It is an extra dividend when you like the girl you’ve fallen in love with.Clark Gable
I know I have written so much about Anastasia, mostly because – as Caleb put it – she was such a force of nature. He was right, there was always a lot going on in that girl’s life. Much of which Blaine and I would not know about until many years after the fact. We definitely didn’t at the time I am telling you about now.
Just to be clear about this, we really do love both kids equally, and Brendan gets a lot of our attention as well, until now he just has flown just under the radar and there wasn’t much to talk about unless you wanted me to bore you to tears with how wonderful, smart, handsome and witty I think my son is.
We’re very dedicated to our family, so much so, that both Blaine and I found ways to make money from home again, since our savings originally earmarked to comfortably put our children through college remained untouched and allowed us the luxury to stay home as long as we made enough to replenish what we spent. Our beautiful and smart daughter had been awarded a full ride paid scholarship.
Yeah, her law school education was 100% free. Brendan was excellent in many subjects, it was to be expected he would get a full ride just like his older sister. So I worked as a freelance writer again and Blaine dusted off the home studio and his guitar, composed, wrote and produced tracks for himself and other musicians again under his own label ‘#BlainsterBeatz’.
We both much preferred this as it allowed us to be a couple again, now that we made our own work hours. I had missed that more than I can say, and Blaine had too.
Not exactly sure about how the kids felt about us being always home, but they at least we all got to enjoy meals as a family again before and after they came home from school. Youth is fleeting, and one day, this would be a thing of the past.
Speaking of fleeting things, I do want to write a few lines about something that happened quite a while ago, Brendan was still little and Ana still a teen, was too sad to write then, but I do want to make mention that we lost our beloved Charlie. He lived a long and happy life, had been with us since I was pregnant with Ana, and now rests buried at the Forgotten Hollow cemetery, where a pet section had been added.
While he is sorely missed, he is ever-present in his son Obi, who has grown into the spitting image of his late father and all the many puppies Charlie fathered during his lifetime. Obi is a dream of a dog, fast learner, sweet, a good watchdog, but loves to get dirty and stinky. One of us ends up having to bathe that dog almost daily. I am surprised we haven’t washed the color off his fur yet!
Brendan was quieter than Anastasia, not as a person, he was just as loud as any little boy would be, and even louder as a teen, but he never really caused any drama or trouble, except his knack for pranks. Since he liked his chemistry kit still, none of us had not by now come out of the shower without a dyed face or a dyed butt from some exploding paint bomb in the toilet. Before working from home, I even went to work with a distinct blueish cast on my teeth once, thanks to my beautiful boy. And my wonderful immature husband got his son back for those pranks, rather than punish him.
Brendan was a typical boy, hanging with his same-aged buddies he had since kindergarten, but around age 15 or so ago, girls stopped being ‘gross’ and became quite enticing to him and his friends. Sadly, he seemed to have a harder time finding dates than his sister, who had boys lining up since she was about 14.
Brendan struck out several times, I tried my best to console him each time.
Around his 16th birthday he was very obviously, even though not admittedly, crushing on the sweetest little girl, he brought her home to introduce her to us as a friend. Elise, such a pretty girl, polite, adorable, well-mannered.
They spent so much time together giving me all sorts of ‘aww’ feels, until I noticed she was getting sick a lot. So carefully at some point when she and I were alone I asked her if she could possibly be pregnant. Under tears she explained to me she was, had fallen for an older boy and … you know the story. He had graduated and gone off to college and she was only 15, still in high school and pregnant. Brendan was the only one who knew about it so far aside from me now, not even her parents did yet. Yikes. At least it wasn’t Brendan’s as I originally feared, but neither Blaine nor I were really comfortable with our teenage son potentially dating a mother to be. Not at that age. But we didn’t interfere, remained supportive, as hard as it may have been.
Brendan had such a kind heart, he told me he wasn’t really dating her, just there for her since most of her friends had distanced themselves from her. I melted. My sweet boy for you.
Some months later he brought home a sweet girl, again a little blonde, he seemed to have a type, and introduced her to us as his girlfriend. Rachel Adams.
Blaine took him aside to have the sex talk with him, you know, not the birds and bees stuff, but the one man to man, and I wanted so much to be present, knowing Blaine I worried that our son would come out of that scarred for life, but Blaine once more surprised me. Brendan seemed fine and genuinely enlightened.
Blaine really was such a good dad.
Not sure how I felt about the industrial sized box of condoms I found proudly displayed on my son’s nightstand a few days later while putting away laundry, most certainly Blaine’s doing since it had a winking Emoji in black marker drawn on it, but considering the alternative, I guess this was okay.
At least it wasn’t opened yet and at least Bren wasn’t even trying to hide it.
But the teen romance with Rachel didn’t even last more than 4 months. The writing had been on the wall for a while, Brendan often came home from dates with her absolutely frustrated, she was impossible to please, always complaining about the dates.
Then one day I got the golden ticket of walking straight into the end of their break up. I was on my way to his room to ask if Rachel was staying for dinner, when the cracked door flew open and she rushed past me on her way out of the house, crying, as I saw my son appear in the hallway yelling after her.
“I am not a battered housewife, I have options!”
Yep, Blaine’s son for ya.
“Brendan!” I told him, shaking my head, as I heard a curse word aimed at my son, then the front door being slammed shut behind me.
“You know what she said to me? That if I wanted to be with her, I better up my game and start taking her out to nicer places, and more often. You know where our last date was? At the mall. Wanna guess why? Yeah, do I look like a sugar daddy to you, mom?!”
“No baby, you definitely do not. Want a hug?”
“As long as you’re not gonna make me do chores for it, sure. Tired of having to work so hard for female attention!”
Suppressing a smirk I embraced the fruit of my and Blaine’s loins. It was scary how much our kids reminded us of our own behavior. The BS Blaine and I used to argue about when we were their age and younger, yeah. And here it was again now.
The breakup went fairly smooth, naturally he moped around for a while, but then he started spending much time with Elise again, the teen mom to be. He was over at her house about as much as she was at ours, her parents and siblings knew and liked Brendan well.
Brendan even had been by her side as moral support when she finally confessed her pregnancy to them. Yes, they knew and believed that he wasn’t the father.
The mood over there, according to Brendan, remained tense with a chance of outburst at any given moment. Elise had two younger siblings, toddler aged, so that was probably why her parents were even less pleased than any other parent would be about a teen pregnancy.
I had since learned about another complication as by now I knew that the father to her unborn child was one of the Russo brothers, Marcello. Both Russo boys were Ana’s age and also part of her closest friends group, so I had known the boy for a big part of his life, which put me in an awkward position, with him now seemingly being a dead-beat dad. Didn’t sound like him, what what do you know. All I felt was relief that Ana never fell for his advances, as both brothers had been sweet on her. I often watched Elise when she and Brendan’s friends were over, imagining that she could have well been Ana in that tough spot.
If you didn’t know Brendan and Elise weren’t dating, you could easily be fooled. They went out just the two of them a lot, out to dinners, movies, walks and such. To use Blaine’s words ‘at least he couldn’t knock her up’. Well, yeah …
And then along came Maggie, another blonde, this time with pink highlights and a personality to match. She was generally just as polite, sweet and well-mannered as the girls before, and once more the same type as her predecessors.
But alas, the romance burned out as quickly as it budded, as she would call Brendan to meet her somewhere for a date and either just leave shortly after she got there without any reasonable explanation, or she would stand him up completely. He patiently endured that longer than I would have.
It took him coming home soaked to the bones from waiting for her in the pouring rain again without as much as a phone call from her before he decided he had enough of her antics.
Make no mistake, he was no pushover, just very patient if he felt it worth it. But he did sleep on it one night, then went over to her house the next day to break up with her in person. He wasn’t shy or a backstabber. He was honest about his reasons too.
Poor boy, he was so handsome, smart, witty, had charisma, I really had no idea what all those girls’ problems were, and not only because I was his mom.
Maybe my beautiful son was just too picky. But I rather that than him throwing himself at every girl and being at her beckon call. He never seemed too broken up about any of this, maybe because he somehow realized that this was just high school and few relationships ever made it out of that setting.
I also knew that he was very much looking forward to college and I had the inkling that he would enjoy everything it had to offer aside from the academic part. Both our children had inherited Blaine’s strong sense of independence, even though they seemed to enjoy living at home.
Time would tell what Brendan’s future would hold in store.