It was time for the unit's annual Christmas party again.
"Didn't we just have this party, like yesterday" Jack grumbled under his breath.
"What didja say, Uncle Jack?" said Inez, Roselyn's five year old daughter.
"Oh nothing, sweetie." said Jack looking at Inez sweet face while adjusting Michael in his lap. Samantha's son was busily trying to stuff Jack's tie down his throat and a familiar battle of tug of war had ensued.
"That's mine, son…chew on the binkie" Jack begged.
Inez sat fiddling with the Barbie doll that Jack had gone ahead and let her open in hopes of keeping her occupied. "Where are mama and Auntie Sam, Uncle Jack?" asked Inez for the sixth time.
"Up on the roof, making sure Santa has room to land with the reindeer, honey" Jack reminded patiently. In actuality, they were a few doors down wrapping the last of the kid's presents and stuffing Danny into the Santa suit. He'd drawn the short straw this year, Jack thought with glee.
"Ahhh, ok. Hey Uncle Jack?" Inez asked again.
"What, honey?" replied Jack…fighting valiantly with Michael to save his tie.
"Are you Mikey's daddy? I asked my mama…and she said you sorta were." continued Inez.
"Well, Inez…I'm not sure how to answer that question." said Jack uncomfortably.
"Well, do you love 'em?" asked Inez.
"I love him VERY much" answered Jack.
"Do you feed him?" asked Inez.
"Yep, all the time" answered Jack.
"Do you rock 'em?" asked Inez.
"When he's tired" Jack answered.
"Do you pick him up when he cries?" asked Inez.
"Whenever I'm there" stated Jack.
"Would you beat up the bad guys if they tried to hurt 'em?" asked Inez.
"Definitely!" Jack stated firmly.
"I got ooone last question, Uncle Jack." stated Inez looking him directly in the eye.
"What's that, sweetheart?" Jack said gruffly.
"Do you change his stinkies?" asked Inez as if this was the most important question in the world.
"Unfortunately, yes, I do." Jack laughed.
Inez looked up from where baby Michael was happily chomping on Uncle Jack's tie and said in a very firm, LOUD voice, "Sure sounds like you're his daddy to me!"
Jack looked at the small, precocious child standing beside him and said with a note of wonder, "It does, doesn't it?"
Jack heard Vivian snort derisively behind him. And in perfect unison Martin and Viv shouted, "YEP!"
Looking up, Jack saw Sam and Roselyn walking toward their group.
"Hey guys! Santa's almost here! What's going on? " asked Sam smiling and clapping her hands.
Jack looked up at her, eyes still glazed with wonder.
"Jack?" Sam asked tilting her head and raising one eyebrow.
"I just got the best therapy of my life from a five year old…and all it cost me was a Barbie…" Jack rumbled in an awe filled voice.
With that statement, all the adults around them burst into gales of laughter.