Sunday morning found Collin and Ryan wide awake, long before they wanted to be. They still felt tired, though, from the previous day's stress of riding the WaveRunner's and the eventual revelation of Collin's Grammy wanting to take him back.
"Hey … Col," lightly called out Ryan. "Check out our 'lil bro'." Ryan then pointed at the smallish tent in the covers where Eric lay.
Collin laughed then pointed to his own deflating 'tent' and then said he was going to pee and get his shower. Ryan quickly followed.
Fifteen minutes later, the teens were squeaky clean and they were a bit too noisy as they entered the bedroom and that woke Eric.
Eric rubbed his eyes and then sat up. "Hey … why didn't you wake me? I wanted to shower with you guys," complained Eric.
"We're sorry, 'lil bro' but you looked so cute lying there sleeping, showing your little tent," teased Ryan.
Eric quickly looked down to see if he indeed had his morning 'tent' and seeing there was none, stuck out his tongue at the teen. He then threw off the covers and headed to the bathroom to take care of things. Ten minutes later, he, too, was all squeaky clean. The three lads all headed down to breakfast. It was only 9 o'clock in the morning.
"Morning, Boys," called out Mr. Ken. "I thought you'd at least sleep in, this morning."
"We did, too, but, for some reason, we woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. We'll probably take a nap later if we get the chance," replied Collin, for the three of them.
"You do know we're having a picnic today?" asked their Big Bro.
"We are?" said a surprised Eric.
"Yep, the ladies last night decided this was the perfect weekend for one. They said they'd bring the potato salad and baked beans and I'd supply the burgers and dogs and all the fixin's. How does that sound to you guys?" teasingly inquired Mr. Ken.
"Kewl," all three said at the same time.
Judy and Mary arrived around 1 PM, and were met by Uncle Andy and Momma Maria. Mr. Ken had the boys out on the WaveRunner's and Jet Ski, so the women went over to the large kitchen windows and began to watch. Then they all went down to the beach to talk to the boys.
"Mom, mom, did you see me driving the Jet Ski," called out an excited Eric.
"Yes, I did see, Eric, and you did wonderful. I bet it was fun!" responded his mother.
Eric just beamed when he heard those words from his mom.
Ken talked the ladies into taking the watercraft out for a quick spin, so they understood what they were all about. As quick as they climbed aboard and drove around the inner beach swimming area, they were off of them.
The boys just laughed at the women. Collin and Ryan then took their birthday presents and went back outside the beach swimming area, and began to zoom along. They wanted to show off for the ladies, and they pushed their craft as fast as they dared, back and forth out in the deeper waters.
By three o'clock, Ken called the teens in as it was time to relax and get the grill ready to cook the burgers and hot dogs. They used the grill located on one of the 'fingers' of Three Finger Cove and it gave them the feeling of an actual picnic. The area had a covered patio and picnic tables and being along side the lake there was also the sounds of the waves hitting the nearby docks and rocks that protected the area from erosion.
"You having a good time, Eric?" asked Uncle Andy who had come down to enjoy in the picnic feast.
"Yep! … This is the most fun I think I've had since we all went to California and I got to ride that rollercoaster over and over. Oh, and to meet the California Boys, too," laughed the smiling youngster.
"How's your head, Uncle Andy?" asked Collin.
"Well, my boy, after you've drunk as much as I have, in all my years, it doesn't hurt as much as it used to. I think I've desensitized them brain cells over all those years of enjoying a drink or two. Why do you ask? Are you going to follow in my footsteps and you want a few pointers on how to avoid the morning after nausea and headaches?" heartily laughed the older man
Everyone laughed at Andy's antics. The rest of the day, they all sat around at the picnic tables talking about the coming summer and the plans they all had. As the day got long and a slight cool breeze came up, the 'men' put the watercraft away for the day. Then three very tired 'boys' headed for the Theater where they knew they would fall asleep as a movie played on.
The adults congregated in the comfortable sofas and chairs in the Study and talked more about the next day's possible fireworks.
"Ken … do you have any 'cards' up your sleeve for tomorrow," asked Mary Taylor, Ryan's mom.
"Funny you should ask that question. Uncle Andy, here, suggested I call Judge Adam, and tell him what was happening. Collin and Judge Adam, as he loves to call him, have a very good friendship and when I explained to the Judge what was happening tomorrow, … well, he sort of invited himself to be here, to kind of watch over things, 'just in case' Vickey doesn't follow along with her own agreement," commented Ken.
"Ahhhh, I like the sounds of that," expressed Mary.
"Don't we all," added Ken. "Adam said he wants to make sure Collin can choose where he wants to live, too. Although, he did say … that it could be taken out of his hands, since the wills were filed and probated in a different county. He said he could thwart her for a few days, until Uncle Andy and I, and probably Collin, mounted our defenses. We all hope that it won't come to that, but…"
"Yeah, you never know with her," finished Andy Marshall.
The boys joined the adults in the Study, complaining of being hungry. The woman took them to the kitchen to see what Momma Maria had as leftovers from the two fabulous meals she served them the past two days.
By midnight, the boys had gone up the stairs to bed.
"Hey 'lil bro'," called out Collin. "You look like you have a lot on your mind, there. Do you have some questions for your older bros? … What's bothering you, Eric?"
The lad sat down hard on the bed and just looked up at the teens. Then he said, "I'm sorry for the way I acted this morning. … It … it's just that my life is beginning to be fun. You know what happened with my dad, and … then, all that happened to me before mom finally adopted me. … I sometimes find myself comparing what happened to Collin … I know it's not the same …"
"But in a way it is, Eric," said Collin, as he finished the sentence. "Eric, I know exactly what you are saying. Your mom loves you very, very much, but she hasn't had all the time you want her to have to spend with you. Am I right there?"
Eric just looked down and shook his head in the positive.
"You remember what Santa said about her getting more time to be with you, don't you?" asked Collin.
"Yeah," answered Eric, with his head still turned down. Then with his head looking up to Collin he added, "But we've only been able to use those Season Passes once at each place, since I got them. That's not fair. I want us to go every week," a now teary eyed boy said.
Collin went over and sat down next to the youngster and put his arm around his shoulder.
"Eric, your mom has a very responsible job, right now. But, I know what you are saying. Have you sat down with her and asked her what plans she has for the two of you for the summer? Now, don't tell me that you're just a young kid. You do have a voice and you need to make things known to your mom … when you have a problem like this. …
"If you need us to be there for you, we will, won't we, Ry? Now Eric … let us help you … and let's see if we can get you a summer that you can look forward to. But remember, you have to be able to give and take and not demand, OK? I bet your mom will understand and work with you on this."