It was good to be on the horses and in the fresh air. The weather was perfect for early November at 52 and sunny. They went to the meadow and played in the dried grasses enjoying the afternoon. Gracie seemed to enjoy the one on one time with her parents and no one else. Sammy realized that they needed this a lot more often, especially while Jake was in Texas. She had to be better, do better for Gracie while Jake was out of town.
Sammy was sad when they had to head back in and mounted the horses and meandered back towards the barns and jumped off and fed the two beautiful beasts carrots, patted their muzzles before thanking Joe for taking them and heading out.
Jake drove to his childhood home where a lot was happening for the wedding. Gracie was suddenly nervous being there and clung to Jake like a life preserver and he picked her up. Abby hugged them as Mike came in with Emily from the backyard, laughing. Gracie saw it and her chin started to quiver and she buried her face in Jake’s neck and clung to him harder.
Sammy sighed and knew this wasn’t going to be as easy as she once thought. Remembering what Sammy said in their phone call Abby she motioned for Sammy to follow her. Abby asked some questions and Sammy explained how Gracie was feeling.
“She feels left behind and probably more than a little jealous of you and Emily. She never had to share Mike before. He put her on a pedestal and now that you are the main lady in his life, she thinks Mike doesn’t love her anymore. If you and Mike could just reassure her so we can get through the next week that would be great. And then refer me to someone that I can take her to so she can talk to someone. Things aren’t going to get any calmer over the next year,” Sammy explained with a little waiver in her voice.
“Sammy it’s ok! It’s hard to remember that she is 5 ½ years old because of her intellect. After you called, I thought back to everything that has happened and I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner, honestly. Can I bring her in here and talk with her and Mike?”
“We would appreciate it Abby. Thank you,” Sammy said, wiping her eyes.
Abby hugged her again and went back in the kitchen where Gracie still had her head buried in Jake’s neck and wouldn’t talk to Emily or Mike. Abby called to her and she showed her eyes some and she bent down and whispered in her ear something. Gracie nodded and slid off Jake’s lap and took Abby’s offer of a hand and walked with her to Mike’s office. Abby grabbed Mike’s hand as they walked by and closed the door behind them.
Sammy flopped in the chair next to Jake and smiled weakly at Emily, “I’m sorry Emily. I didn’t mean for this to be so hard…”
Emily smiled and waved her off, “Sammy, it’s really ok. Gracie is a great little girl and she has had lots of changes in the last short while; me, coming into what she thinks is sacred space with her Grandfather probably made her territorial. It only stands to reason.”
Jake was relieved that she viewed it so well and thanked her. They chatted about the next few days and Sammy asked Emily if she wanted to come and stay with them after Mike and Abby left for their honeymoon. They could get to know her better and hopefully make Gracie feel more secure around her. She thanked them and accepted, coming over after the big party on Sunday at the Ranch.
15 minutes later the three people emerged from the room, Gracie had tear marks on her face as Mike carried her into the kitchen. He went to the fridge, grabbed two bottles of water and took her out to the backyard.
Abby sat down and told them how Gracie poured her heart out to them and told them everything about how she was feeling. Abby just let her go as she went through several emotions and Mike listened the whole time. At the end Mike assured her that she was still his best girl and no one would take her place. She was his first grandchild and no one could ever change that, not Abby or Emily. Sammy prayed they got through to her and things would be looking up.
“I feel like I should warn you now, Mike has been talking about getting her a pony. I didn’t want you to be blindsided,” Abby admitted.
Sammy groaned, “He has been talking about it for a while. I thought I could hold him off a little longer since he was helping pay for school. But now-“
“He got around that, didn’t he?” Jake exclaimed.
“I will mention it to Derek to give him a heads up,” Sammy conceded.
“Um, I think he already talked to Derek,” Abby confessed.
Sammy sighed and shook her head, knowing now there was nothing they could do about it now. Derek would be on his side, already bugging her last summer to get Gracie her own horse.
The four of them talked while Mike was out with Gracie. They came back in and Gracie looked so much better and was giggling as Mike had her upside down over his shoulder. He sat her upright and whispered in her ear. She nodded and jumped down from his arms and went up to Emily and started talking with her.
They stayed a little while longer before going to get dinner while they finished up for tomorrow. Everyone hugged and Sammy heard Mike tell Gracie, “Remember always my special girl, right?”
Gracie hugged him tightly, “Right Grampy!”
They drove off to dinner then went over to Ashley and Kevin’s to see Smitty and Lexi. Gracie ran to each adult and hugged them deeply before running to the little ones in the living room and started playing.
The adults sat close by and talked. Jake told them about the day’s events and the roller coaster they had been on.
“Oh I am coming with you Tuesday to drop her off at school! That little shit Quinn and his cock sucking father can see how slimy football players can be!” Kevin fumed.
“I’m coming too!” Smitty declared.
“Oh Sweet Jesus! That’s what we need: Three overprotective men taking Gracie to school!” Ashely yelled.
“Can you NOT get arrested? I mean really! Your lawyer will be on his honeymoon!” Sammy declared.
“And I’m just saying gentlemen, I believe I speak for ALL of the women at this table that if you get in trouble, you are cut off in the bedroom!” Lexi hissed.
They all looked at her as she sat defiantly with her arms crossed.
“Are you serious?” Smitty asked.
“Damn straight! I will not reward bad behavior! Just like we do with our children!” Lexi said.
“I promise we will behave ourselves,” Jake swore, raising his right hand.
Sammy shook her head as they continued talking for the next few hours. The younger kids were fading fast and needed bed. Gracie kissed the two younger kids and then the four adults as they were leaving.
“Oh Uncle Kevin and Uncle Smitty, Grampy said there would be dancing at the wedding tomorrow. Can you dance with me tomorrow? Grampy says all the pretty girls have to dance with all the boys!”
“You are in so much trouble Sammy,” Lexi whispered to her as the three men fawn all over the young girl.
“I’m going home to have a very large glass of wine! Parenting sucks today!” Sammy groaned.
Jake got Gracie in bed after promising her the first dance after Mommy and she went right to sleep. Jake went in and found Sammy sitting up with one of his t-shirts on and a large glass of wine.
“Tough day Baby?”
“Oh I am done adulting right now! Wine is the only juice I need right now. I blame you for all of this!”
“And I take full responsibility Baby. Let me make it up to you,” He said taking his shirt off and sliding on the bed next to her.
“Oh you have lots to make up for!” She said harshly then immediately softened when he ran his hand up her leg.
She gulped as he took the glass from her and set it on the nightstand and smiled, giving her the full show of dimples and she knew he would make good on his word.