Christmas With Family

Chirstmas With Family
Sequel to Flight To Paradise
©1999-2000
By Sarah
Chapter 9


        "Where’s Mommy, Uncle AJ?"
        AJ opened his eyes tiredly and saw little Brian standing next to his bed.
        "Brian, go back to bed, its too early," AJ mumbled, closing his eyes and turning his head away from him.
        "But Uncle AJ, the clock says ten-one-five and I can’t find Mommy," Brian complained, trying to shake AJ awake.  He climbed on the bed and started jumping up and down.  "Uncle AJ!"  He whined.
        AJ reached up and pulled Brian down into sitting position, stopping him from bouncing.  "Brian, go find Uncle Nick and Maggie and play with them until a reasonable hour comes around and I wake up," he said.
        Brian looked at him with wide blue eyes.  "But I can’t find anyone, they all left," he said, sad.
        AJ got out of bed and carried Brian over his shoulder out into the hallway and downstairs.  He reached the kitchen and found a note taped on the cabinet.
        ‘Went out for some last minute shopping, be back soon, Jackie and Harold,’ he read.  AJ furrowed his eyebrows and turned over the note, spotting Nick’s handwriting.
        ‘Took Maggie shopping, she doesn’t really have anything and I didn’t get her anything for Christmas.  Be back in time for dinner, hopefully, Nick.’
        AJ sighed and tossed the note in the garbage, then looked down at little Brian, who was looking up at him expectantly.
        "Where’s Mommy?"  He asked again, his eyes brimming with tears.
        AJ bent down and picked Brian up, walking with him to Sarah and Brian’s room where he hoped Katie was still sleeping.  "Mommy and Daddy went out early this morning and they’ll be back later," he said calmly, opening the door and seeing Katie through the bars of the wooden crib.  She was gurgling and giggling at the mobile hanging over her crib as it swayed gently back and forth from the heater duct above on the ceiling.
        "Hey, Katie," AJ said, smiling at the baby.  He put Brian down and picked Katie up carefully, supporting her head with his hand.
        "Come on, Uncle AJ, I’m hungry!"  Brian exclaimed, tugging at AJ’s boxers.
        "Hey, don’t tug on my boxers," AJ said, pulling them back up.  "Go on downstairs, I’m right behind you," he commanded.  He followed Brian slowly out as he skipped down to the stairs.  AJ finally arrived at the kitchen and carefully placed Katie in the baby chair, handing her the plastic rattle that was sitting on the counter.  He poured      Brian a small bowl of cereal and placed it in front of him, then routed around in the fridgerator for Katie’s baby food.  He finally found the little can and popped it open, grabbing a spoon and dragging a stool in front of her chair.
        "Ok, Katie, time to eat," he said, spooning a little on the tip of the spoon.  He held it to her mouth and smiled as she opened her mouth, eating it.  Moments later, he was wiping the gooey, oatmeal-like concoction off his face.
        "You’re suppose to wear something to protect yourself!"  Brian exclaimed, laughing.  AJ grimaced as he placed the bottle on the counter next to him and grabbed the paper towels, wiping off his chest.  He hurried upstairs and pulled on an old shirt, then came back down and saw Brian feeding his sister.
        "Come on, Katie, open wide, here comes the airplane!"  Brian said, standing on his tiptoes and holding the spoon to her mouth.  AJ shook his head as Katie ate it without a problem, smiling and giggling as she swallowed.
        "Now how come you can do that, but I can’t?"  AJ asked him, walking slowly across the kitchen and sitting back on the stool.
        "Because I know that Katie likes playing airplane," Brian said, smiling up at him.
        AJ chuckled and lifted Brian onto his lap, sitting him in front of Katie.  "What else do you know about your little sister?"  He asked him.
        "I know that after she eats, she needs to have a little water before she goes into her playpen and falls asleep.  Then when she wakes up, Mommy and Daddy let me play with her before giving her lunch, then we all go for a walk to the park and Daddy pushes me on the swings and Mommy slides down the slide with me.  We sometimes have a picnic at the park for dinner, but sometimes Mommy and Daddy are so busy that we never even go to the park," Brian said, his expression falling.  He looked down at the bottle of baby food and lifted the spoon out.  "Here comes the airplane, Kat!"  He exclaimed, a smile reappearing on his face as he leaned forward and put the spoon in front of the baby’s mouth.  AJ watched as Brian fed his sister and then sent him to watch his cartoons while AJ cleaned up.  He washed Katie’s face and hands off and took her out of the highchair, then carried her to the living room.  He sat on the couch across from Brian and rubbed Katie’s back slowly, humming quietly to her as she fell asleep.  He carried her upstairs and put her in her crib and stopped there, watching her sleep.
        ‘God do I wish I could have a little girl like her,’ he said to himself.  He kissed Katie’s head lightly before leaving the room, leaving the door open so he could hear her downstairs, then walked back down to the living room and watched a few cartoons with Brian.  He had just cleaned up the late lunch he’d served Brian when the front door opened.
        "Daddy!"  Brian exclaimed.
        AJ looked up from the sandwich he was making as Sarah came into the kitchen and crossed to him.
        "What is this, AJ acting responsible?  Nah, it can’t be happening," she said jokingly, a smile spreading on her face.
        "Hey, it can happen, it has before," he said in his own defense, finishing making the sandwich.  He took a bite and leaned back against the counter as Brian came in the room carrying Katie.
        "Look who I found talking away upstairs," he said, smiling at Sarah.  AJ smiled as he chewed his sandwich, knowing that look that was exchanged between them.  He’d often used that expression with Andrea, especially when they each wanted something from each other.
        "You two enjoy each other last night?"  AJ asked nonchalantly.
        Brian’s head snapped up and over to AJ, giving him a look that could kill.
        "Ok, nevermind I asked, I’m going shopping to get y’all some presents, I haven’t gone shopping for a long time," he said, finishing his sandwich and washing his hand.  He kissed Katie’s head and walked out of the house, going to his car and driving to the nearest store.

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