Moving to Newport; Seth aged 5
After a long flight from Berkeley, the three Cohens were finally in their limo, courtesy of Caleb Nichol, on their way to the home that he had had built for them. They were going to spend a while there, whilst Kirsten looked after her dying mother Karen and helped her dad run his business, which her mother could no longer do.
Kirsten was exhausted from having been up at the crack of dawn, thanks to Seth's excitement, she'd had some last minute things to sort out before they left and preparing for the journey had been a nightmare. Added to that, she was worried about her mother and how her father was coping with the situation and so had barely slept for weeks.
When Seth asked if they were nearly there yet for what seemed like the millionth time that day, she let a curt "No!" escape her lips, which caused Seth's eyes to fill with tears.
He snuggled closer to Sandy, who was giving the patron saint of patience a run for his or her money.
"It's OK, Setheleh, Mommy's just tired, so she's grouchy, just like you are when you don't get enough sleep." Sandy declared comfortingly.
"Wow, look, Seth, can you see the ocean, my darling?" her husband continued, using a diversionary tactic to take Seth's mind off her curt remark.
Seth's gaze went to the window, from which he could see beautiful golden sands and a deep blue ocean that was mirror-like in its calmness.
Seth's face lit up in amazement and his excitement was heightened when Sandy told him they might be living by the sea.
"Wow, that's awesome, Daddy, can we go swimming then? And make sandcastles, look for shells and eat ice-cream, chocolate, of course?" gabbled Seth, totally enthralled with the idea of living near a place that offered such attractive pursuits.
"Of course we can, Setheleh, maybe not on our first day though, Ok?" Sandy replied, pleased to have at least one excuse he could use to be rid of Caleb for a day.
He seriously hoped that the novelty of living by the sea wouldn't wear off too quickly for Seth, as if they stayed for a while, he could still get away from his despised father-in-law with a genuine excuse.
Kirsten eventually dropped off to sleep, exhausted from the craziness of the past month, lulled into slumber by the soft rolling motion of the car.
Sandy miraculously managed to keep Seth entertained with games of I-Spy, stories, snacks and other activities, which reduced Seth's wondering of when they'd be there to about once every ten minutes rather than the every 5 seconds he'd been asking that question previously.
Kirsten was woken by Seth's over-excited screams of "Mommy, Mommy, wake up, we're here! We're living in a palace!"-he was pratically hysterical.
Caleb was there to meet them. He welcomed Kirsten with a quick hug and kiss, gave his grandson a quick cuddle and shook Sandy's hand perfunctorily, barely glancing at him.
The house was already furnished and it was filled with expensive and modern furniture, top of the range units and every appliance imaginable.
Seth continued to insist it was a palace and was dying with impatience to see the room Caleb had picked for him and then had decorated.
He was devastated to learn that his room would not be on the same floor as his parents', as the master bedroom was on the ground floor and there were no other bedrooms on that floor.
He pouted when this was announced and then spoke:
"But Daddy, what if I have a... might-nare... a bad dream and you and Mommy don't hear me 'cause you're too far away and I decide to go downstairs to see you guys and I fall, wouldn't that be a did... a disaster?" he ventured, with all the intense seriousness a five year-old can muster.
"Setheleh, don't worry about that, Mommy and I have very good hearing, we'll always come and comfort you if you have a nightmare. Now why don't we go upstairs and check out your room-I think you might have a present from Grampa up there" Sandy declared lovingly, taking Seth's hand to lead the way.
"Wow, a present for ME?" Sethh shouted joyously.
The two of them made their way up the beautiful staircase and found themselves near a room that bore a wooden placard declaring this was "Seth's Room".
Seth flung himself through the door and onto his bed, which had been made up with Spiderman covers. He began bouncing on it, encouraging Sandy to do the same. Sandy sat on the bed and grabbed Seth in mid-bounce, tickling him affectionately. Seth begged him to stop and they sat down sensibly. Sandy then reached for the gift wrapped in Superman paper that was on the bedside table, which was obviously meant for Seth.
The small boy tore at the wrapping like a Tasmanian Devil on a piece of meat, rapidly unveiling a plastic horse with a beige coat speckled with brown spots. He opened the plastic box and then asked Sandy to help him remove the horse from it. Once the horse was set free, he made him (yes, it was definitely a boy horse, he declared) gallop all over the bed covers, the rest of the room ("He's exploring it, Daddy, and I'm helping him!") and up and down his dad's back, just for fun.
Sandy picked him up, horse and all, saying he had to thank Caleb for his present and that he had to start getting dinner ready, otherwise Mommy might try and they both knew that Kirsten and cooking involved black lumps of indestinguishable substances and usually burnt pans or, if they weren't so lucky, a visit from the firemen!
Seth giggled at the memory and buried his head in his father's shoulder. In return, Sandy gave him an affectionate squeeze.