When Sam was six days old, Mary awoke to the tiny face of impatient four year old sitting cross legged on her bed staring at her.
"Good morning, Dean."
"Hi!"' Dean smiled. "Are you awake now?"
"Mmhmm," Mary said stretching. "I am."
"Daddy said not to wake you up," Dean said bouncing up onto his knees. "So I just watched you until you waked up."
"Oh," Mary replied. "Alright."
"You should go downstairs," Dean said. "Daddy's trying to make breakfast and I think he's gonna burn the house down."
"Right,"' Mary sat up and pulled the covers off. "Let's go get Sammy and head downstairs."
"Sam's in the baby jail downstairs," Dean said scurrying around the bed to meet his mom and take her hand. "Daddy bringed him downstairs cuz he was crying."
"He's in the playpen?" Mary smiled. "It's not baby jail."
"That's what Daddy calls it," Dean continued. "Already today he woked up and squirmed a little bit, and then he cried, and then he had a bottle, and then he went back to sleep."
"He doesn't really do very much does he?" Mary laughed as Dean lead her down the hall to the stairs.
"No," Dean shook his head. "You should carry me."
"No," Mary yawned. "You're a big boy, you can walk down the stairs."
"You carry Sam," Dean pouted.
"Sam can't walk," Mary explained. "You can, kiddo."
Dean pouted and crossed his arms across his chest and stormed down the stairs. Mary couldn't help but laugh at her older boy. He was doing really well at understanding that Sam needed her too, but sometimes he just wanted to be babied. It was cute, but Mary knew if she gave in too often he'd never stop.
"I told him not to wake you up," John said shaking his head as Mary walked up behind him and pressed a kiss into his cheek.
"He didn't," Mary whispered. "He just sat on the bed and stared at me until I woke up."
"That's..." John laughed.
"Super creepy," Mary smiled. "Nothing like waking up to a face right in your face. I heard you that you were burning the house down."
"I'm making french toast," John defended. "I got blueberries and whipped cream and everything. There's sausage and bacon on the counter."
"What did I do to get all this?" Mary asked.
"You gave me two beautiful little boys," John answered.
"It's Mother's Day," Mary chuckled. "Oh yeah."
"You forgot about Mother's Day?" John laughed placing some of the french toast on a plate.
"I have a six day old," Mary confessed. "I'm lucky I remember to change my clothes everyday."
"I'd remind you," John smiled. "You'd start to smell weird after a couple days."
"I maked you this!" Dean yelled running up to Mary with a piece of paper and small box.
"Okay, let's go to the table, so Daddy can finish making breakfast."
Mary and Dean sat down at the kitchen table, Dean climbed into her lap.
"I maked this for you for Mother's Day," Dean said holding up the picture. "I writed everything. Daddy helped me."
"Let's see what it says," Mary said placing her chin on Dean's head and looking at the drawing. It was two stick people, both with yellow hair holding hands.
"It's me and you," Dean explained. "And I writed Happy Mother's day. Love Dean."
"This is very nice," Mary smiled. "I'm gonna hang it on the fridge and show all my friends when they come over. You're a very talented little artist. You're getting really good at writing your letters. What's in the box?"
"I maked this too," Dean explained as Mary opened the little box.
"A macaroni necklace!" Mary laughed. "And a matching bracelet."
"You like it?" Dean asked. "I worked really hard."
"I love it," Mary said kissing the top of Dean's head. "It's my favorite piece of jewelry I have. Thank you so much."
"Breakfast time," John announced placing two plates down on table. "You need to sit in your own seat now, Deano."
"Okay," he nodded sliding down off his mom's lap. "Do I have to eat the blueberries?"
"Yes," John answered. "They're good for you."
"What if I don't like them?" Dean asked.
"Eat them anyway," John smirked. "They're covered in syrup. You'll be fine.
"Okay," Dean shrugged. "I getted you another thing."
"Really?" Mary said. "You already got me the perfect gift."
"I know," Dean said shoving food into his mouth. "But Grandpa Mike gave me five dollars for being a big brother. So I go-ed to the store and I looked at stuff, and I buyed you a coloring book."
"That was for mom?" John asked.
"Yeah," Dean nodded. "It's a Princess one. So we color during Dean and Momma time, you can color if your special book."
"You spent your money on me?" Mary asked. "You didn't have to do that."
"Yeah I do," Dean answered. "Cuz you're the most important."
"That's so sweet," Mary smiled, playing with Dean's hair.
"Finish your breakfast and we'll get ready for the day," John said. "Lots to do today."
"What are we gonna do?" Dean asked drawing circles in the syrup on his plate.
"Don't play with your food," John sighed. "We're going to do whatever your mom wants to do."
"Play on the swings?" Dean asked looking over at her with wide eyes. "Go to the park?"
"We'll see," Mary smiled.
"We can put Sammy in the baby swing at the park and he can swing and it will be a fun time."
"He's too little for that still," Mary said. "But I think we can go to the park."
"Yes!" Dean cheered.
"Dean," John sighed. "Can you use your fork to eat like a normal person, please?"
"It's easier this way," Dean explained ripping apart his piece of french toast with his fingers.
"But it's nicer if you use the fork, sweetheart," Mary replied. "That's how big boys do it. If you act like a big boy maybe we'll go to the park like you want."
Dean huffed and picked up his fork.
"Thank you," Mary smiled.
"How do you do that?" John chuckled. "Everytime."
"He likes me more," Mary shrugged. "You just gotta be nice. If you scold him, he doesn't listen."
"I always listen," Dean defended. "I'm a good listener."
"Most of the time," Mary nodded. "You're a very good boy, Dean."
Dean smiled and sat up a little higher as he stabbed at his breakfast, clearly proud of himself.
"You gotta have the special touch when it comes to the kids," Mary smirked. "I've been told I'm a natural."
"You're something," John smiled, looking at her like she held all the secrets of the world. "That's for sure."
After John had successfully removed the syrup from all over his older son and Dean had gotten himself dressed in his new "I'm a big brother" t-shirt that Mary had found too adorable not to buy on her last trip to K-Mart, the family got ready to head off toward the park.
"Are we driving?" John asked as Mary grabbed the diaper bag and Sammy.
"It's a block and half away," Mary replied. "No, we're going to walk like normal people."
"It's not very far," Dean added. "I can run there and not stop one time."
"You could probably run to the moon and back without stopping with all the sugar you just ate," John chuckled.
"I didn't eat sugar," Dean said squinting his eyes. "I ate breakfast. Can I push Sammy in the stroller?"
"Umm," Mary thought as she strapped Sam into place. "I don't think that would be a very good idea, kiddo. Not along the road. Next time we go to the mall you can push him around a little bit there. There aren't any cars."
"Okay," Dean shrugged as he opened the front door. He bounced down the walkway, waiting for his parents to catch up as they maneuvered Sammy in the stroller down the front steps.
"Would you like to ride on my shoulders kiddo?" John asked when they caught up with him.
Dean nodded excitedly and reached his arms up toward his father.
"Do you think I'll be this tall one day?" Dean asked as he gripped his father's forehead so he wouldn't fall. "I like being this tall. It's fun. I can see over the trees and maybe touch a cloud one time."
"You might be," John agreed. "I don't see why not, if you keep eating your vegetables like mom says."
"I will," Dean agreed. "If it mean I get to be the tallest boy in the world."
They continued on their short walk, just enjoying the sunshine and fresh air after the winter. It was the first time they'd been able to go out as a family since Sam was born. It was great being together in the house, but a stir crazy Dean was one of the worst things either of his parents had ever had to live through. It was an extraordinarily beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, warm enough to not wear a jacket, just picture perfect for Sammy's first day out and about.
When they arrived at the park, John placed Dean back on the ground and he took off toward the large play structure made out of old tires. From the looks of things, every other family in the neighborhood with children under seven had the same idea. Mary and John found their way to a picnic table not too far away from the play structure near the family that lived kiddie corner to them.
"Good morning, Joyce." Mary smiled. "Happy Mother's Day."
"Out and about all ready," Joyce laughed. "How are you doing?"
"Real good," Mary nodded. "We're doing real good. Dean's actually been really great, way better than I thought he would be. I mean, he said he'd be the best big brother he could, but I was afraid he'd be rough with him. He's been good."
"I told you," Joyce said. "You got all worried for nothing."
"He wants to do stuff with Sam that Sam's not big enough to do," Mary shrugged. "He wants to play pirates and wrestle and all the stuff that he sees your boys doing. He's not a very patient little boy."
"He'll understand someday," Joyce said. "Right now he just wants a playmate."
"Yeah," Mary sighed. "It's cute though."
"I think he knows if he asks enough eventually we'll get annoyed and give in," John added. "He's a smart kid. Wears us down slowly."
"He's not that bad," Mary laughed. "And he's not go tie a cape onto a baby because I'm annoyed that he's asked six hundred times."
"Give it a couple months," John nodded. "I will bet you money you'll be looking for a Robin Onesie come October."
"That's not even the same thing," Mary said shaking her head.
"Just wait," John smirked.
Dean came running up the slight hill with grass stains already covering his knees.
"Daddy," he gasped out of breath. "You need to push me on the swings so I can go higher."
"Alright," John nodded standing up.
"There's a tire swing," Dean continued. "And me and Jamie and Brandon can fit on it, and you need to push us on that. We want to go really high."
"Okay, I'm coming," John smiled. Dean grabbed his hand and the two of them walked off toward the swings.
"John's been a lot better too," Mary whispered as they walked out of earshot. "When we had Dean he got so freaked out I was worried that he'd do that again. But he's been amazing. He even made breakfast this morning! Last year he took us out, and I don't think he's gotten over the trauma of a half asleep Dean out in public. He's really trying this time around. I was scared, but it looks like I got nothing to be scared of."
"I told you," Joyce replied. "I told you he'd figure it out and learn how to be a dad. Motherhood just comes naturally to some people, fatherhood can be a learned skill. He just had to figure out what his role was."
"He's not used to being bossed around," Mary chuckled. "And John's right, Dean does tend to get his way most of the time. He kind of runs the show, but I mean, I'm trying to do everything I wanted my parents to do."
"My boys run the show too, Mary," Joyce replied. "Don't think for a second there isn't a family on this block that's any different. When he's a little bigger, things will change, but who in their right mind would look at your little boy's face when he asks you to play superheroes with him and say no."
"His cuteness is sort of a problem," Mary laughed.
"Let's see the new one," Joyce said nodding at the stroller that Mary was pushing back and forth with her foot. "I think it's time for Sammy's debut!"
Mary stood and took the tiny bundle out of the stroller and handed him off to her friend. "He should be waking up soon. John fed him before I woke up but that was at least two or three hours ago."
"Isn't he just the most precious thing?" Joyce cooed. "Does he look like Dean did?"
"No," Mary chuckled. "I think he looks more like John's mom. Definitely Winchester Family dark hair. Dean looked just like my baby pictures."
"They smell so good," Joyce said rocking Sam back and forth. "I could just smell baby smell forever."
When John and Dean made it to the swing area, Jamie and Brandon were already on the big tire, waiting.
"You pick me up?" Dean asked holding his hands above his head.
John lifted him and placed him on the empty area of the swing.
"How high are you boys looking to go?"
"All the way," Brandon nodded. "As high as we can."
"Let's do this then," John sighed as he rolled up his sleeves.
He pushed the boys a few times while they complained that they weren't going high enough, then started to push harder until he had to stand on his toes to push them more.
"Higher!" Dean yelled.
John nodded and grabbed the tire on it's next swing toward him and ran as fast as he could pushing the swing way over his head. The boys squealed excitedly.
"That high enough, boys?"
A chorus of yeses giggled down.
John leaned against the fence watching the swing go back and forth while the boys about whether or not to ask John to do it again.
"We want you to do it again," Dean announced as the boys slowed down.
"Are you sure?" John smiled.
"Yes," the boys agreed.
"Alright, one more time," John said. "Then I don't think I can do it again. I'll have to push you regular."
"Okay!" Dean nodded as John started the process again. Running under the swing again as fast as he could.
"There you go boys," John nodded.
"Thank you, Daddy!" Dean called down laughing.
John leaned against the fence again, just listening to that laughter. It was one of the best noises he'd ever heard. Dean had one of those contagious laughs that make everyone around him smile.
"Thank you very much Mr. Winchester," Jamie smiled as they jumped down off the swing. "That was the best."
"Yeah," Brandon nodded in agreement. "It was way higher than I thought you could push us."
"You're welcome," John nodded.
"Do you want to come with us?" Dean asked. "We're gonna go to wooden bridge, and maybe go on a zip line."
"You think you're big enough for a zip line?" John asked.
"I'm not a baby anymore," Dean said shaking his head. "I'm big enough."
"I don't know kiddo," John said shaking his head. "It's kinda scary. I don't know if big enough for that yet."
The zip line was one the bigger kid side of the playground. John knew that Dean was in no way big enough to go down the zip line. He saw crying and a lot of blood in his future if he let Dean go on that zip line. Mary would have his head on a platter he allowed their son to go on that thing.
"Do your parents let you go on the zip line?" John asked the other boys.
"No," Jamie whispered. "But I really want to. Maybe if you watched us we can do it."
"I don't want you boys to get hurt," John said. "How about we save the zip line for when you're in first grade?"
"That's forever," Dean pouted.
"Your mother would kill me if I let you go on there."
"It can be a secret!" Dean pleased. "You don't have to tell her."
"Dean," John sighed. "Just play on the rest of the playground. I don't want you over there. You'll get hurt."
"Fine," Dean huffed. "You're not invited to play with us anymore."
"Okay," John shrugged. "I'll go sit with Mom and Sammy."
Dean turn and ran in the other direction toward the jungle gym with his friends, leaving John behind.
John walked back up the hill toward his wife. Hoping the boys would listen.
"All pushed out?" Mary laughed as John rejoined them.
"I did the under push thing on the tire swing a couple of times," John replied. "Then the boys decided I wasn't cool enough to hang with them because I told Dean he couldn't go on the zip line."
"He's so not big enough for that," Mary said shaking her head. "He'll break his neck."
"I told him a less worst case scenario of that sentiment," John replied.
"He's gonna kill himself," Mary shook her head. "You know he's gonna do it anyway just because you said no."
"Yeah," John nodded. "And when he runs up here crying and bloody, maybe he'll learn a lesson about listening when we say no."
"Go stand by the zip line!" Mary yelled. "Prevent the worst case scenario, seriously, John."
"Alright," John sighed. "I thought I was doing it right. I'll go catch him when he falls."
"No, stay here," Mary said rolling her eyes. "Let him break his neck."
"Calm down," John sighed. "I'm going."
John walked back down to the fenced in area, where sure enough all three of the boys were in the zip line platform fighting over who should get to go first.
"I'm the oldest," Jamie said. "I should go first."
"I'm the youngest," Brandon argued. "I should go first. I never get to go first."
"I should go first," Dean suggested. "Because you two are fighting about it and no one's going."
"No," Jamie shook his head. "That's not fair."
"How about no one goes first," John said as he looked over the fence. "Because I'm pretty sure I told you all that no one was going on the zip line until you were bigger."
"I'm gonna do it!" Dean shouted grabbing the handles and standing on the platform. "I'm gonna do and it's gonna the most fun ever."
"Dean Michael," John warned. But Dean was flying across the playground.
"Son of a-" John sighed making his way around the fence into zip line area. Dean was about halfway to the end of line as John watched his son's hands start to slip, and there was nothing he could do as he fell the six feet to the ground with an audible thud.
"Do not move," John yelled to the brothers standing on the platform wide-eyed. "I told you boys not to play on this. Stay right where you are Dean. I'm right here."
Dean was laying on his back on the ground coughing when John got to him. He hadn't started crying yet, but John knew they were moments from an explosion.
"This is why you have to listen to dad," John said as he scooped Dean up.
Dean gasped for breath as John carried him to the platform and laid him down flat.
"I'm broken," Dean whispered.
"I think you just go the wind knocked out of you," John said as he checked Dean's arms, legs, and ribs for any sign of damage. "Are you gonna listen next time?"
Dean sniffled and nodded, tears leaking out of the sides of his eyes. "I'm broken."
"You're gonna be okay," John insured him. "Why don't you two go play on the little kid half of the playground?"
"Yes Mr. Winchester," the brothers said softly.
John scooped Dean up again and carried him back to Mary.
"What happened?" Mary shouted. "Exactly what I said was going to happen isn't it?"
"He's fine," John replied. "Nothing broken. He got the wind knocked of him. He'll be fine. Your boys got a nice life lesson about listening too."
"Where are they?" Joyce said quickly. "They didn't go on that stupid thing did they?"
"No, Dean was the only one," John said shaking his head. "I sent your boys off to play in their section of the playground. They'll probably be heading back up this way before too long. They looked pretty terrified about what they watched."
"We're taking him to the hospital," Mary said quickly as she placed Sam back into the stroller.
"I watched him fall," John replied as he placed Dean down on the picnic table. "He fell on his backside, landed flat on the ground. There weren't any rocks for anything, it's all soft grass like the people who designed the park knew something like this would happen. He just had the wind knocked out of him. He'll be fine."
"I'm broken," Dean mumbled.
"He didn't hit his head," John continued. "He scared himself. He'll be fine. He'll be running around about in a few minutes."
"If he's not fine by dinner we're taking him to the hospital," Mary said.
"That sounds fine," John nodded. "But he's okay. I swear. I checked him out, no broken bones, he didn't lose consciousness. I was ten feet away when he fell, I did everything I could to stop him."
"I didn't listen," Dean said softly. "I thinked it be fun. It was not fun at all. I gotta listen better to Daddy."
"Are you okay sweetheart," Mary said running her fingers through Dean's hair.
"I think so," Dean whispered nodding a little bit. "I'm sorry I didn't listen and ruined the park."
"You didn't ruin anything, Dean," John said.
"I ruined Sammy's big day at the park," Dean said as he started to sit up. "I ruined everything on Mother's Day, because I was bad at listening to Daddy."
"It's okay, buddy," John insured him. "As long as you're okay. You're not hurt real bad, everything's gonna be fine. You think you can go play some more?"
"Can me and Sammy go down the little slide?" Dean asked, still breathing heavily as he sat up completely. "I wanna make sure Sammy has fun at the park."
"He's awake," Mary said looking over at John.
"If they go on the little one Dean can climb up and I can hand him Sam," John agreed. "He knows how to hold him."
"Alright," Mary nodded. "Only one time, and only the little slide. Then I think it's time to go home."
"You should carry me," Dean asked looking up at his dad.
"Alright," John nodded as he stepped closer and picked up his son.
"Can I leave the stroller with you for, like, ten minutes?" Mary asked Joyce.
"Oh, yeah," her friend nodded. "I'm not going anywhere. It's good to see you're okay, Dean."
"I almost made Jamie go first," Dean said sheepishly. "I would be very sad if I broked him."
"Well, no one got hurt real bad," Joyce said smiling. "You'll know better next time, right?"
"Yes, I will," Dean nodded.
"Thanks, Joyce, we'll be right back," Mary said as she removed Sammy from the stroller and the family of four headed back down the hill to the play structure. Off to the side was an area for toddlers, a set swings with leg holes, a big sandbox and small slide. John placed Dean down on the ground and they watched as he climbed the short ladder to the top and sat down, waiting for his little brother. John took Sam from Mary and placed him in Dean's arms.
"Hold him real tight and don't let go," John said. "Hold him right up against you and hold his head still like mom showed you."
"Okay," Dean nodded, doing exactly what he was told. "Are you ready for this Sammy? Slides are most fun you can have."
He used his feet to pull himself right to the edge and slid down holding his brother as tight as he could. At the bottom, he looked down at Sammy who was reaching out of the blanket toward Dean's face.
"Was that fun?" Dean asked him. Sam just grabbed at Dean's nose. "I thinked it was fun. When you get bigger we'll go down slides all the time, and you will have lots of fun."
"You ready to head back, Deano?" John asked.
"I want to go down the slide again," Dean said. "But you said only one time. So I guess so."
"Let's go have lunch sweetie," Mary smiled. "We'll let you rest up."
John took Sammy from Dean and Mary lifted Dean up off the slide. The four gathered the rest of their stuff from the picnic table and headed home for the day. Dean felt like he could walk again by the time they reached the road and held his mother's hand tightly as they walked home.