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Stay Together For The Kids

By Tori M. Pack All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Chapter 1

Year 2026

The arguing was the first thing I noticed. Mom and momma were always bickering and fighting about whatever came to mind. Momma yelled at mom for not changing Shane's diaper right. Mom snaps on momma for taking too long to get ready. Momma argues with mom over work schedules. Mom questions momma about proper dietary foods.

No matter what day it is or what time it is, mom and momma always fight about something and it was driving me up the wall!

Oh, who am I? I'm glad you asked. I'm Graham Robert Lenard and I'm 8-years-old in 3 days. What I want more than anything in the world for my birthday (besides a new paintball game), are for my parents to stop fighting and to get along like they once did. Everyday lawyers come in and out of our house, talking to mom and momma about "custody" and "splitting in half" and something called a "prenuptial".

I don't know what any of that means but I have talked to all of my friends and they all say when parents argue a lot, there's a chance that they may split up forever. I can't have that happen to my parents! Where will I live? Who will cook breakfast with momma and sleep next to her in bed?

Who will drop me off for soccer practice if mom isn't around? Who will read my stories before bed or turn on my night light after a scary movie if momma isn't there? I mean…not that I use a night-light.

Anyway, so do you see what I mean? Do you see where the problem is? I can't have mom and momma break up. I just can't all right. Everything in the world can happen except that so I have to stop it. As the older brother of Kendall and Shane, it's my job to stop it.

I make this solemn vow that I will not rest until I've done everything I can to make my parents happen again or my name isn't Graham Robert Lenard!

Chapter One

"Grace, I told you that I couldn't drop off Graham today. I have a meeting at 4pm and if I could get out of it, don't you think I would?"

"I honestly don't know, Crue. This is your 3rd meeting this week and you promised me, you promised Graham, that you would be there to drop him off and pick him up after his game so that he would at least see you"

"I know that and I feel like shit about it but I told you last night I couldn't"

"Exactly Crue. You told me last night! How last minute is that? Now, not only do I have to drop Kendall off to Pre-K and pick her up afterwards while carting around Shane for the entire day, but I also have to drop and pick up our son, whom you seem to keep forgetting"

"Grace, don't you dare say that! I am not forgetting Graham"

"Oh, then let me guess. One of your coworkers at the office reminded you of the game yesterday morning and it suddenly clicked that you have other priorities other than work that you have to attend to but God forbid you miss a meeting"

"I will apologize to Graham as many times as I can to get him to forgive me. I will even take him to the zoo all day. I just…cannot miss this meeting babe. I'm sorry".

Grace Tyler-Lenard looked over at her wife of 9 years and shook her head before placing their youngest child, Shane, in his high chair. "Don't apologize to me, Crue. Tell your son you're sorry for the 5th time in 2 weeks. Hopefully he'll forgive you again," she said crossly as she sat down and feed Shane mashed carrots.

32-year-old Crue Lenard sighed when she felt little hands around her leg. She looked down and was greeted with the bright smile of her middle child, Kendall. "Hey sunshine! How are you this morning?" she asked, leaning over to pick her up and kiss all over her face.

Kendall giggled in delight and tried to free herself from her mother's grasp. "Mommy! That tickles mommy" she exclaimed, still smiling. Crue placed her gently back on the ground and watched as she ran towards Grace to kiss her cheek.

"Good morning baby. Did you sleep good?" she asked her. Kendall nodded her head and pulled herself on to Grace's lap. Grace readjusted her child so that she wouldn't fall and kissed the top of her head. "Do you want some cereal?" Crue asked her.

"Yes please" she replied, watching as Grace feed Shane. "Shane has big cheeks momma," she added. "Yes he does baby because he has to grow into his body just like you" Grace commented, tickling Kendall's sides.

Crue poured her daughter some Honey Nut Cheerios in a small bowl and picked up her favorite Lion King spoon. She placed the bowl in front of Kendall and snickered. "Lion King! Roarrr" she said playfully, picking Kendall up and pretending to eat her stomach.

Kendall laughed and kicked her little feet out. "No mommy! You're not a lion. You're a person," she said. Crue put her back on Grace's lap and was about to sit down herself when her eldest walked into the room.

Graham looked tired and walked slowly towards the table, yawning and scratching his head. Grace smirked at her son and ran her fingers over his hair when she walked towards him. "Stayed up too late huh?" she teased.

"No. I went to bed at 9pm, just like you said" he quickly defended, shaking his head while he spoke. "Are you sure because I remember there being a "Adam the Adventurer" marathon on from 9 to 10:30 last night?' she pressed.

"No way momma. Just because that's my favorite show in the world, doesn't mean I stayed up to watch it," he said, smiling like he had fooled her. "Uh huh. Then how come on our "recently watched programs" Adam the Adventurer comes up first?" she asked, arching her eyebrows at him.

Graham just looking around sheepishly and turned to Crue for help. "Uh uh, little man. I'm out of this one. That's between you and your momma," she said, wiping off Shane's chin from excess carrot juice.

"Uh…I'll tell you momma! It was robbers! Yeah, they came in and they were trying to steal mom's prized baseball bat but I stopped them and before they left, they forced me to sit down and watch the entire thing with them. Pretty evil huh momma?" he explained, crossing his arms over his chest.

Grace stared at her son with no emotion and looked over at Crue. "That imagination, I swear he gets it from you". She glanced back at Graham and sighed. "Okay, you know the drill. 8pm bedtime for the rest of the week" she said to him.

Graham's jaw dropped and he groaned. "But mom! The robbers-"Will get an 8pm bedtime too if they come back tonight. No buts. You know the rules. If you stay past curfew, I take an hour off for the whole week" she scolded. Graham just frowned and sat down to eat his pop-tart.

Crue smiled at her son before looking at the clock. "It's 7:50. I gotta run". She stood up from her seat and kissed Shane's cheeks and the top of Kendall's forehead. She received a peck on the lips from Grace and then walked over to Graham.

"Can I get a hug?" she asked him. When Graham turned 6-years-old, he decided that he was too big for kisses and instead wanted hugs. Grace didn't abide by his rules at first but as he got older, she decided to only give him hugs.

He stood up and Crue picked him up and placed her hand on the back of his head. "I love you buddy," she said. "I know. I love you too mom" he mumbled. Crue smiled and put him back down, yelling, "I love you. Bye" over her shoulder before leaving out the door.

"Do I really have to go to bed at 8 this week momma?"

"Graham…"

"Fine…"

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