You know the drill; Disney owns the characters and I'm taking them for a test drive.
Dr. James Timothy Possible knew he should be used to the idea. It was one day shy of exactly one year since Kim and Ron got engaged, and a month longer than that since Ron asked for James and Anne's blessing to marry their daughter; he'd had plenty of time to get his head around the fact that his daughter, his little Kimmie-Cub, was getting married in just five months. That meant that this was her last Christmas as Kimberly Anne Possible. By this time next year she would be Kim Stoppable. Needless to say, this particular Christmas Eve wasn't as joyful for him as it could have been. "She grew up too fast," James quietly lamented.
"No, dear, she didn't," the soothing voice of his mother said as she silently came up behind him. James had gone to the kitchen for more eggnog after the presents were all opened. His mother, being the insightful woman that she was, followed him, sensing something was troubling her youngest son. "It took her twenty years to get to this point, James. It might not seem like that long, but that's how long it took."
"How do you do that?" James asked as he shook his head. "You could always come right out of nowhere and scare the dickens out of Slim and me."
"Trade secret, James." Nana gave her son a concerned look. "You knew this would happen last November when Ronald came over and asked you for Kimberly's hand in marriage. You didn't have to give your blessing, you know."
"He would've gotten in from Anne," James pointed out. "And I suspect he would marry my daughter even without my consent." James peered out the kitchen door and saw Kim happily snuggling up with her fiancee. "Besides, after all he's done for her, after all they've been through together and done for each other; with as much as those two love each other, how could I say no?"
"Exactly my point, son." Nana sat down at the dinner table. "Those two are as in love as you and Anne are, and every bit as much as your father and I ever were. This is just another part of life. The child will grow up, leave the nest, marry and start a family of her own. Eventually, Kimberly Anne and Ronald will be experiencing this very thing when their children grow up and start families. Soon it will happen with little James and Timothy. Your brother Samuel will have to deal with it when Jocelyn's time comes. Dean and Dana are experiencing this right now with Ronald, and they'll have to go through it again when little Hana grows up. It's perfectly normal." Nana gave her son an award winning smile. "I still remember when your brother moved out. And then you did a few years later. Although I was more than a little surprised when you got married before he did."
James took a seat beside his mother. "I've always been so protective of her, Mom. I forbade her from ever dating, I've threatened Ronald with one way trips to a black hole.......none of it made any difference. She still got swept off her feet by a boy."
"That boy has grown into a good and decent man, James," Nana sagely replied. "Those two have something rare and special. They have a lifelong friendship that has grown into true love. I saw this coming years ago."
"So did Anne," James said. "I guess the only ones who didn't were me, Ronald and Kimmie."
"They were too close to it to see it," Nana said. "And you just didn't want to see it. But it's there, son, as plain as the ring on Kimberly's finger. This is right, James. This is the way things should be."
"She won't be a Possible next year," James blurted out.
"Yes she will. And she'll be a Stoppable. She'll have the best of both worlds, James."
"If this is how I am now, how will I be come May when I have to walk Kimmie-Cub down the aisle to give her away?"
"You'll be fine, dear." Nana stood and started for the door. "You have your own father-in-law as an example of what not to do." With that she slipped out the door, leaving James with bad memeries of his father-in-law Howard nearly having a nervous breakdown on his and Anne's wedding day.
After a split second of terror from the memories of his own wedding, comprehension set in. "How does she do that?" Once again his mother had made it all better in a way that only she could do.
Nana sat down beside her granddaughter on the living room couch. "I have one other gift to give you two," she said, presenting them with a small box. Inside that box was a beautiful silver bracelet. "This was given to me when I married your grandfather, Kimberly," Nana said. "It was a gift from my mother; it was my something new. Now I'm giving it to you."
"I can't take this, Nana," Kim said.
"Yes you can, dear. This is your something old. Don't argue with me, young lady," Nana added with a smile. "You won't win this one."
Kim smiled and hugged her grandmother. "Thanks, Nana. It's beautiful."
Also in the box were a set of silver cufflinks. "My late husband wore these when we got married, Ronald. I'm sure that if he were here now, he would want you to wear them."
"Thanks, Nana," he said. "They're badical. But shouldn't Jim or Tim get these?""
That brought a smile to Nana's face. He'll never change. And that's a good thing. "I have something special of their grandfather's for them when it's their turn. These are yours now, Ronald, and I'm not taking 'no' for an answer." One of Nana's stern looks ended the discussion.
"I should probably start loading up the car," Ron said, looking at the time.
"Good idea," Kim replied. She gave him a peck on the cheek before he stood up.
As Ron walked off, Nana looked in Kim's big green eyes. "You're all grown up," she gushed. "By this time next year you'll be a married woman."
"Hard to believe, isn't it?" Kim looked over at the front door, and saw her guy hauling some of their presents out to his station wagon. "I got really lucky."
"You both did, dear," Nana said. "Ronald's a fine young man. Like I told your father a little while ago, I saw this coming from a mile away."
"We sure didn't," Kim snorted. "Speaking of Dad, how's he doing? He seemed a little off tonight. He blew his lines during the family skit."
Nana waved it off. "You know how your father can get. He's just getting used to the fact that next Christmas you won't be a Possible anymore."
"I'll always be a Possible," Kim smiled. "Next year I'll just be a Stoppable, too. If anything's possible for a Possible, and there's no stopping a Stoppable, then that's an unbeatable combination!"
Nana hugged her granddaughter again. "That's what I told him. Oh, Kimberly Anne, I am so happy or you. For both of you. You're going to be such a lovely bride."
"Okay, KP," Ron said in a breathless voice. "I think that's everything."
"Yup, all done," Rufus added from his human's shoulder.
Kim wiped away the few tears that had formed in her eyes. "I'll go make sure we didn't miss anything."
"Is she alright?" Ron asked after Kim walked off.
"She'll be fine, Ronald." It was Ron's turn for one of Nana's hugs. "I was just telling KImberly how beautiful a bride she'll be in May. And you're going to be a very handsome groom."
"Aw, thanks," Ron said as he rubbed the back of his neck. He looked over at Kim as she double checked that he loaded everything into the car before they headed back to their house in Upperton. "I got really lucky."
"That's what Kimberly said about marrying you." Nana took a good look at the man who she had long seen as her third grandson. "I have a favor to ask of you, Ronald."
"Just keep doing what you're doing," Nana said with a smile. "Keep making my granddaughter happy. You're the best thing that ever happened to her."
"She's the best thing that ever happened to me," Ron replied. "And asking me to make Kim happy is like asking me to eat a naco."
Kim decided that, since Ron was occupied with her grandmother, she would go and make sure her dad was okay. The last year had been more difficult on him than he let on; his only daughter moving out was bad enough, but the fact that she moved in with Ron, and was actually sharing not only a house with him, but also a bed, was a bit much for James Possible to handle. Kim found her dad in his den. "Dad, is everything all right?"
"Sure is, Kimmie-Cub," he replied with forced enthusiasm.
Kim wasn't buying it. She crossed her arms and leaned against the door frame. "Right," she said. "And Rufus hates cheese."
James Possible knew when the charade was over. "I take it you were talking with your grandmother."
"I was." Kim walked over to her father and hugged him. "Just because I'm getting married in five months doesn't mean that I won't still be your little Kimmie-Cub," she said. "Besides, I thought you liked Ron."
James pulled back so he could look Kim in the eyes. "I love that boy as if he was my own son and you know it," he said. "But it still feels like he's taking you away from us."
Kim gave her father a sad smile. "He's not taking me away from you anymore than I'm taking him away from his family. We're just starting our own life together."
"I know, honey," James said. "It's just tough to let go is all. I imagine your mother will be this way with the boys when it's their turn."
"The Tweebs getting girlfriends," Kim said with a smirk. "I can't wait for that."
"Kimmie-Cub," James said with a slight warning in his voice.
"I'll be good." I can't wait. Revenge will be so sweet!
"I can put rockets into space and calculate orbital trajectories in my sleep, but there was one thing I could never do."
"What's that, Dad?"
James got a sad smile on his face. "Keep you from growing up."
Kim again hugged her father. "I guess that's life."
"It's getting late," James said. "You should be heading home. The holiday parade is tomorrow, you know."
"I wouldn't miss it."
"You missed it last year," James smirked.
"Last year I had a good excuse," she retorted. "My guy asked me to marry him. I think getting engaged is a good reason to miss a parade. Besides, you were the one who said we didn't have to go last year."
"You got me there, Kimmie-Cub." Father and daughter walked into the living room together just in time to see Anne Possible corner her soon to be son-in-law. What they saw made them snicker.
"But it's not May yet," the blond man protested.
"It's Christmas, Ron," Anne replied. "And don't pull that whole 'you're Jewish' thing either, because it won't work."
"Touche," Ron said. He had been planning on using it.
"Please, Ron," Anne pleaded. "It would make me very happy." Then it happened. Anne's shoulders slumped and her bottom lip was thrust out. Her big blue eyes took on a pleading expression that was almost inhuman.
"No!" Ron screamed, his resolve immediately crumbling. "Not that! Anything but that!" But it was. Dr. Anne Possible, neurosurgeon extraordinaire, had unleashed the puppy dog pout. "I'm not looking," Ron said as he clamped his hands over his eyes.
Kim knew what this was about, and she joined her mother at Ron's side. "Please, honey," Kim added, her voice dripping with sweetness. Ron peered though a couple of fingers at his fiancee. Big mistake. She, too, had unleashed a powerful pout on him.
"Aaaaaahhhhhhhh! Double puppy dog pout! No fair!"
By this time Jim and Tim had come out of their room to see what the commotion was. "Oh, man," Jim said. "We should be recording this."
"Then we can play it back at the wedding reception!" Tim added.
"You boys will do no such thing," James admonished them. "This is the kind of thing we save for when their kids are older."
"Hicka bicka boo?" Jim said to his twin.
"Hoosha!" came the reply. "We didn't know you could be so devious, Dad."
"I know what it's like to be the little brother, boys. I could tell you stories about pranks I pulled on your Uncle Slim when we were kids."
The torture of Ron, meanwhile, continued in earnest. "Please, sweetie," Kim pleaded.
"Please, Ronnie," her mom added.
"Okay!" he finally shouted. "Okay, I give! Just turn it off! Please just turn it off!" Ron looked at his fiancee with a scowl. "So not cool, KP. Double teaming with the PDP is so not cool! It is sick and wrong! It's wrong-sick, even!!"
"Hey, it worked," Kim snickered. "Besides, you think I abuse the pout every time I use it."
"That's because I don't have a defense against it yet."
"Don't feel bad, Ronald," James said, looking at his watch. "You lasted a full three minutes. Not bad for your first double pout."
"You promised," Anne said to her future son-in-law. Her big blue eyes were filled with an almost inhuman determination. "I'm waiting."
Ron swallowed hard. "Okay. I can do this." He locked eyes with Anne Possible. "Merry Christmas........Mom."
Anne squealed with joy and hugged Ron. "Now was that so hard?"
"I'm not going to dignify that with a response," Ron said with a scowl.
Kim leaned in and kissed Ron on the cheek. "It wasn't that bad and you know it."
Anne gave her daughter a wink. "Thanks for the help, Kimmie."
"No big, Mom."
Ron was still vexed by being ganged up on by his fiancee and her mother. He was silently sulking as he pulled away from the Possible home and made for the freeway. "Amp down the drama, Ron. It wasn't that bad."
"And when was the last time you got a double PDP?"
"Senior year from you and Rufus in the parking lot of JP Berrymore's Pizza Party-torium," Kim smugly replied. "You guys and the Tweebs left me in the car until after nightfall. All my mother and I wanted to do was get you to call her 'Mom.' So not the same thing."
"Still, it wasn't cool," Ron huffed. "I mean, my mom hasn't pulled that on you."
"Was calling my mom 'Mom' really that bad?"
"No! It's just the principle of the thing."
Kim lightly chuckled. "Tell you what, Ron, when we get home I'll give you your special present."
"I thought we already gave each other everything."
"Not everything," Kim replied coyly. "I couldn't very well give you this present in front of the fam."
That piqued Ron's interest. "Really?"
"Not again," Rufus squeaked from his perch in a converted cup holder. He knew where this was going.
"Do I get a hint?" Ron asked. Kim leaned over and whispered in his ear. "Oh yeah," Ron said, his earlier vexation long forgotten. "That is most definitely booyah worthy."
"And did I mention it's leopard print?" she asked in a nonchalant voice.
Ron perked up even more. "Leopard print?"
"Mmmm hmmmm. And it leaves very little to the imagination."
"Booyah to the infinite power," Ron said, his voice trembling with anticipation.
Rufus sulked in his seat. He knew he'd have to move his nest tonight. Again.
"We do have a bit of a problem, though," Kim added. "We have that huge wheel of cheddar in the fridge." That made Rufus perk up. "I just don't know what we're going to do with it. I don't want it to go bad."
"Oooh ooh ooh! Me me me me me! I help!" Rufus enthusiastically declared.
"Are you sure, Rufus, it's an awfully big wheel of cheese." Rufus saluted Kim and wore a look of grim determination. "Okay, Rufus. The cheese is your mission."
The rest of the drive was made in a comfortable silence, all of the passengers of the station wagon anticipating a very joyous night.
James Possible sat in his recliner enjoying the last of the eggnog. His sons and his mother had retired for the night, and his daughter and future son-in-law had gone home. He was alone with his thoughts, and those thoughts kept returning to his eldest child. She's all grown up. Even though she was part of Global Justice last year, she still stayed the night here with us on Christmas Eve. This year she's with Ronald. It's going to be like that every year from now on; for the rest of her life.
"Honey, are you all right?" Anne Possible asked from the doorway. She was clad in her bathrobe, getting ready to turn in for the night.
"I will be," he replied. James learned long ago that lying to one's wife was not a wise idea.
"You knew she would move out and start her own life eventually, James."
"Am I that transparent?" he asked. "You figured it out, Mom figured it out, and Kimmie-Cub figured it out."
"You're only transparent to the women in your life." She took a seat on the sofa by his chair and picked up one of the few photo albums that survived the destruction of their original house. It was opened to a picture from several Christmases ago, before Kim and Ron got together. It showed Kim and Ron happily embracing with Kim resting her head on Ron's shoulder. "It's amazing how little things change," Anne said. "They've been on this road for a long time."
"That's what Mom said." James smiled a sad smile. "It's just hard to let go."
"This is part of life, honey," his wife said.
"Mom also pointed that fact out to me. As well as the fact that it'll be the boys' turn soon."
"No way," Anne said sternly. "No girls are going to come anywhere near my sons."
James chuckled. "Is that really how I sounded?"
"I'm being serious! The boys will not date. No girls. I am putting my foot down!" Anne saw the amused look on her husband's face. "You think I'm joking, but I'm not. No girls. Ever."
James finished off his eggnog and tried not to laugh at the sudden role reversal. "Why don't we table this discussion for tonight. It's getting late."
"Good idea. We have a busy day tomorrow with the holiday parade. And your mother wanted to make a special dinner for Kimmie and Ron to celebrate their engagement anniversary."
"It's been a year already," he mused. "Time just flies by faster and faster every year." He looked over at Anne, who was smiling warmly at him and offering her hand. He gladly accepted it.
"Come on, dear, let's get some sleep."
"Right behind you, Anne. Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, James."
From me and mine to you and yours, have a happy and safe holiday season!