I said as I reached out to hug him.
“You’re welcome, Jill,” Darin said, holding me close in a warm embrace. “I’ve gotta get going. Good luck with the twins,” he said as he looked at my expansive belly.
“What do you mean, twins?”
“You look like you’re carrying the same way as you did with Hannah and Hunter. I just figured you must be having twins again. And, before you ask — no, it’s not a genie thing.” Darin said with a smile.
“Goodnight, Jill. Sleep well.”
I was awoken in the wee hours of the morning by contractions. As I doubled over in pain, I heard Darin’s words echo in my mind. Good luck with the twins. I suppose he could be right. Twins certainly did run in my family. There was no time to waste. Between waves of excruciating pain, I managed to dress myself and drive to the hospital. At least the kids weren’t awake to see me in labor. It always seemed to freak them out.
I had never told Jameson I was pregnant, so he didn’t meet me at the hospital. I was regretting that decision as I was wheeled into the delivery suite. Throughout the hours of labor, I had no one to lean on or hold my hand. Jameson would’ve been there for me. I was certain of it. What was I thinking?
I gave birth to twin sons, and I was elated. One of them was the spitting image of Jameson. I knew then that I had to have Jameson in our lives — at least while the babies were little. I wanted them to know their Daddy. As soon as I was discharged from the hospital, I took my babies home to meet the family.
Logan, my mini-Jameson with the raven hair, is Friendly, and he’s a Genius.
His twin, Lucas, is Brave and Absent-Minded. He has my blonde hair and is a mixture of both Jameson and me.
I called Jameson when I got home from the hospital and told him he was the father of beautiful twin boys. He was overcome with emotion and wanted to know why I hadn’t told him sooner. I had no good answer for that, other than that I was still getting over Garret. That wasn’t something I was going to share with Jameson, though. He deserved better.
“I’ll try to make it up to you, Jameson. I want you in their lives.”
“Just not in yours, right?” He sounded sad, but resolute.
“Actually, I’d like to see you again, Jameson. We don’t have to end things just yet — if you don’t want to, that is.”
“I was hoping you’d say that, Jill. I’d love to see you again, and I really want to meet our boys.”
“I’m throwing a small birthday party tonight for my teens. Will you come?”
“Just so you know, I’ve invited Jerrik, too. The party is for his kids.”
“OK. Thanks for the heads-up.”
After I called to invite Jerrik, I told the teens they could each invite one guest as well. The house was pretty packed. As usual, we even had a party crasher.
I asked Jameson to look after Lucas while I went into the babies’ room to check on Logan. He scooped him up and held him against his chest, while Lucas cuddled against him. I could see the love in Jameson’s eyes, and the walls around my heart broke down a little more.
Jerrik was in the babies’ room when I went in. He looked nostalgically around the room, saying, “I was just remembering when the triplets were toddlers. We made some beautiful babies together, didn’t we Jill?”
“Yes, we did, Jerrik,” I smiled, “and they grew up into gorgeous teenagers.”
“What do you say we make some more?”
“Jerrik! Knock it off! You know this was a one-time thing, and I’m with Jameson now.”
“Men…” I muttered to myself as I exited the room.
As soon as I stepped into the kitchen, I saw Jameson tickling Lucas. Lucas was giggling and looked so happy to be playing with his Daddy. I can see that Jameson is going to be a great father to the boys. There’s something incredibly sexy about a man who doesn’t know how good looking he is and who loves our kids. Jameson, you’re scoring big points with me right now.
I wanted to change the radio station to party music, so I went into my bedroom. As soon as I opened the door, I was faced with Isaiah and Esther in a heated makeout session.
Either they can’t hear me because the radio’s playing, or they’re ignoring me because they’re still going at it. Like father, like son, I guess. I’m starting to get embarrassed.
“Isaiah,” I said sternly.
He quickly parted from Esther, blushing a little. “Yeah, Mom?” Esther is blushing now, too.
“The party’s starting. I just brought your sister’s cake out.”
“We’ll be right there.”
“How about now. Bedrooms are off limits, Isaiah — especially mine. You should know better.”
Argh … teenagers and hormones.
I walked over to Jameson and whispered in his ear, “Jameson, I just walked in on Isaiah and his girlfriend making out in my bedroom. My kids are getting more action than I am,” I smirked. “I miss you. Do you want to stay over?”
“Sure! I can make sure you get more action than your kids, too — a lot more.” As Jameson looked off in the distance, I could swear he was thinking of the same thing I was.
I love my kids’ parties, but I’ve been missing my man, and I’d like to send everyone away so we can be alone. Now. Well, since that’s not going to happen, let’s get this party going.
Isabella stepped up to her cake first. She made a wish and blew out her candles, while we all cheered.
As a young adult, Isabella added Avant Garde to her existing traits of Evil, Heavy Sleeper, No Sense of Humor and Animal Lover.
Isaac was up next. As a young adult, he inherited a Green Thumb to add to his existing traits of Athletic (like his Dad), Genius, Daredevil and Inappropriate.
Finally, Isaiah blew out his candles. As a young adult, Isaiah added Friendly to his existing traits of Eccentric, Neurotic, Virtuoso and Born Salesman.
Now that the party was over and I had put the little kids to bed, I went looking for Jameson. It was finally ‘our time.’ He had just picked up a book to read. I didn’t even give him a chance to put it down before I slid my left arm around his waist and pulled him up against me with my right arm around his shoulder. I planted a hungry kiss on him, and he returned it eagerly.
As we were kissing, I heard the sound of someone washing dishes in the sink. When we came up for air, I turned to see that Jerrik was still here. I told Jameson, “Don’t move a muscle. I’ll be right back.” He just smiled.
“Jerrik, it’s getting late. Time to call it a night. Thanks for coming.”
“Thanks for having me. Goodnight, Jill.”
Jameson was standing near the front door, and Jerrik had no choice but to walk past him.
“Jameson…,” Jerrik acknowledged him with a slight nod.
“Jerrik…,” Jameson nodded in return.
“Jameson — at last, we’re alone.”
“Mm-hmm,” he said flirtatiously. “So, what did you have in mind? Ladies choice.”
“Well, you’re such a great kisser, Jameson, and everywhere I turn lately, I’ve been seeing my kids making out. It made me long for a good old-fashioned makeout session. Is that weird coming from a grown woman?”
Jameson stared at my lips as he responded, “Hell no, that’s not weird. I could kiss those luscious lips of yours all night long and still not have enough.”
“Damn, that’s hot.”
Jameson took my hand and led me to the loveseat. He looked me in the eyes and ran his index finger along my bottom lip, then my top lip. His touch was so soft and sensual. He cupped my face in his hands and whispered, “Close your eyes and be still, sweetheart.” He peppered my lips with feather-light kisses — starting with my bottom lip and then all around my mouth. Next, he kissed me full on the lips, gently, chastely.
Then, as I moaned, practically begging him to really kiss me, Jameson kissed me passionately, like he’d been waiting years to finally taste my lips. He released my face and pulled me close, allowing me to respond in kind. Our libidos heightened, we were now in a full-on makeout session. My house had truly become makeout central lately, but at least I wasn’t missing out any more. For a while, I felt like a teenager again, with hormones raging out of control. “Mmm …,” I moaned into his mouth. Damn, this man can kiss!
“Mmm … Jill …,” Jameson groaned, his breath ragged as he kissed my neck, “Let’s move to your bedroom for our own private party.”
“Mmm … that’s the best idea I’ve heard all day.”