LAST CHAPTER / EPILOGUE
The day after Labor Day Danny started kindergarten. Hawkeye didn't see it any differently than he did when his son was in preschool. Margaret saw it as a big step, but she also felt that way when Matt was moved from the infant class at daycare to the toddler group. He was a year and a half old now and walking and talking and learning more each day.
That summer was more hectic than the previous one. Most of the afternoons Danny had a friend or two come over or he would go to their houses. Having a couple of four and five year old boys in an apartment could get loud so Margaret had taken to bringing them to the park and meeting some of the other mothers there. She had gotten to know a few of them over the past year and had even befriended some. Having other women with children around the same age was nice. They could vent and knew what the other was talking about.
Hawkeye had been in a great demand and they never got a chance to get to Maine like they did every summer. Margaret had taken the boys and the three of them went to see her mother for a week. Margaret would have preferred that Hawkeye went along, but she and the boys had a good time just the same. Her sister and nieces were there so the boys had some playmates.
Hawkeye probably had the worst summer. He worked so much that when he had a day off all he wanted to do was sleep. The nice weather was wasted on him. He had a lot on his mind and thought that it was time to start making some decisions. It wasn't fair to the boys or to Margaret to be cooped up all the time in that apartment. For some people that lifestyle was okay, but not for them. He knew that Margaret loved the outdoors and so did their two boys. Living in that apartment just didn't seem right anymore. Now with Matt walking and running around it seemed so cramped.
It was now the beginning of September and it still felt like the summer heat was in full swing. He was walking home one Monday afternoon and the wind was blowing fiercely, but it was beautiful weather other than that. He couldn't stand being in the hospital any longer and told his boss that he was taking a week off to rejuvenate. It felt good to be going home and knowing that he wasn't on call or didn't have to go back in the morning.
Margaret had just put Matt down for his afternoon nap when she felt someone slap her ass playfully. She turned around alarmed but smiled when she saw Hawkeye standing there. She picked up his hand and pulled him out of the baby's room. Once they were in the hall and the door was closed she spoke. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm on vacation." He placed his hands on her hips and pulled her against him and gave her a kiss. "Let's go to Maine."
"Yes. I told Don I needed some time off and I'd be back in a week."
He nodded. "Let's head out of town."
"We can't. Well I can't and you're not allowed to go without me."
"I'm not allowed?"
"Last time you went without me you were in an accident. You're no longer allowed to go alone."
He smiled and gave her another kiss. "Come with me then."
"We can't go, Hawkeye." She moved out of his grasp and to the living room where she started to pick up some of the toys that Matt had all around the room.
"Why?" He followed her and started to help.
"I'm scheduled to work this week and Danny's in school now. We can't just take off anytime."
His shoulders slumped when he realized she was right. "I just want to get out of here."
"What am I supposed to do all week?"
"Spend time with your sons. They haven't seen much of you lately."
"Yeah. Have you listened to the weather today?"
"No. Why do you ask?"
"I heard something about that hurricane heading to New England."
"I'm sure we'll be fine." She tossed the last toy into the chest in the corner of the room. "How often do hurricanes even get this far north with any amount of strength left?"
"Not often, but I would still like to know what its doing." He turned the radio to one of his favorite stations.
"Fine. Will you be able to pick Danny up today?"
"Yeah. Sit down with me."
"And listen to the radio?"
He smiled. "You make it sound like you've never done that. You must have listened to those old radio shows growing up."
"Of course, but this isn't a show. It's just music."
He grabbed her hand and pulled her to the couch. "Just sit with me."
"Honey, I have things to do."
Even though she was saying she didn't want to sit there and relax, her body was telling him otherwise. She had almost completely relaxed against him. "The bathroom needs to be cleaned."
"So you'd rather clean a bathroom that's already clean then be with me at the only time of the day that we have any peace and quiet?"
When he put it that way she couldn't get up. "Using guilt now?"
"Just fact." He smiled and gave her a kiss. "I haven't seen you much lately."
"I know. It's good to see you're in a better mood today." Lately he had been very moody. They hadn't been fighting, but he had certainly not been himself. She knew that something had been bothering him but it hadn't been the right time to talk about it. "I'm glad you're going to be around for a while."
"So am I. I just wish we could get out of this damn city. Do you know how long I've been stuck here?"
"I know, honey. Maybe this Friday after Danny gets out of school we can go up to see your father."
"That sounds really good. I'm beginning to hate this living in the city."
"Yeah." She sighed.
"You too?" He looked at her with surprise. The last time they talked about it neither of them wanted to get out of the city.
"I don't know. Maybe it was just the summer or that the boys are getting older. All I know is that they need more space to run around and play in. I would love to have a yard."
"What do you want to do?"
"What do you want to do?"
"I asked you first," he smiled.
She looked at him for a moment. "I want to get out of this apartment. Matt's walking and climbing the walls of this place. Danny has more energy then anyone I've ever met. They drive me mad some days."
"Then let's get out of here."
She smiled. She had been hoping he would say that for months now. "Where do you want to go?"
He sighed. "That's where the problem comes in. I don't want our boys to grow up in the city and I mean that. If we buy a house here I'm afraid that's what we'd end up doing."
"Do you want to go back Maine now?"
"I don't know. Maybe. Or maybe it's just because I need to get out of town for a little. I've been so busy the last few months that I haven't had time to stop and enjoy anything. Matt took his first step and I wasn't around for two days to see it. I don't want to miss Danny's first little league game or Matt's first football game."
"He looks like a little football player, why not?"
"He could get hurt."
Hawkeye rolled his eyes. "He can get hurt in anything. That's pretty far off right now anyway."
"Why don't we…"
"Shh. The weather." After a few minutes of listening to it he stood up. "I have to call my father."
"I'm sure he knows." Hawkeye gave her a look. "Okay, call him."
Hawkeye went into the kitchen and called his father. The hurricane was now heading to New England and it was predicted to be at full strength. His father's house was built over thirty years ago and wasn't built to withstand a hurricane. He was on the phone for over a half an hour trying to convince his father to go somewhere else and board up the house. Dan kept insisting that it wasn't going to land there and if it did all the force would have gone out of it when it hit the colder New England waters.
Margaret walked into the kitchen when she heard Hawkeye slam down the telephone. He was sitting at the table then, but stood to his feet and grabbed a beer out of the refrigerator. "He made you mad?"
"Yes!" Hawkeye slammed his beer down on the counter before popping the top. The foam went all over the counter. "Damn it." He grabbed a towel and started to wipe it up.
She was confused as to why he was so upset. His father was an intelligent man and wouldn't put himself in the face of danger if it could be avoided. "What's the matter?"
"It's heading right for Maine and he won't leave."
"You don't know its heading strait for Maine. I listened to that weather bulletin too."
"Would you stop being on his side." He sat down heavily.
"His side? There are sides now?"
He rolled his eyes. "Why do you have to be a pain in the ass too? I'm worried about him and he seems to be taking all of this like a joke." He looked at her. "Just like you!"
"Aww, honey, I'm sorry." She placed her hands on his shoulders and bent down to give him a kiss on the cheek. He moved his head away from her lips. "Don't be mad."
"Margaret, this isn't funny. He won't listen to me."
She moved around and took a seat at the table with him. "I think you're making a bigger deal out of this than need be. He's a grown man."
"So am I. I just want him to say that he'll go farther inland if it heads his way."
"Did you tell him?"
"Yes. What can I do?"
She thought for a moment. "You can call Dora."
"What?! I am not calling her."
Margaret rolled her eyes. "I thought you were over this?"
"I am not calling her." He started forcefully.
"Why would I? What could she do?"
"If you're father won't listen to you then he'll listen to her. You know he will. She has him wrapped around her finger."
Hawkeye help up his hand. "I don't want to hear it."
She sighed with disgust. "You're acting silly. If you were really that worried you would do it. You know it's all you can do from here. Even if you were there you know you wouldn't be able to take him by the hand and make him leave." Her husband could be so pig headed at times.
He looked at her with narrowed eyes. "I hate when you're right."
"What are you going to do?"
He looked down at his bottle. "I'll call the old bag."
"Benjamin Franklin Pierce!"
"It was said with kindness." He hid his evil grin by taking a sip of his beer.
"I'll get you the number." Margaret stood up and headed to the bedroom. Matt's room used to be the office, and they had kept a desk in there up until recently. Now he was into everything and they couldn't do that. They had moved as much of that stuff into their room as possible. The apartment seemed to be getting smaller and smaller the bigger the boys became.
Hawkeye finished off his beer and then got up. He went to find his wife in the bedroom. She was sitting on her side of the bed looking through the nightstand drawer. "Did you find it?"
She pulled out the address book and showed it to him. "Here you go."
"You mad at me for that?"
"I just don't understand why you have to be like that. She's a nice woman and she cares about your father very much, and what's more is that he cares about her."
"Yeah, I know. That doesn't mean I have to like it." He sat down next to her and grabbed the address book.
"You're an adult now. Your mother isn't coming back, you know that."
"I know." She didn't have to remind him.
"What's going to happen if the two of them get married?"
Hawkeye's head whipped around to look at her. "That will not happen."
Her hand patted his leg. "You never know." She gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Go call her."
"I will." He stood up and headed to the kitchen to make his phone call.
Margaret took the time to clean the bathrooms before the baby woke up from his nap. After he was up she couldn't do things like that. Most of her time was devoted to him whether it was playing with him, changing him, cleaning him, or picking up after him. He was a very busy little guy and he kept his mother on her toes. She usually had to get the deep cleaning done while he was napping because he would be into everything if he was awake. Sometimes she missed the days when she could place him on a blanket on the living room floor and he would play with some toys in that one spot. Those days were long gone.
When she was finished she checked on Matt and he was still sleeping and then she went to the kitchen to see how Hawkeye made out. He was sitting on the counter next the phone eating a cookie his must have snatched out of the cabinet. "Did you call her?"
"And?" She walked over to him.
He locked his ankles around her and pulled her in close. "She's going to take care of it for me. She'll call later and let me know what's going on."
"I told you."
"Yeah, yeah." He wrapped his arms around her and gave her a kiss. "You were right, but I still don't like it."
"Then get used to it. I don't want the boys to start acting like you do towards Dora."
"What? I don't treat her bad! I treat her very well."
"You do, but I'm talking about things like you just said a little while ago. If either of those boys ever said something like that I'd kill them."
He rolled his eyes. "You're such a loving mother."
She smiled up at him and gave him a kiss. "You know what I meant." Her arms were wrapped tightly around him. "You watch what you say when they're around. They don't understand how you feel about this. It's normal to them."
"I know, and I don't like that either."
"I know you don't. There isn't anything you can do though. Can't change the past."
"Don't remind me." He pushed her back a little. Just enough so that he could jump down and stand on his feet again. "What's for dinner tonight?"
"I don't know."
"You're the cook around here."
"What?" She gave him a look he knew all too well.
"I'm kidding." He smiled like he had meant to say that to tease her, but in reality he didn't. He gave her a soft kiss. "But really, what is for dinner?"
She sighed and rolled her eyes. "Whatever you make."
"Take out, it is."
"For a doctor you don't eat very healthy."
"I'll cook you something nice tomorrow." He gave her another kiss and held her close to him. "How much time do we have before Matt wakes up?"
She looked into his eyes knowing what he was after. "Not enough, so don't even think about it. You have to go get Danny soon anyway."
"If we lived in the country he could take a bus to and from school."
"Are you saying that you want to move to the country?"
"I'm not saying anything."
Margaret sighed and moved out of his arms. "You need to make up your mind."
"I will. Where are you going?"
"Get Matt up. I don't want him sleeping all day."
"I'll get him." Hawkeye grabbed her hand and stopped her from walking away. "Are you feeling okay? You don't look so hot."
"I'm fine," she smiled. "Tired, but fine."
He gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Relax some. Matt and I will go get Danny and go to the park. You have some time to yourself. Do whatever it is that you do when you're alone."
"I don't even know what that is anymore."
Hawkeye spent the next two days worrying about his father. He wanted to go to Maine, but there wasn't anything he could do anyway. Margaret had to practically strap him to the living room chair so that he would stay put. When he found out that the local schools were going to be canceled because of the threat from high winds and even spin off tornados from the hurricane he almost went crazy. The hurricane was being forecasted to hit Maine.
The night that the hurricane hit Hawkeye didn't sleep well at all. Margaret eventually got him to bed, but that didn't mean he stayed there. He had tossed and turned all night and when he wasn't doing that he was up pacing the floors eating. He just couldn't sit still not knowing that his father was okay. It wasn't possible. His father was the only family he had outside of Margaret and the boys and as the only child it was his duty to look after him.
The next morning Hawkeye started to make calls again. The phone lines were still down in Crabapple Cove and he couldn't get through. That wasn't a good sign since the hurricane had already passed through there. He was in a panic that morning after Margaret went to work. It was just him and Matt at the apartment and he was going crazy not knowing if his father was alright. He called Margaret at least four times that morning because he didn't know what else to do.
Margaret made arrangements with her sister to drop the two boys off at her house in New Hampshire. She and Hawkeye were headed to Maine and it just wasn't the right time to bring the boys with them. Dan had some news that he needed to tell his son and asked Margaret if they could leave the boys behind this one time. She knew something was really wrong if he was asking that so she did what he asked.
The two of them met with Daniel and Dora at her house. That was when Hawkeye found out what had happened. He was devastated and almost heartbroken when he heard the news. It took a little while for it to all sink in. It was a lot for him to take in all of a sudden. Dan brought Hawkeye and Margaret to the house, or rather to the pile of rubble that used to be the house. One of the tornados that spun off of the storm had landed on the house and ruined practically everything that was there. The only thing that was not ruined was the things in the basement. With the house being up so high from sea level there was no worries that it would flood, so the things would be fine until some of the debris could be moved to get to them.
Dan left his son and daughter-in-law alone and went back with Dora to her house. The whole thing was very uncomfortable for Hawkeye. Dora had offered for him and Margaret to stay at her place, but he decided to get a hotel room. Just knowing that his father and she were sharing the same room was enough to make him want to throw up. Now he was standing on top of a pile of rubble that had been his childhood home and the one place that was always there no matter what else was going on in the world.
Margaret walked Dan to the car and said goodbye to the two of them. When she turned around she saw Hawkeye standing on what used to be the kitchen looking out at the ocean in the distance. His hands were in the pockets of his jeans and he was kicking around some of the debris below him looking down at his feet. She felt horrible for him; he was like a lost little boy and she didn't know what to do for him. He was taking it awfully hard and on top of that his father gave them something else to think about.
She watched her husband for a moment and then decided to go to him. He didn't need to be alone at the moment. She walked up the pile as best as she could and almost made it to him without slipping. It was steep and very unstable. Hawkeye caught her by the hand before she fell down.
"Yes," she breathed. "Thank you." She brushed off her hands on her pants and stood next to him. "How about you?"
"Ah, I've been better." He pulled her close to him wrapped his arm securely around her waist so that he knew she wouldn't slip and if she did he would be there to catch her.
"I know you have."
"Look at this place. It was so beautiful. I'm standing on my home now. I knew something like this was going to happen."
"You got your father out of here, didn't you? You couldn't save the whole house."
"I know. What are we going to do?"
"I don't know yet." He was referring to the offer Dan had made them. The property was now theirs to do as they wished. All that Dan was going to do was get the insurance money out of the damage and move on. He didn't want to build another house there; he didn't want to build another house at all.
"We need to think this through."
"Yes." In her head she was thinking about what he had been saying recently about getting out of the city. She wanted to say that they should do it. It was a wonderful opportunity.
Hawkeye looked at his wife. "We've been talking about moving out of the city."
"Do you want to move here?"
"Are you ready?"
"I don't know." He wasn't sure if he wanted to take that step yet. "Are you?"
She nodded yes. "If you are."
He sighed and shook his head unsure of what to think. "I just don't know yet." He hadn't been happy with his work lately, but maybe that was just a phase. The city had been getting to him and he wasn't as happy as he had once been. Moving was a big step. "What do you think of this?" He hadn't looked at her, but was continuing to look down at his feet.
"We can't stay in that apartment forever. We need to get out there some day. This is a good opportunity for us."
"Are you saying you want to move here?" He looked at her.
"What are you doing for work? Are you happy?"
"I'm not miserable, but I think I need a change. I want what's best for my boys."
She smiled proudly at him. "Are you ready to leave the big city to come back here to this sleepy little town?"
He sighed. "This is harder then I thought it would be."
Margaret knew what he wanted to do. He had said many times before that he wanted the boys to grow up in Maine and he just said he wanted what's best for them. Maybe he didn't know it yet, but he was telling her in an off handed way that he was ready to go. She had something to tell him; something very important and now seemed like as good as time as any. "Maybe I can help you make up your mind."
He looked at her with confusion. "What do you mean?"
"Well…" She paused for a moment. "We're going to have another baby soon." His eyes went wide and he swallowed hard making her think that he was going to say something, but he didn't. "Honey, are you okay?"
"You're pregnant again?"
He didn't sound too excited about it. Maybe she shouldn't have said anything to him at the moment. They were standing on what used to be the home he grew up in. "Yes."
"We're going to have another baby?" She nodded. "How long have you known about this?"
A large smile spread across his face and he nodded slightly. "A baby, huh? That makes three."
"You're very good at adding. Are you happy?"
He gave her a kiss. "Oh yeah. I'm so good."
"What?" She looked at him oddly.
"We used protection and my little swimmers still get through."
She rolled her eyes. "Oh, brother."
Hawkeye laughed and gave her another kiss, but then his mood suddenly changed. "We're going to have three little boys in that apartment if we stay there."
"I don't know about boys, but there will be three kids."
"Margaret!" He said tersely. "What the hell are you thinking?!"
"What are you talking about?"
"You're pregnant. You need to get off of here. Look how high up were are." It seemed like he suddenly realized that.
"You could fall. You almost did!"
"Yes, but you caught me."
"Here we go again." He took her by the arm and they started to make their way down the mountain of debris. "Didn't you learn anything with Matt?"
"Yes. I seem to remember when I was pregnant with him that you took me down a cliff. What's the difference?"
He slipped a little as he was walking down, but caught himself before he did. "This isn't stable. That cliff isn't going anywhere."
"You're getting carried away with this."
"No I'm not." She didn't take things serious enough. "You're pregnant and you need to be careful. Why is that so hard for you to understand?"
"Don't even try to fight with me." He jumped down and then grabbed her by the hips and pulled her down so her feet were on the ground. "You're not going to win. I let you do too much when you were pregnant with Matt."
"Fine." She knew he was right so there wasn't anything that she could say. He picked up her hand and they started to walk away toward the ocean.
She didn't say anything else to him for a few minutes. "Are you mad at me?"
"No," she said softly. "Are you happy about this baby?"
He stopped and looked at her. "Yes. I'm sorry honey, but you scare me sometimes. You hold my whole world in the palm of your hands and now you have a growing baby inside you. Our baby. I don't want anything to happen to either of you."
"But you want the baby?"
"Yeah," he smiled gently. "And I want to come back home."
"You do?" She was thrilled.
"We better get started on this before that baby comes. We need a place for him."
"I don't think that's going to happen, honey. Look at this place."
"No, I know. We need to build as soon as we can."
"Hawkeye, think about it. Its not possible. This baby is coming in seven months and we can't build a house in that time." Everything needed to be cleaned up and shipped out of there. Then they needed to find a house that they wanted to build and by the time that all that happened the ground would be frozen and there was no way that they could start a house in the middle of winter in Maine.
"I think we could do it. We may have to move right before the baby is born, but if they could get the outside of the house finished they could work on the inside during the winter months."
"No. We have a chance to build any house that we want. That's going to take a lot of thought and time just to pick on out. Besides, I'm not moving before this baby comes. You and I both know that my body won't allow me to. I know I won't be able to drive up here, and there's no way I can get a house in order before the baby comes."
That would be asking a lot from her and he had just yelled at her for not being careful enough. "What do we do?"
"We spend the winter deciding what we want. In the spring they can start to build. This baby is due in April so while they're building I'll be taking of him."
"You just said him." He smiled.
"Her," she smiled. "I'll be taking care of her and the two boys. It'll be fine. We'll just have to stay in Boston and it might be a little crowded and loud in the apartment, but we have to do what we have to do."
"Why do you make things sound so easy?"
"One of us has to. And when I have a screaming newborn, a whining toddler, and busy kindergartner all driving me crazy then you remind me why we're doing it. You tell me that we have a big house waiting for us and places for the boys to run and a home that they can grow up in."
He smiled and nodded. "I will."
They walked for a little not saying a word. Hawkeye was thinking about the baby and grinning to himself. Hopefully this baby wouldn't have colic like Matt did. It would make things so much better. Having Matt was very trying on their marriage. The only downfall about having another baby was that they wouldn't have any time to themselves, not alone anyway. They were just now starting to spend time alone and he'd have to kiss that goodbye for a while.
"Where are we going?"
She asked him again. "Where are we going?"
"For a walk."
"I can see that."
"I needed to get away from all of that. I don't like seeing it."
"Well you're father is waiting for us back at Dora's house."
"He can wait. I want to be with my wife for a little." He squeezed her hand gently. "Let's go down to the beach."
"And do what?"
"Take a nice walk or maybe sit down. Just be together."
She smiled brightly. "I'd like that a lot. We'd better take advantage of it while we can."
"That's right." He brought her hand up to his lips and gently kissed it. "I love you." His other hand went to her flat tummy. "I love you too, whoever you are."
3 years later
It was a beautiful summer day; they perfect day to be outside and enjoy the weather. Eight year old Danny was tossing a football around with his father on the far end of the yard. Matt, now four and a half, was playing in the sandbox with his little brother. They were two years apart and always fought, but they had their moments when they were the best of friends, and that's what they were at the moment.
When they built their new house they decided not to put a pool back there. They wanted to make it more kids friendly, at least until the kids were a little older. They chose to put a sandbox out there, a swing set, a tire swing, a small pool for the little boys to play in; their boys didn't lack for anything. Margaret kept telling Hawkeye that they were spoiling the boys, but he didn't seem to think so. The boys all loved being outside and giving them things to do out there wasn't considered spoiling. That was an issue they went back and forth on all the time.
As all of the boys were playing Margaret was pulling weeds from the flowers she had planted near the patio earlier that summer. It wasn't long until she heard someone start to cry. She looked over to the younger boys and saw Ben stand up and run towards her. He was chubby just like Matt had been when he was that age. Now Matt would be considered solid, but no longer chubby.
"What's the matter?" She figured he was just upset. She didn't see Matt do anything wrong, but that really didn't mean anything.
"Mommy," he cried as he ran to her. She was on her knees at his level so he just ran into her wrapping his arms around her neck.
"What's wrong baby?" She held onto him for a moment. She looked over at Matt and he was looking at her from the sandbox. Margaret pulled the toddler back and looked at his face. He was covered in dirt and now so was she.
"Matt being bad!"
"He is? How come?"
"He not sharing."
She wiped the big crocodile tears off his face. "Why not?" The little dark haired boy shrugged his shoulders and hugged his mother again. "You're tired, aren't you?"
"No." He mumbled into her shoulder.
Matt wasn't sure if he was in trouble or not. He decided it was best to go find out rather than sit where he was. "Mom, I didn't do anything wrong."
Ben was too young to be able to explain what happened and he was tired and oversensitive at the moment. "What happened?"
"He wanted my shovel but I was using it."
"Didn't he have one too?"
"Yes, but he wanted mine. That's not fair."
"I know sweetheart. You're not in trouble. Go back and play."
"Can I play with Danny and Daddy?"
"Yes." Margaret rubbed her youngest son's back comfortingly. "Would you like to help me?"
"Can me use that shobble?" He pulled back and looked at her.
"You don't need a shovel for this. You see these little green things that look like grass?" He nodded. "I need you to help me pull them out. Do you think you can do that?"
She smiled and gave him a kiss. "Okay."
Hawkeye had been watching what was going on and couldn't help but smile. Margaret had learned to handle the kids a lot better than when Matt was first born. She knew how to take things in stride now and not get stressed over something as small as fighting over a shovel. When Matt walked over Hawkeye let him join in, but soon he left the two boys to their own. Danny liked to teach his little brother to do things and he was very good at it.
He needed to get a drink anyway, and his wife looked very sexy in an odd sort of way. "You got a new helper." Hawkeye ruffled Ben's dark hair.
"He's very good," she smiled up at him. "What are you doing?"
"Getting a drink. You want one?"
"Just bring a pitcher of lemonade out here and five glasses. I'm sure all the boys could use a drink too."
"Okay." He bent down and gave her a kiss. "You're sexy with dirt all over you."
"You too." She wiped her dirt covered hand on his cheek.
"Sexy, but not funny." Hawkeye turned and went into the house.
This was his weekend off. Every other weekend he was on call, but not this weekend and it was the perfect weekend to be off. The weather couldn't have been better. Danny would be leaving later that night to spend the night with his grandfather and a babysitter was coming over to take care of the other kids which meant Hawkeye was taking his wife out to a romantic dinner and then hopefully a quiet night at home provided the kids would be in bed by the time they arrived home.
Hawkeye got some cups together and then went to get the lemonade, but he didn't see any. He opened the back door and yelled out, "Where's the lemonade?"
Margaret looked up. "You have to make some."
"How does water sound to you?"
"Lemonade sounds better."
"Fine." He knew she did that on purpose. He hated making lemonade and she knew it, but now he was all set for lemonade and he couldn't disappoint his taste buds any more than he could the rest of his family's.
When he came back out he sat everything down on the table. Margaret was still working away, but he little helper wasn't. He was just sitting there watching her. Hawkeye went over and picked him up. "You look tired."
"No." His little namesake told him.
Margaret stood up and brushed her hands on her shorts. Ben reached out to her and she took him. He was a momma's boy through and through and clung to her more than any of the other kids ever had. "He should have taken a nap an hour ago." She said to her husband.
"At least he's not like Matt when he used to miss his naps."
"No, he doesn't scream." Margaret sat down on a chair and placed Ben comfortably on her lap. "Is Emily still sleeping?" As soon as Margaret said that they heard a cry come from inside the house.
"I'll get her." Hawkeye went inside and came back out five minutes later after changing his daughter's diaper. She was wide awake already and happy as a clam in her father's arms. There was no question that she was a daddy's girl.
Hawkeye had made it very clear that he didn't want to have girl many times over. After three boys he was confident that if they had forth it would be a boy. Margaret had begun to believe him when she was pregnant with Emily and they didn't have a thing for a little girl. Luckily Dora took Hawkeye shopping while Margaret was in the hospital after the baby was born and they bought enough clothes for the baby until Margaret could go herself.
The day Emily was born was amazing. Hawkeye cried like a baby when the nurse placed her in his arms. He never expected to feel that way about a little baby girl. Something clicked in him that hadn't when the boys were born. He was so protective over Emily, didn't want anyone to hold her except him or Margaret. When he came home from work he scooped her up and didn't let her go until Margaret put her to bed at night. From the time he came home until the time she went to bed was only two hours anyway and it never seemed like enough time to him.
"Hi pretty girl," Margaret smiled. She looked very much like her mother; curly blonde hair, blue eyes, and a smile that melted your heart. "What are you smiling at? Are you happy just to be outside in Daddy's arms?"
Hawkeye gave his daughter a kiss on the head. "It's me," said proudly. He took a seat at the table next to his wife. Ben was already dozing off. "Did the other two want a drink?"
"They'll get one when they're ready. They look like they're having too much fun at the moment." Matt was running away with the ball laughing as his older brother chased him down.
"Do we have to get these monsters dinner before we leave?"
"No. Helen will take care of it. I believe that was the first time you ever referred to Emily as a monster."
"She wasn't included in that." Hawkeye grinned.
"You're going to spoil her rotten."
"Oh, look whose talking."
Margaret smiled at him and stuck her tongue out. She had waited so long to have a little girl and Emily was the perfect baby. She was a happy little girl that couldn't care less what was happening around her as long as her mother or father was there. "We need to get home early tonight."
"Because tomorrow we're all going over to your father and Dora's houses. It's their third anniversary, remember?"
Hawkeye rolled his eyes. "Yes." He still didn't like the fact that his father had remarried. "Do we have to stay long?" Margaret fixed him with a look. They were just having a little family lunch after church over there, but Hawkeye always made it seem like that was painful to him. "Fine, then I'm not going to church."
"You never go anyway."
"And I'm not going tomorrow either. I don't know why you and my father always try to drag me to go. You know I won't."
"We can still try." She turned Ben around in her arms so his body was pressed against her chest. He slept better like that when he could hear her heartbeat. When he was a baby all she would have to do with him is hold him close to her and he would calm down.
"Matt, Danny," Hawkeye called. "Come get a drink." The bugs were starting to become attracted to the lemonade.
Margaret looked behind her to see the boys. Not only were they covered in dirt, but Matt now had grass stains all over his clothes. "Look at them."
"Look at you," Hawkeye said. "You're covered in dirt too. I like it when you're dirty, but not like this."
She narrowed her eyes. "You better watch your mouth buster or you won't have a nice ending to the night. At least not the ending you were hoping for."
"You've been saying that for years and you never do it. You can't keep your hands off me anymore then I can keep my hands off of you. We had three kids together and not one of them was planned."
"That's your fault."
"Let's not get into this again."
Matt walked up to his mother and grabbed her glass and started to drink it. "You thirsty?"
"Ah," he sighed placing the glass down.
Danny poured himself a glass and took a seat at the table. "When am I going over to Grandpa's house?"
"As soon as you get cleaned up and your mother brings you."
Danny looked at his mother for the answer. "He's right." The eight year old downed what was left of his drink and ran for the house. "Take your shoes off!" He was already half way through the kitchen when she said that. "You're cleaning that up!"
"I will," he yelled back.
Hawkeye smiled. "Trade kids with me. I'll go put him down. Emily might be more help to you then Ben was."
"That's okay. I'm finished here. I have to get cleaned up to bring Danny over to your father's anyway." Margaret stood up with Ben in her arms and walked into the house. She put him down before she went upstairs to get washed up.
The move to Maine was the best thing that they ever did. It relieved a lot of pressure on both of them and they were a much happier couple. Hawkeye was very happy with his position at the hospital and for the first time in her life Margaret was happy staying at home with her children. It was nice to be there when Danny got off the bus in the afternoon and listen to how his day was. Matt would start school in the fall and then it would be her and the two youngest children. Sometimes Hawkeye would sneak out of work early and come home just to be with her when it was nap time for the kids.
Problems came and went with the two of them, but after getting through those early years together things calmed down tremendously. They learned that they had to make more of a conscious effort to be alone with children around. In the long run everything worked out just fine and they had one of the strongest marriages of anyone that they knew.
OKAY…that was it…thank goodness its over. That was way too long…
Anyway, hope you liked it and please give me your final review…better yet, don't write a review, just write a nice h/m fic that's more than 20 pages. I like that better.