After a whirlwind shopping expedition to switch out the spare bedroom’s furniture with a space-saving bunk bed with a trundle, along with a short book case, a rack of bins for small toys, and a toy box, Nash and Emmitt were at least physically ready to welcome the six-year-old, and twin four-year-old boys into their home.
Of course they were both elated at the prospect of welcoming their new sons, but emotionally Nash was relieved to find Emmitt as much a wreck as he was. Meanwhile, Grampy was no-holds-barred thrilled out of his mind, practically bouncing with anticipation. His trip down memory lane wasn’t exactly helping Nash and Emmitt’s predicament.
“If they’re anything like Emmitt, we’ll wish we had eyes in the back of our heads.” Grampy chortled as he shook his head at Emmitt. “Every other time your mother turned around you were earning another trip to the ER.”
“That’s so different from how he is today.” Nash poured a glass of orange juice and turned to face Emmitt. “You’re so careful and precise in everything you do.”
Emmitt opened his mouth to reply, but Grampy beat him to it. “Oh, he was very careful and precise while shoving all those beads up his nose.”
Nash sputtered and covered his mouth as juice spurted out his nose. Emmitt sighed and rubbed Nash’s back. “In my defense, I was three.”
Nash coughed and wiped his face. “Grampy, darn it, I thought you’d spilled all the beans by now. Are you still holding out on me?”
“What did you think all those beads saved in that old ceramic thing on the shelf over yonder were from?”
“You saved them?” Nash laughed. “What ceramic thing?”
“The gallipot,” Emmitt said. “Second shelf.”
“Oh yeah.” Nash had unpacked Emmitt’s knickknacks for him and had wondered about those beads at the time, but he’d long since forgotten about it. “Bet all those trips to the ER are why you got interested in medicine.”
“Probably, although Grampy likes to joke it might have been the other way around.”
“I think those stitches you got on your arm were the turning point,” Grampy said. “You were five, weren’t you? That’s when you turned into a little ghoul, fascinated by anything bloody.”
“I still remember that.” Emmitt pointed out the faint scar on his forearm and looked at Nash. “You know the little wheal that’ll pop up with a local anesthetic injection?”
“I was transfixed by that little bubble, then of course watching the doctor stitch up the gash was even more riveting. Grampy’s right. I was hooked after that.”
“Later, you kept removing the ice bag,” Grampy said. “And trying to pull off the bandage so you could ogle those stitches.”
“Well,” Nash said, “I think we’ll be pretty darned lucky if our boys are anything like Emmitt.”
Emmitt grinned. “Careful what you wish for.” He glanced at his watch. “They’ll be here any time. You got everything we needed at the grocery store this morning?”
Nash pointedly hiked up a brow. Emmitt had helped him put the stuff away.
The boys’ birth parents had had their family on a strict macrobiotic diet, and Nash and Emmitt had agreed they’d transition the kids to the same healthy balanced diet they consumed themselves. There were some similarities—they avoided sodas and refined/packaged foods, bought organic, and prepared their meals from fresh, fruits, vegetables, grains, etc., but they included meat, eggs, dairy, and spices in their diet, drank fruit juice, and didn’t totally eliminate sugar. They certainly didn’t avoid chocolate. But Nash had made a point of picking up more fish and beans to help with the diet shift.
“Sorry,” Emmitt said. “I’m just…”
“Nervous?” Grampy asked.
“Your stories aren’t helping any, you know.”
Grampy’s answering grin told them he knew exactly the effect his stories were having. But he relented. “You two are going to make wonderful parents. Quit worrying.”
The buzzer sounded, alerting them that they had someone downstairs looking to make it past the security door. They froze and stared at each other for a moment before Emmitt stood and strode to the console.
They were about to find out if Grampy was right.