Friday morning, I woke up feeling refreshed. The clock read 7:30am, and I untangled Ryker’s body from mine and walked downstairs to start my day. I began to think about everything I needed to complete, I quickly realized I would spend most of the morning making calls and plans. I needed to call my sister Kelly, my brothers Calvin and Lucas, and my parents. I wanted to inform them of the situation, as well as set up a date in which they could come meet everyone. My family is incredibly important to me, as I feel they are the ones who keep you grounded and support you no matter what. So having my family meet the boys would be a massive step towards normalcy, as I wish that my family can help support these kids just like I’ve have supported theirs.
I was watching highlights from the Wednesday night hockey game on my iPad while I drank my first cup of coffee. I was thinking about surprising the boys and taking them to the Blue Jackets game tonight. They are playing a division rival the Washington Capitals, both teams are on a roll so it should be a good one. My thoughts were quickly interrupted by Rita, “It’s a cold one out there this morning,”
“Jesus,” I jumped. “Rita you scared the crap out of me.”
“I bit jumpy today huh?” She laughed at.
“Yeah guess so, my attention was focused on my iPad.”
“You and technology,” Rita remarked. “You hear? They said we got 6 inches of snow.”
“The boys will be excited to play in that I bet,” I said.
“The boys? You mean you got them, why didn’t you tell me already,” she said as she lightly slapped the back of my head.
“Oh that’s right, this will be your first time meeting them. Are you nervous?” I asked.
“Well, I wasn’t nervous until you mentioned it. What are their names again?”
“Don’t worry Rita,” I laughed. “They will love you, and you’ll fall in love with them, I guarantee it. I’ll introduce them as they come down.”
“Then I better start making breakfast. You think they’ll like pancakes, bacon, and sausage,” she asked.
“They would love cereal and milk. If you make them pancakes, you’ll probably be their favorite person,” I joked.
“Oh, I’m so excited! When do they wake up?”
“Haven’t had them around long enough to get a routine set up, but my bet would be within the next hour or so,” I said.
“Okay, I’ll start breakfast in thirty minutes,” she stated.
“Sounds like a plan,” I confirmed.
“So what’s on the schedule for today,” Rita asked as she sat down at the table with me and drank a cup of coffee.
“Well, my morning is going to consist of calling my family. I want to host a party and have people over to meet the boys next weekend on Saturday. Calvin and Kelly will be able to drive home, but I am going to offer my parents and Lucas’s family to stay with me for the weekend. Will you be around?”
“Of course I will, I’ll start prepping the menu for the weekend,” she stated
“You’re a saint, thank you, Rita.”
We finished our coffees and Rita made her way to the laundry room to start her day. It was around 8:15 when I began to hear the first footsteps upstairs. Clayton was the first one up as he made his way to the kitchen.
“Hey buddy, good morning,” I said. Clayton was barely awake, he came over and sat on my lap and snuggled into me. “Please don’t get any bigger, you’re perfect the way you are,” I stated as I kissed him on the cheek.
“Thanks,” he giggled. “What are you watching?”
“Just some videos on hockey and the NHL. You want to watch with me?” I asked.
“Yeah!” He said excitedly. We watched some highlights from last week, they were the top ten plays of hockey.
“Who is that guy, number 87?” asked Clayton.
“He is the best player in the World, his name is Sidney Crosby. However we don’t like him, he plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins.”
“Why don’t we like him?”
“Honestly, because he is so good. He can dominate the game and make others around him better. If you are interested in watching Hockey videos, then you’ll need to watch him, Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Lemieux. They are the best of the best.”
“Whoa cool, can I watch them now?” He asked. Rita was just walking back into the kitchen.
“Maybe later,” I said. “There is someone I want you to meet. This is Rita, she makes this house function. She cooks and cleans for us, but she is so much more than that. If I am not around, you can always go to Rita, she’ll help you.”
“Hi,” Clayton shyly said as he nestled his way into me.
“Hi,” Rita responded. “My name is Rita, what’s yours?”
“Clayton,” he softly whispered. “But I go by Clay.”
“Well Clay, I hope you’re hungry. I am about to make fresh pancakes with bacon and sausage.”
“I’m always hungry,” he said as his shyness seemed to vanish. This caused me to laugh, as I’m sure he only thought of food.
“Perfect! I’ll start making them now,” Rita stated.
“Can I help?” Clayton asked.
“Absolutely sugar! Grab a chair and bring it over here,” she insisted. I figured I would let the rest of the boys sleep an extra 30 minutes before waking them as I headed to my office. However, Jacob was up and saw me sitting at my desk.
“Hey bud,” I said.
“Good morning, what smells so good?”
“Pancakes!” I stated, as he walked over and gave me a good morning hug. “How about you go put some underwear on, I want you to meet someone,” I said as I kissed the top of his head. Oh, I could get used to this, I was loving all the affection from these boys, especially in the morning when they are still sleepy. All they wanted to do is bundle up close to me and stay warm.
“Okay,” he said in a sleepy tone. Jacob went upstairs to put underwear on and came back down to my office. We walked into the kitchen together where we saw Rita and Clayton cooking. Clayton was a mess, flour was all over him; in his hair, on his clothes, and his arms, it was actually quite funny.
“Hey Rita,” I began to speak. “I would like for you to meet Jacob, he is the second youngest out of the boys.”
“Hi I am Jacob,” he stated reaching his hand out to greet Rita. It caught me off guard because Jacob was so reserved compared to the other boys, I thought he would be shyer.
“Hi Jacob, it’s so nice to meet you. I hope you’re hungry, we are making fresh pancakes.” Rita responded as she shook his hand.
“I love pancakes, they smell delicious,” he returned.
“Excellent! Do you want to set the table and get glasses ready for everyone?” She asked.
“Yeah, sure! How many people are eating with us,” Jacob questioned.
“I believe six. You and your brothers, Garret, and I,” Rita stated. I figured Rita had everything under control. Breakfast was almost finished so, I proceeded upstairs to wake the two remaining boys. I went to my room first, where Ryker was sleeping. I walked over to the bed and started to rub his hair while I was quietly saying, “Time to wake up Ryker, there is someone I want you to meet downstairs.”
“Just a few more minutes?” Ryker responded. I obliged his offer and laid down with him and scratched his back while trying to get him to wake up.
“That feels so good, a little to the left” he slowly mumbled as he picked his head up.
“You sounded just like me when I was younger,” I laughed. “My mom use to scratch my back all the time. I always told her where to scratch.”
“Are we going to meet your mom and dad?” he asked, as he was now looking in my direction.
“Hopefully soon,” I replied as I kissed his forehead. “You got your extra time! You hungry, because breakfast should be about finished. Fresh Pancakes.”
“Oh yum,” he stated. “Who is it you want me to meet?”
“Her name is Rita, she helps me out a lot.” I started, ” she cooks and cleans for us, I want you to get to know her because she will be around a lot. I still have to wake your brother up, so if you head down without me. Introduce yourself, because she is still learning everyone’s name.”
“Okay,” he replied as he gave me a quick hug and got out of bed. He made his way downstairs as I walked to Lincoln’s room.
I stepped into his room and walked over the bed.
“Hey bud time to get up,” I stated
“NO STOP, STOP, PLEASE DON’T KILL HER!” He screamed.
“Lincoln,” I yelled “Lincoln.”
He shot up out of his bed and was very confused. He looked at me and started bawling, “Wh… why, why does this keep happening to me?”
I just wrapped him in a hug and began to speak, “it’s okay buddy. It was a bad dream, you want to talk about it?”
“N, n, not really,” he stuttered.
“You sure, I’m assuming it was about that night,” I replied.
“Yeah, how’d you know?” he asked.
“I was about to wake you up, and I heard you talking in your sleep. It didn’t sound too good.”
“Yeah,” he began as he dropped his head low and fiddled with his hands. “It was like that flashback that happened the first time, except it went further.” Lincoln paused, “it just seems so real, I don’t know why I am seeing all this stuff now.”
“What did you see this time,” I nervously asked as I wrapped my arm around his shoulder.
“The same thing as last time, my shirt was torn off, but this time I heard my mother screaming at the guy not to touch me. And then, then they started to beat her,” He cried. “I felt so helpless, I was just watching as this one man stood over me and the others beat my mom.”
“Oh Lincoln, I’m so sorry.”
“Are these going to keep happening to me?” he asked.
“I wish I had an answer for you, I really do. However, I am not sure. We will go to the doctors Monday, first thing in the morning. Did you have these flashbacks and bad dreams when you were away from me,” I asked Lincoln?
“Yeah, but sometimes they are longer and shorter. It’s all different every time,” he stated. “I just want them to end and to be my normal self again.”
“Lincoln. No matter what, I will always love you for being you. There is nothing wrong with experiencing these flashbacks and dreams. They aren’t fun, but it is a process that we will tackle together. I think you are a perfectly normal 11-year-old boy, that has gone through a tragic event. It is nothing to be ashamed about.”
Lincoln looked at me, and gave me a hug, “thanks Garret, I love you.”
“Love you too, now there is someone downstairs I want you to meet.”
“Last time you said, a woman came and took us away,” Lincoln remarked.
I laughed, “I promise she is not taking you away, and you might just like her more than me sometimes. She made fresh pancakes, and they should be about done.”
“I doubt that I’ll ever like her more than you'” he said with a smile on his face. “I’m hungry though, I could eat some pancakes.”
“Well let’s go then!” I said. He got out of bed, and we went to Clayton’s room to grab Clayton a clean t-shirt. Together we walked down to the kitchen and saw Ryker, Jacob, and Clayton had claimed their seats, as they were waiting for Rita to bring Pancakes over.
“Rita, this is Lincoln. He was the first one I met out of all the brothers,” I introduced.
Lincoln sort of shyly said, “hi,” he paused and looked at me. I gave him a reassuring nudge to say more. “Your pancakes smell delicious.”
“Well thank you Lincoln, but I can’t take all the credit, Clay helped me make them.”
“I can tell,” chuckled Lincoln as he walked over to his brother and messed with his hair. “What is all over you?” Lincoln laughed.
“Flour, don’t lick me! It doesn’t taste good plain, I tried it,” shouted Clayton.
“Wasn’t planning on it,” asserted Lincoln as he took an empty chair in between Clayton and Jacob. I helped Rita bring the plates of food over. I would say we had 30 pancakes, 20 pieces of bacon, and 20 pieces of sausage. Before I sat down, I walked over to Clayton and pulled his dirty shirt off of him as it was getting flour everywhere. I placed a clean shirt on the back of his chair. He could be a messy eater, so no sense in putting the new shirt on him. Before I knew it, all the food was obliterated in a matter of minutes, I myself had 3 or 4 pancakes, they were just so delightful. After breakfast, the boys asked if they could go outside and play in the snow. I had one rule, and that was to stay off the lake. The lake was frozen solid and most likely would not crack, but if I wasn’t there to supervise them, I didn’t want them near it.
Luckily on the clothes shopping trip, we bought heavy jackets and pants, so as the boys got bundled up to go outside, they wondered if I could join them. I had to decline the offer as I had to make phone calls. However, I mentioned if they asked Rita nicely, she may go outside and play. Rita gave me a funny look and declined the invitation as she didn’t have the proper winter gear, but she did promise them hot chocolate once they came inside.
As soon as the boys stepped outside Rita turned to me and spoke, “I love the Boys, love them all. Clayton is so adorable, he was shy at first, but once I got him to open up, he is hilarious. Jacob is so well mannered, he wasn’t talkative unless I asked a question, but he is so polite. When Ryker walked down, he just dominated the room, he was polite, but you could tell he has confidence. He came up to me and introduced himself and asked me questions, I was quite surprised. And then Lincoln, I haven’t been around him long enough, he was shy but sweet, I feel I will have to gain his trust over time.”
“I knew you would love them, Rita.” I stated, “you found the way to Clay’s heart… FOOD. I’m glad the introductions went well, I’m positive the more you’re around them, the more you’ll love them even more.”
“They are nice kids Garret, I can tell they all look up to you, especially Clayton and Lincoln.”
“Yeah, they are all special in their own ways.” I stated, “I am heading to my office, you know where to find me if you need me.”
“Oh Garret,” Rita spoke. “Do you mind if I take the truck to the grocery store, it handles the snow better than my car.”
“Absolutely Rita, you can take the Mercedes if you want to.”
“The truck will do me just fine, thanks though.”
“No problem, drive safe.”
It was around 10:00am, and the boys were playing outside in the snow. I needed to start making phone calls, so I made a list in order of people I am going to call. First I was going to call Kelly, then my parents, next Lucas, and finally Calvin. I picked up the phone and dialed Kelly, “Hey bro, how was last night?” she asked.
“It was good, went in the hot tub and the boys were able to explore the house. Ordered some pizza and called it a night.”
“Sounds like fun, did you get my email with the papers confirming you’re the foster parent?”
“Yes,” I responded “I have to print them out and sign them. I’ll have it sent to your office immediately.”
“No need to send them, an E-signature will do for now until I see you in person again,” Kelly returned.
“That works perfectly!” I asked, “so any more information available about anything involving the crime?”
“Nope, police are still stumped on who this third guy is. However, the boys’ old home should be available to go back and retrieve items they want on Sunday. Also, the parent’s bodies are to be claimed, the autopsy is complete. Garret it would be wise to hold a viewing or a ceremony,” insisted Kelly.
“Yeah, I know. It is sort of a complicated situation with Jacob and the father as well as Lincoln and the father. I will talk to both boys and ask how they feel. Is there any indication of what the parents wanted?”
“I believe they are set to be cremated, but I am not sure I will have to double check with people,” Kelly stated.
“Please do, would help out a lot. So this brings me to our next topic. I hope you are free next Saturday, I am planning a get together for everyone in the family to meet the boys. I am going ask Mom and dad to come up Thursday and stay through the weekend. Also, plan on inviting Lucas and Katherine and their boys to stay the weekend with me. It is going to be a packed house, but it’ll be worth it. I am assuming Calvin, and you don’t mind driving back home after the party.”
“Garret that is a fantastic idea count us in. Mom and dad might drive up as soon as you tell them you have foster kids, you might want to wait a few days,” joked Kelly. “Christian is going to be excited to meet the boys! you want Tom and I to bring anything?”
“Oh no need to bring anything, Rita has all the meals and drinks covered. By the way, if Christian wants to spend the next weekend here with us, he’s more then welcome to. I don’t want him to feel left out,” I said
“You might have your hands full, but we’ll see what happens,” stated Kelly.
“Sounds good, I have to make more phone calls. I’ll talk to you later in the week, bye sis, love ya!”
“Love you too. Talk soon, bye-bye,” said Kelly as she hung up the phone. I crossed Kelly’s name off the list and took a minute break. I’m calling my parents next, and I had to tell them in the perfect way. It’s not that they won’t approve, they will just be shocked. My mother will not be happy with me considering I lied to her, but I think they will understand. I picked up and dialed the home number.
“Hi honey, how have you been?” She asked
“Hey mom, I’ve been good! Had some changes occur in the past week. Is dad around, I want to tell both of you at the same time,” I asked.
“Yeah he is right next to me, is everything alright?”
“Couldn’t be any better,” I said. “Put the phone on speaker, I have some good news.”
“Okay,” my mom replied. “It’s on speaker now.”
“Hey son,” he replied. My father was loving, but a man of few words.
“So something has changed, and it’s for the better,” I began. “Earlier in the week, I asked mom if she could be a reference for me. That part was true, however, the reason I needed your help wasn’t. I stated that I needed your help with my organization I was starting, but it was actually for me to become a foster parent.” I paused, as my parents were still listening. “About a week ago, I found this boy in a terrible situation. He was in the parking lot near the homeless shelter in Columbus. I decided to help him out, ya know, I brought him back to my house to get cleaned up and fed. I found out that he had brothers, and were left behind…..” I went on to tell the whole story up until the boys were back in my custody.
I continued the story, “After I was approved, I was able to get the boys. I now have 4 foster kids I’m currently looking after. They mean a lot to me, and already made an immediate impact on my life, and I want to share them with you. You guys were such amazing parents and even better grandparents. I believe they will be here for a while, so I want you to come meet them and support us. They are terrific kids that have gone through a lot of emotional distress, they could use a supportive family. Lincoln is 11 years old, Ryker is 8, Jacob just turned 7 and Clayton is 5. They are all so different, and they’ve already been asking when they are going to meet you all. So, I was planning on hosting a party or get together with You two, Kelly, Calvin, and Lucas. Kelly already said she can come. It is next Saturday, but I want you two to come stay with us for the weekend.”
“Whoa,” my father said. “That is a lot to process, you just hit us with a bombshell.”
“Take your guys time to think about it,” I said.
“They have been through so much,” my mom responded.
“Yes, they have. But I promise you, you’ll fall in love with them when you meet them.”
“Garret that is a lot of responsibility. You know that?” my dad asked.
“Yes I know, but I am ready for that responsibility.”
“I’m glad to hear that son, if you think you are ready for these kids, that’s great. Its tons of responsibility, but I trust you son, and I am all in, I can’t wait to meet them,” responded my father. I was somewhat surprised he was doing the majority of the talking, he usually was reserved as he liked to analyze any situation. This time he was being supportive and not judging.
“Yeah I agree,” responded my mother to my dad’s comments. “I think it is a lot to handle and I hope you are ready because kids are a lot of work. Once you agree and make a connection with these kids, you can’t turn back and give up on them. It is a major commitment Garrett, but if I know you. You have thought about this for a while, and I have come to realize you have good judgment. However you might have bitten off more than you can chew on this one, but I can’t wait to meet them, and we support your decision. We would be delighted to come up next weekend.”
“Awesome, I was hoping you can come up a day earlier. Like Thursday, I want to introduce you, so you two have a chance to get to know them before they meet the rest of the family.”
“Thursday works for us, as long as you got the Steelers game on,” Responded my dad.
“What? Has living in Pittsburgh converted you to a Steelers fan now? Yuck, that’s disgusting,” I mocked my Dad.
“I gave up on Cleveland a long time ago, and the Bengals aren’t much better.”
“Okay, mom it’s official. You can come up, but dad can stay home,” I joked.
“Maybe I should leave him behind,” responded my mother.
“What is this? Team up on me or something?” returned my father.
I laughed, “possibly!”
My mother broke the joke with, “alright honey, we will talk soon. I can’t wait for next week, I am going to be so excited.”
“Well, I can’t wait for you two to meet them. Talk later, bye love you,” I said.
“Love you, honey,” she replied. “What present should we bring them, Gordon?” She said to my father as she was hanging up the phone. Gordon is my Dad’s name, and my mother had hung up before I had the chance to tell them not to bring presents. I was about to dial Lucas next but was interrupted by a voice hollering for my name. I stepped out of my office and walked to the kitchen area.
“Hey Clay what’s up?”
“Can I come inside,” he asked. “I need to go pee, and it is cold.”
“Of course buddy, step in and stay on the rug and strip off the heavy gear. We will put that stuff in the laundry room,” I responded. Clayton stepped inside and began stripping down to his shorts and t-shirts.
“Are those wet?” I asked, referring to his shorts and t-shirt.
“Nope.” He simply replied.
“Alright, want some hot chocolate?” I asked as I put his heavy jacket in the laundry room.
“Yes please, where is Rita?”
“She left for groceries about 45 minutes ago.”
“Oh okay,” he said. I went over to the kitchen countertop and started to prep his hot chocolate as Clayton raced for the restroom. When he came out of the bathroom, he told me about the massive forts the brothers were building and the plans to have a snowball fight. Clayton wasn’t too interested in it, so he decided to come back inside. The hot chocolate was made, and I directed Clayton to the living room to watch some cartoons.
“Hey bud, I need to make two more phone calls. You mind staying out here in the family room and watch some cartoons, I’ll be right down the hall if you need me?”
“Yeah, but can you watch cartoons after the phone call. And Is there a blanket around?” He asked as he sat down on the couch.
“Are you kidding, after my phone calls. There is nothing I would rather do,” I joked as I poked him in the sides. “I’ll get the blanket for you,” I said as I stopped my tickling attack on the giggling child. I walked to the closet beside the restroom and grabbed a big comfortable blanket. I walked back and draped it over his body, gave him a kiss on the top of his head and put on Disney Channel. I stepped back to the office and sat in my chair to dial Lucas’s number.
“Hey man,” I started.
“Hey Garret, how are things,” he asked.
“Couldn’t be better.”
“Yeah?” Lucas questioned, “you ready to tell me what the CPS and foster parent thing is about?”
“Well it’s a long story. But to start, I now have 4 boys living with me. Lincoln who just turned 11, Ryker is 8, Jacob is 7, and Clayton is 5.”
“Wow,” Lucas was speechless. “I honestly don’t know what to say. Umm I mean, whoa. That is crazy, you know that?”
“Oh I am well aware Lucas, but these boys have been through so much. I found Lincoln in the parking lot…..” I went on to tell the whole story to Lucas and made sure not to skip over a single detail. It took about 10 minutes to tell him the entire story.
“Whoa,” Lucas responded. “I am at a loss for words. Are they okay? Like physically and mentally okay? No one should have to go through an event like that.”
“Yeah, the boys are just fine. Lincoln has a flashback or two, but that is part of the process,” I replied.
“It will be a long process,” commented Lucas. “You happy though?”
“Couldn’t be any happier bro, these boys are so special. I want you to meet them as soon as possible and be involved in their lives. It would mean a lot to me.”
“When you thinking about meeting?”
“Next weekend. Mom and dad are already committed to coming. I want you to come up Friday through Sunday. Stay at my house with mom and dad. I want my nephews to meet the boys. I think it will be a good time. Also, we are having a family party on Saturday, Kelly and her family are coming. I haven’t reached out to Calvin yet, he is next.”
“Well I think we are free, but I will have to talk to Katherine.”
“Well I would love to host you all,” I added.
“You know what? Pittsburgh plays in Columbus that Saturday night. It starts at 8, we could go to that.”
“That’s a terrific idea! I was actually about to take the boys to their first game tonight, Columbus plays Washington. Should be a good one.”
“Yeah, that will be a fun thing to do and a great bonding activity for the boys,” spoke Lucas
“Yeah, I like that. If you all are able to come, I’ll grab all of us tickets.”
“Sounds like a plan,” commented Lucas.
“Yeah,” I quickly added.
A moment of silence lasted for a few seconds before Lucas began to speak, “hey Garret, I think you are doing a great thing. I haven’t heard you this excited about anything since you sold your business. I just want to let you know, these boys depend on you. It is a huge responsibility man, but I know you will do great. The way my boys look up to you shows me that you have the skills and ability to teach your foster kids. I can not wait to meet them whether it be next weekend or whenever.”
“Thanks, bro, it means a lot. These kids mean so much to me already. And they have only been here for a short time,” I replied.
“Well I know you’ll do great at being a foster parent. I’ll talk to you later tonight. Love you bud.”
I replied, “thanks, bro. I love you too man. Talk soon.”
I hung up the phone and dialed Calvin next. My conversation with Calvin lasted 20 minutes. He was confused at first, but once I explained everything he seemed to understand. Calvin, his wife Charlotte, and 4 kids will be joining us Saturday. He has 2 boys named Derrick (14) and George (7) as well as 2 girls names Giovanni (16) and Savanna (11). Calvin stated that he was excited to meet the boys but more excited to be getting the family together. On last Christmas, they went to his wife’s family’s house for the first time and missed my family’s Christmas. So the last time they saw the whole family together was Thanksgiving.
After my phone calls were finished, I walked into the family room and saw Clayton sitting down on the couch watching cartoons.
Clayton asked, “you ready to watch cartoons finally?”
“Couldn’t think of anything better,” I returned. I walked over to one end of the couch and sat down in the recliner section. Knowing my lap would be occupied very quickly, I adjusted everything to my liking. Clayton made his way to me with his blanket when I noticed.
“Why are you in your underwear, what happened to your shirt and shorts, aren’t you cold?”
“They are on the floor right there,” giggled Clayton. “I like just wearing underwear.”
I just laughed as he crawled into my lap. He put his head on my left shoulder/chest area, and then the half-naked boy shaped his body to mine. We covered ourselves with the blanket and got cozy. His skin felt so smooth and fantastic to touch, I just loved having this lovable and affectionate boy around, always wanting to cuddle with me.
“Please don’t get any bigger,” I said.
“You already said that,” chuckled Clayton.
“I know, it is because I mean it,” I joked. I began to scratch his chest lightly in a circular motion just as a sign of comfort. We were watching some Cartoon show I never even heard of, but Clayton seemed to be interested in it. When the commercial break hit, I asked Clayton, “Guess what we are doing tonight?”
“What,” he replied quickly as he turned his face to mine.
“Going to the hockey game in Columbus, I have to get tickets, but I know someone who has a few extra. I’m sure he can get them for us.”
“Yeah bud, the game starts at 7, so we will have to leave around 6ish. That gives us around 5 hours until we have to leave.”
“Awesome.” He quickly replied. We watched TV for another 10 minutes before the rest of the boys came back inside from the cold weather. I got up from the couch and went to the kitchen.
“Where is Rita,” questioned Lincoln.
“Getting groceries, she should be home soon. You all want some hot chocolate?” I returned.
“Yes,” echoed the three boys.
“Excellent! Strip off all the heavy gear and take it to the laundry room. You guys can go to the family room, Clayton is watching cartoons,” I insisted.
I turned my focus to the hot chocolate and started getting cups ready. I heard the boys run to the laundry room and then run to the family room to get seats. After 5 minutes, the hot chocolate was complete, and I was on my way to deliver it to the boys. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was greeted by three shivering naked boys.
“What happened to all your clothes.”
“They were soaked, we had an epic snowball fight,” chimed Jacob.
“Yeah, who won?” I asked.
“I did,” cheered Ryker.
“No you didn’t,” responded Lincoln.
“Yeah you didn’t win, I did,” insisted Jacob.
“You guys are all liars,” joked Lincoln. “I won.”
“Agree to disagree,” I injected. “You guys can finish the hot chocolate, but after, you need to put underwear on. I don’t think Rita wants to be greeted by three boys in the nude.”
“Hey I got a hot bod, nothing wrong with living all natural,” stated Lincoln, as he licked his finger and touch his butt making a sizzling sound. That caused all the boys to laugh, which in turn made me laugh.
“Where do you guys learn this stuff?” I questioned. As I took a seat back down with Clayton.
“Don’t worry about it,” laughed Lincoln. “Can I sit with you and share that blanket?”
“Yeah sharing is caring,” chimed Jacob.
I guess this blanket will half to cover us 5 then. I noted buying another blanket or two probably wouldn’t be a bad idea. I moved more towards the middle of the couch, but Clayton wanted to stay on the end of the sofa in the recliner. This opened my lap to be claimed by Ryker. I was somewhat uncomfortable with the naked boy sitting on my lap, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was making a bigger deal than it should be. Jacob sat in between Clayton and me on my left side. Lincoln laid down on my right side, with his legs up on his brother’s lap and his butt against my thigh.
We sat together for 10 minutes laughing at the cartoons and enjoying each other’s company. Ryker and Jacob finished their hot chocolate rather quickly compared to Lincoln. They started upstairs to get changed, and Clayton went with them as he picked up his clothes from the floor and walked upstairs. Lincoln wasn’t entirely done with his hot chocolate, and he laid back down on the sofa, with his butt against my thigh and his legs across my lap. This gave me a small window to look at the bruising on his back end.
“Hey bud, do you mind if you turn on your side a little?” I asked him. “I just want to check the bruises and everything.”
“Okay,” he quietly said as he turned all the way on his stomach exposing his rear end and back. I noticed his bruises on his upper back were almost entirely gone. I got down to his butt and spread his cheeks with my hand to see if the bruising had subsided. I took note that on the left inside cheek, the cut didn’t seem to be healing right. However, his hole seemed to be improving fine as it wasn’t discolored and bruised like the first night I saw him. The big bruise on his right cheek was healing just fine, but it was going to take another week or two to recover, but it looked remarkably better.
“Your hands are cold,” laughed Lincoln.
“Your butt is cold,” I responded quickly causing him to laugh. I let go of his butt cheeks. “So everything looks good, but we may need to put some antibiotic cream on the cut. But everything else looks good.”
“Yeah that still hurts a little,” he replied.
Lincoln rolled onto his back slowly with a look of embarrassment on his face. He turned entirely on his back when I noticed he was sporting an erection, as he laid his legs back on my lap and I draped the blanket back over us.
“Sorry,” he said ashamed.
“Lincoln,” I replied, as I rubbed his bare stomach. “It’s okay, we have been over this.”
“I know. I just hate it sometimes.”
“It is apart of growing up buddy, it means you are getting older.”
“Yeah I guess,” he said. “I have a question though.”
“Go ahead, shoot,” I said, realizing my words could have been taken in two different meanings.
“Umm, this is embarrassing, but do you think it is small.”
“Your penis?” I said as I picked the blanket back up to take a look. “Nah, it is the perfect size for you buddy. It is completely normal, and it will get bigger in a few years.”
“Really?” He asked as he used his hand to rotate his tool around.
“Yes Lincoln,” I laughed. “Now put that away under the blanket before you poke someone’s eye out.”
We sat in silence for probably 30 seconds, when Lincoln said, “I have another question,” he spoke with a little more confidence.
“Alright, one more then you have to go upstairs and change. Sound fair?”
“Yes,” responded Lincoln.
“Alright go ahead.”
“What is circumcised mean? When I was in school last, I heard some boys saying they were not circumcised and other said they were. They asked me, but I wasn’t sure.”
“Well, you are circumcised,” I stated.
“What does that mean?”
“Well when you were a baby, you use to have this skin called a foreskin that was covering the pink part of your penis. It was removed because it is supposedly healthier and cleaner. However, some people say circumcision is not needed anymore.”
“What do you mean the skin covering the pink part,” he asked as he threw the blanket off revealing his hard tool member again.
“You see this,” I said as I pointed to his penis head. “It used to be covered with skin.”
“Oh,” he said confused.
“Still don’t understand?” I asked.
“Alright, I am going to touch your penis really quick, is that okay?”
“Yeah,” he seemed somewhat concerned.
“Are you sure? I can explain it another way, but this would be simple,” I said.
“Yeah, I trust you.”
I reached out and grabbed his hard penis. It was a lot warmer than last time, then again he was almost dead last time. I began, I slowly moved my hand up his shaft which caused the skin to cover his penis head. “See, when you were a baby, you had skin covering your penis head like this. This is called uncircumcised or natural.” I slowly moved my hand back down his shaft to the normal state and spoke again, “this is circumcised, the penis head is exposed because you had your foreskin removed as a baby.”
“Ohhhh, I get it,” Lincoln spoke as I removed my hand from his dick. Lincoln picked his penis up with his hand then mocked my motions calling out not circumcised, circumcised, not circumcised.
“Alright buddy put it away,” I said. “Finish your hot chocolate, and go upstairs.”
“Okay,” Lincoln replied as he removed his legs from my lap and got up from his position. Before leaving, he came over to me and gave me a huge hug and said, “thanks! I could have never asked my dad that question.”
“No problem bud, now go upstairs and put clothes on. Tell your brothers to come down, Rita should be back, and we need to help with groceries,” I commanded
Lincoln let go of my hug and was walking away as he spoke, “okay I will. Love you, Garret.”
As the boys were upstairs, I placed a quick phone call to my friend to inquire about the hockey tickets for tonight’s game. We were in luck, as he still had 5 tickets remaining in which I quickly said I would take. The boys came back downstairs one by one, I decided that this would be an excellent opportunity to talk to them about their house and their parents. Before I could speak, Ryker gave me the letter and asked, “What are we suppose to do with these letters you gave us in the hospital?”
“I completely forgot about those. Umm… I’ll take the letters back, not much use in them now,” I stated.
“What was in them?” asked Ryker.
“Nothing too fancy, you’ll find out another day,” I said. He wasn’t too pleased with my response but let it go for the moment. The boys and I sat around the kitchen table, and I began to speak, “First, I want to tell you all that we are going to the Columbus Blue Jackets game tonight, we have about 3 hours before we have to leave.” The boys were surprised, but you could tell they were happy with the idea, especially Clayton and Jacob. I began to speak again, “I also have some news about your old house and your parents.” That statement quickly killed the mood.
“Whata bout them?” asked Clayton.
“Well, on Sunday we are going to your old house to collect belongings and anything you guys want to grab from the house. We will go early Sunday,” I paused, as I knew my next statement needed to be delivered carefully. “As for your parents, I wanted to get all your thoughts before we do something. But we are going to hold a ceremony or funeral next week sometime. It is important for you boys to have some closure, but I’ll get more details in the upcoming days.”
The boys were not responding much, as they just embraced the information. I know it wasn’t going to be easy, but we would accomplish this as a family. I dismissed the boys from the table as they were free to go watch TV. Rita returned home shortly after our conversation, and I filled her in on everything. The boys went out and helped bring bags of food in so Rita wouldn’t have to make trips back and forth from the garage. I confirmed with her that we were having a party next Saturday, but told her not to notify the boys yet.
Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for the hockey game. I sent the boys upstairs to get changed. I went into Clayton’s room to help him put on his jeans and a long sleeve shirt on. None of the boys had jerseys to wear, but that would change when we got to the game. I quickly went to my room and threw on gear.
I walked to Ryker’s room next, where I saw him standing in his tight boxer briefs that outlined his bubble butt. He seemed to be frustrated and concerned when I walked in, so I asked.
“What’s the matter bud?”
“I don’t know what to wear, I’ve never been to a hockey game before,” Ryker responded.
“Well,” I began and walked over to his closet. “How about these jeans?”
“Hmm, I was going to wear sweatpants, but jeans might be better.”
“Yeah, the jeans will go well with the jersey.”
“What jersey?” inquired Ryker.
“Since you guys don’t have any hockey clothes, we’ll go buy one at the arena.”
“Awesome, they would go really good with jeans. How is my hair?”
“Hmmm,” I said as I bent down in front of him to be eye level. “Perfect, just like you.” I quickly stated, which caused Ryker to blush.
“Thanks, Garret,” he replied as he leaned into me for a hug. “I love you.”
“Love you too Ryker,” I returned and gave him a quick kiss on his cheek. 2 down 2 more boys to say I love you, I quickly thought before speaking to Ryker, “now get changed, and meet us downstairs.”
I left his room and walked by Lincoln’s, he seemed to be okay and went downstairs. I saw Rita in the kitchen making cookies and told her to go home early if she wanted because we wouldn’t be back until late. She agreed that after she was done making cookies, that she would head home.
It was around 5:35 and the boys were loaded into the SUV. I put the car in reverse and slowly backed up onto the driveway. Luckily the roads were not terrible, at least not in my area.
We made it into Columbus around 6:45 and parked the car. The boys were all beaming with energy as we walked into the arena. Each of them picked out jerseys and threw them on before we reached the seats. We had excellent seats, 4 rows up from the glass just left of center Ice. The boys loved every part of it. They enjoyed the food and the atmosphere the most. They seemed to understand the game and didn’t ask many questions.
Luckily, Columbus pulled out a win with a score of 4-2. As we reached the car, I knew this ride would be mostly silent. It was around 10:30, and the boys were exhausted. We arrived home around 11:45 as traffic wasn’t terrible. When I pulled into the garage, Lincoln, Jacob, and Ryker began to stir as Clayton was out cold. I carried him up to his room and placed him in bed. I removed his jersey and jeans, then tucked him in under the covers. Next, I looked in on Jacob and Ryker, as both of them were checked out and sleeping in their own rooms. I went to Lincoln’s bedroom last, and grabbed the antibiotic cream out of his bathroom and saw him laying on his stomach with his head buried in the pillow.
“Hey Lincoln,” I laughed. “You tired?”
“Extremely,” he mumbled.
“Well, we need to put this cream on the cut. Do you want to do it?”
“Can you?” he asked. ” I don’t want to move.”
“Alright,” I spoke as I walked up to his bed and slipped my hands around the front of his jeans and undid his buckle and belt. Lincoln lifted his hips, so I had the ability to unzip his jeans. I moved my hands to his waistband on the sides of his hips.
“You sleeping naked tonight?” I questioned.
“Yes, I always do,” he chuckled.
“Okay, won’t need these then,” I remarked. I started to pull his jeans and underwear down. He lifted his hips more, so it made it easier for me. I pulled everything off leaving his lower body exposed.
“Alright bud, I am going to put the cream on,” I stated. I separated his butt cheeks, and applied the cream and rubbed it in. It was very close to his hole, so I rubbed with caution as I didn’t want to get too close.
“That feels so good,” stated Lincoln barely awake.
I laughed at his comment and spoke, “just like a massage.”
“Better than a massage.” He commented, as I stopped rubbing and let go of his butt cheeks.
I reached down towards the end of his bed and pulled the covers over his body and asked, “Did you have fun tonight?”
“Yeah, that was awesome,” he yawned.
“Good bud, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Get some sleep, goodnight love you,” I commented and kiss the side of his head.
“Love you,” he whispered.
What a great day, I thought as I reached my room and started to strip to my underwear. Can’t wait to talk to the boys about the game, as they were not fully awake. I laid down on my bed around 12am, and before I knew it, my eyes were shut.