I Hope Joe Can Help Lucy Lighten Up!
When this book began writing itself, I had the impression it would be about a variety of adult characters who share a potluck of spiritual perspectives. Period. Imagine my surprise when Renee’s grandchildren take over this chapter!
In this next excerpt, the morning scenario continues to unfold with Renee asking the obvious question to Lucy’s impertinent observation that there had been no time for breakfast:
“Well, are you hungry? What would you like?”
“Rory is mad, so he probably won’t eat. He never eats when he’s mad. And Reggie is too sad about Daddy getting hurt, but I’ll have a donut,” Lucy announced.
“Donut! I don’t keep donuts in the house.” Renee was aghast that Jordan would even think of feeding her babies that much sugar. Unless, of course, Lucy was just out to play her grandmother.
“How about I go out and get some?” Edward offered.
“No. I don’t think so. They can have cereal or toast. Maybe some eggs.”
“If you don’t have any donuts, then I’ll have a waffle.” Lucy commanded. “The kind like we keep in the freezer and pop in the toaster.”
“I don’t have any waffles, either. How about some French toast? That’s kind of like a waffle. I can cook some apples to put on top of it.”
“I suppose it will have to do,” Lucy said, resigning herself to this pitiful breakfast fare.
Edward excused himself to get ready for work while Lucy wrestled Rory to the floor to keep him from following his grandfather into the bathroom. Renee sighed again as she cracked eggs into a bowl.
An hour later Edward was off to work and the children were fed—Lucy had been wrong about the boys not wanting to eat. All the details had been managed and now came the most dreaded of situations: she would be the first to admit she had no practice and no imagination when it came to entertaining small children. She remembered how awkward she felt when Jordan was born, coming home from the hospital with this strange creature in her arms who had so many needs. And then it turned out that this little personality had a very strong will, usually very much in opposition to Renee’s own. And so the struggle began, culminating in Jordan’s teen-age years when Edward was working so many hours, traveling all week long and there was no one but Renee to step up and manage. Which she had done. Admirably even, she had been told. Everything had settled down once Jordan became an adult, and she had turned out well. By that Renee meant her daughter had become a functioning member of society. Still, sometimes she wondered if that was good or bad. At best it looked tedious from her perspective.
“Would you like to color some pictures?” she asked the twins.
“They always make a mess if you give them crayons!” Lucy informed her and was about to make her own suggestion when the door bell rang. Still clad in her robe, Renee made her way to the front entrance and peeked through the glass panels. It was Joe! He was dressed in the same striped pantaloons, patched waistcoat and orange Keds that he had on the night before, except now he also carried a tattered knapsack on his back.