Christmas With Family

Chirstmas With Family
Sequel to Flight To Paradise
By Sarah
Chapter 1

        "We’re gonna see Gramma, we’re gonna see Gramma, we’re gonna see Gramma…"
        "Brian!  Please, honey, Mommy can’t take that anymore!"  Sarah exclaimed.  She put her head in her hands and heard Brian chuckle.
        "You know, he’s only hyper because he actually fell asleep.  And the flight wasn’t that long, he was pretty occupied for most of it," Brian said, turning the corner ahead of them.  He drove the van they’d rented down the street, getting closer and closer to the place he called home.
        "Yeah, he was quiet, I was even surprised," Kevin said.
        "And so was this one," Elaina said, rubbing her stomach lightly.  Sarah turned her head and saw Elaina smiling up at Kevin.  "Our second child, who’d ever think that we’d have two?"  She asked.
        "Who’d ever think that you’d leave Courtney with my mother?"  Kevin retorted.  He shook his head and put his hands over his eyes.  "She’s going to be so spoiled when I get there…"
        "That’s one of the things your mother does best so hush," Elaina said, interrupting him.  Sarah smiled and turned back around, watching as Brian pulled into the driveway of the spread out country house.  It was a split-level house, decorated on the outside with the usual Christmas decorations, with two people sitting outside on the porch swing, swinging back and forth slowly.
        "Uncle Kevin, is Courtney going to be at Gramma’s?"  Little Brian asked as he put his crayons back into their case.
        "Yes, little man, she’s outside right now with Aunt Ann," Kevin replied, pointing out the window next to Brian’s head at the woman sitting on the porch with his daughter.
        "Aunt Ann!  Maybe she’ll give me another cookie!"  Brian exclaimed, jumping out of the van as Sarah slid open the door.  She sighed as Brian ran up the porch and over to his Aunt, jumping on her lap.
        "Brian, honey, calm down!"  Sarah called to him.  She walked around the back of the van and started unloading the luggage.
        "Sarah, baby, go inside and rest, please, you’re wearing me out just by looking at you!"  Brian said, grabbing her hands and stopping her from unloading the bags.
        "Brian, there are more important things to do than-"
        "Than take care of yourself?  Sarah Littrell, get your beautiful behind in that house and sit on that couch and listen while my mother tells you stories about what a rambunctious child I was and fall asleep listening to her.  Honey, this is not only a visit home, its also a vacation, you’ve got to slow down and get some rest, you’re working too hard," Brian said, lowering his voice as he finished his sentence.
        Sarah closed her eyes and leaned back against his chest, letting his arms circle around her.  She felt herself relaxing almost immediately.  Brian was right, she had been working hard.  She worked as a back-up singer and publicist to many different musical artists and groups, and she was a full-time mother.  Brian was too young to go to pre-school yet, so Sarah had to stay home and watch him and Katie while Brian worked at his record company and as a substitute teacher at the local high school where they lived in Florida.  Sarah knew she was over-worked, but she had to do her job and do it right, or something could go wrong.
        "Aunt Sarah!  Uncle Brian!"
        Sarah opened her eyes to see Kevin’s daughter Courtney running over to them.
        "Hey, Court, how are you, baby girl?"  Brian asked, picking her up and tickling her.
        "Fine Uncle Brian.  You know what Grammy and me did today?"  She asked.
        "Grammy and me went berry picking in the woods, but we couldn’t find any berries, so instead we went to the food store and got blue berries and strawberries for Aunt Sarah!"
        "Courtney!  Honey, you weren’t suppose to tell!"  Ann said as she came up.
        "Ann, how on earth could you get blue berries and strawberries?  They’re totally out of season!"  Sarah exclaimed, starting back on the luggage in the van.
        "Take this conversation inside, now, and stop carrying all this luggage around!  Aunt Ann, take her inside, she’s beyond exhausted and she needs to rest!"  Brian exclaimed, taking the suitcase out of Sarah’s hand.
        "Come on, Sarah, come with me," Ann said, taking Sarah’s hand.  She led her inside, explaining exactly what it was that Courtney meant, and into the living room.  Sarah looked around the living room, amazed at how beautiful it looked.
        "Harold and I spent all day yesterday finishing it.  Do you like it?"
        Sarah turned her head and spotted Jackie, Brian’s mother, leaning on the doorway of the living room, holding a towel in her hands.
        "Jackie, it’s beautiful, I don’t know how you do it," Sarah said, taking another look around the room.  She stood up and walked slowly over to where the Christmas tree was set up, gazing at the small, winkling lights.
        "This place looks more and more beautiful everytime we come here, you know you don’t have to do this for us," Sarah said, looking back at Jackie.
        "Nonsense, nothing is too much when it comes to my daughter-in-law, my son, and my grandchildren.  I like doing all of this, it gives me something to do…besides listening to Brian as he tells me about how Katie supposedly said her first word the other day," Jackie said, laughing.
        Sarah smiled.  "He told you that too?  I swear, his over-active imagination goes bonkers when it comes to his children.  He told me that Katie said ‘Dada’ a few days ago, when I know she didn’t because she can’t talk, its too early.  She’s not even a year old and already he’s planning where she’ll go to college."
        "Well, Brian is very happy to have children, he once told me that he never felt so lucky in his life.  He told me that the day Katie was born, it reminded him of the time he was in the hospital and his heart stopped.  Everyone was sure that Brian was going to die, but he didn’t, he proved them all wrong.  And now, I look at him and then I look at his son and I see the same little boy I raised," Jackie said, starting to cry.
        "Oh, Jackie, don’t make me start to cry, please," Sarah said, giving her mother-in-law a hug.  They were quite close, Jackie was the one Sarah talked to the most out of all of Brian’s relatives, they always had something to talk about.
        "I’m sorry, its just that when I look at Brian and realize that he’s come so far, and then I look at his son and all I see is my little boy in him, its just such a shock to me.  I thank God every day for letting my son live and finding the woman of his dreams and having two children with her, it just amazes me how everything can fall into place after so long," Jackie said, sitting down on the couch with Sarah and drying her eyes.
        "God works in mysterious ways, but in the end, it benefits us all in some way," Sarah said quietly.  The two hugged again and pulled away as Brian came in the room, carrying his son on his shoulders again.
        "Oh, Lord help me, here come the water works," he said jokingly.
        "Hey, get over here, you," Sarah said, waving him over.  Brian lifted Brian down from his shoulders and put him on the floor.  He said down next to Sarah and she kissed him.
        "The water works will keep going if you don’t stop it," she whispered.
        Brian smiled and hugged her closer to him, pulling her on his lap and looking at his mother and his son as they played with the jacks that were on the floor.
        "She’s so happy to see him," Brian whispered.
        Sarah nodded and hugged his arms.  "Yeah, she was just telling me how she sees so much of you in him, and I have to agree with her."
        "Why’s that?"
        "Because not only do you both look a lot alike, but you act alike too.  When you forget something in the house and you start to look for it, you tear the place apart, just like he does.  When he plays with the other little kids in the park, he’ll share what he has with him and he’ll stand up to the little bullies who bother the girls, just like I know you would.  And when he gets angry, he acts just like you.  He stamps his foot, yells and screams, raises hell, but when he calms down, he is so sweet and agreeing, its like he was never angry.  And not to mention that recently he started singing…"
        "He what?"  Brian asked, surprised.
        "Yeah, I never told you?  I was practicing the other day for the duet I’m doing with one of AJ’s friends and he just started joining in with me.  He sang along and he knew every word, every note, without me having to play it on the piano or lead him in it.  Brian, he’s so good!  And he enjoys it, he sings along with songs on the radio and songs from the demo tapes and preview CDs I receive, and he’s just so talented it makes me want to see if he can really make it in the business," Sarah said, lacing her fingers with Brian’s.
        Brian just stared at her as she watched Jackie and Brian play.  Jackie had the brightest smile on her face and Brian looked up at her with such admiration, he respected her and loved her so much. "Are you serious?  My son can sing?"  Brian asked finally.
        Sarah nodded and leaned her head back on Brian’s shoulder.  "I’ll have him sing with me later, right now, I’m tired," she said, yawning.  A wave of exhaustion washed over her and her eyes closed slowly, breathing deeply in time with Brian, feeling his heart beat on her back.
        "Come on, baby, we’ll get you upstairs, then you can sleep all you want," Brian said into her ear.  Sarah nodded, but made no move to get up, his voice only made her feel more tired.  She felt him pick her up and drifted off to sleep as he carried her up the stairs and laid her on their bed, covering her with the quilt that was set out.

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