Life Imitates Art…
and then art returns the favor. Now that you are finally meeting them in this chapter, I can tell you about how I got to know the twins–first on paper and then in my “real” life. When this book began writing itself, the four-year-old boys typed in (that’s the best I can do to describe what happened). In my life as J.K., I don’t have any grandsons, much less twins, so I was not drawing on anything autobiographical; also, although I have a daughter (and unlike Renee, a son as well), Renee’s daughter is not much like mine. In the excerpt below, you will also meet Renee’s granddaughter, Lucy, who, again, shares very few traits with my own granddaughter. So where did these people come from?
Several months after I wrote Chapter 5, my family and I toured Alaska with several other families we had never met before. Guess what! The twins were on the tour, except they were seven years old instead of four! Still, I instantly recognized them. The character of Lucy came not in the form of their sister, however, but their older cousin, who took it upon herself to mind them. (Which was actually a very good thing since their parents did not.) Interestingly, the Alaska twins’ father became my model for Renee’s son-in-law, so for the first time Renee’s story and J.K’s began to inform each other. Here’s the excerpt:
Chapter 5: Joker
The next morning Renee was awakened by the telephone. “Hello?” she mumbled. This was quickly followed by “Oh no! Is he OK?”
“What’s going on?” Edward rolled over, rubbing his eyes awake.
“It’s Jordan. Daniel’s been in an accident and she wants me to watch the kids while she goes to the hospital. She’s going to drop them by in a few minutes. His car is totaled, but she thinks he’s going to be OK. Maybe a couple of broken ribs. They have to check him over.”
Hurriedly she and Edward wrapped themselves in robes and headed for the kitchen. Their daughter, Jordan, and her husband, Daniel, had three children: Lucy, 8, and 4 year-old twins Rory and Reginald. Reggie could be sweet but Rory was always a handful. And Lucy was precocious but bossy. Renee sighed. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her grandkids, but after her adventure last night, this was not the way she had envisioned spending her day. She was not exactly sure what she would have done, but babysitting was definitely not on her list. Still, she was relieved Daniel was going to be all right this time. Daniel was an intense adventurer and driving fast was one of his tendencies.
“A few minutes later Jordan tumbled in holding a cowering Reggie in her arms. Lucy had Rory by the sleeve as he tried to pull away. “So sorry, Mom! The kids will just have to miss school today. I’ll get it straightened out later.” Jordan sat Reggie down in a corner, stepped out the door and was off.
Edward took Rory and planted him firmly on the lap of his silk pajamas. “How’s my boy?”
Rory thrust his lower lip out an inch and twisted off Edward’s knee. “I want to go with Mommy!”
Lucy grabbed him as he headed for the door, “Rory, you can’t, so just behave yourself!” Reggie sat quietly in the corner sucking his thumb.
“Did you have breakfast?” Renee asked.
“Grandmama, isn’t it obvious that we simply didn’t have time?” said Lucy pertly.