narrated by: Jared
Delaney’s sixtieth birthday is next year, and she says she’s ready to retire. Unfortunately, we can’t quite afford to, we still have Lizzie to put through college, not to mention Lauren who is currently attending Eastborough. We have been on opposite shifts for our entire marriage, and we are both over it, but I don’t see an end in sight.
Dinner’s are usually spent after Lizzie is in bed, with Delaney’s eyes closed.
Cuisine is her passion, and journalism is mine, and neither of us want to give it up as long as we need the income. I’ve been working my way up in the paper slowly, the younger talent are excelling faster than me these days.
They have a great tenacity for life, and procrastination than I recall ever having. Usually it’s at my partner’s desk, and it’s distracting, but when I say anything, they call me old man, and tease.
I’m teamed up with Phillipa often, and as much as she teases, I notice her checking out my bum. For an ‘old man’ I still seem to have it. She’s tried flirting a few times, but I have no interest in ruining my family life.
I get home just in time for Lizzie to get off the bus, it’s been me raising our children all these years. I protested and complained a lot when we lived in Audubon Shore, but now it’s just Lizzie, and we can afford our home much better out in Millwood. Not to mention that Lizzie is a blessing to raise. Delaney had always wanted one of our children to love cuisine as she does, dreams of opening a family restaurant were never far off in her mind, but it never happened. Lizzie is my child, through and through.
We set up a train table out in the garage, and she’s absolutely in love with it. Delaney doesn’t get how we can spend hours out there painting, setting up, then just watching the train go through our fake towns.
But then, none of us get her passion for cooking. She volunteered to head the ‘Dinner-To-Go’ Fundraiser. The school needed more playground equipment, and to raise money, they are selling ready-made dinners.
She invested a lot of money and time into, but insisted that she’d earn more for the meals than if she just donated. It was a success too.
The kids were the most enthusiastic, they all wanted to buy dinner and go through the check out without their parents, including Lizzie.
At the end of the night, Ella’s Dad came in to find that most of the dinner’s had been sold. Everyone knows of the tragedy of Ella’s Mom, but our daughters aren’t in the same grade, so we’ve never spoken to him.
Delaney helped set him up with a few dinners, and she was happy that she could help him out. She couldn’t imagine having three kids to feed on top of being a single parent, but then again, she did work through most of our kids’ childhoods, so she missed me doing exactly the same thing.
She tried taking some of the leftover meals to Meg, but she wouldn’t have it. She’s determined to learn to cook in her own time, and own way.
Delaney really wanted the twins to move back home after graduation, but they barely stayed a night before setting up their own apartments in South Port. At some point, we will probably downsize further, maybe get our own place in the city to be near to the kids. We just don’t need this much space with only Lizzie at home.
I don’t blame the twins for not moving back home, Delaney can be opinionated. Meg enjoys her Mom’s unexpected visits, but grows weary of her inspections. She wishes she’d just hang out with her instead.
She’s always happy when her Mom heads out, usually to Peter’s place.
She doesn’t gripe to Peter as much as she does to Meg, with him, she’s making his bed, and wiping down his counters. I told her she can’t baby him or he will be incompetent, but she won’t hear it.
He invited us over for dinner, and I found myself fixing his rust-bucket television, just knowing that Delaney will click her tongue over it later. But I enjoy tinkering, and Peter doesn’t, much to my disappointment. Not that his art isn’t great, but I can’t relate to it.
Elise is a nice girl, much nicer than that Paige Lange girl he dated twice, and dumped him, twice. She’s got a low-end marketing job, but she’s really got tenacity, and I imagine she will be a good breadwinner soon. Unlike Peter, who is still planning to make horror comics with Meg.
He mentioned to me when the girls were talking that he was thinking of proposing.
He’s twenty-three, there is no need to rush into marriage. Not to mention that he doesn’t have a real job, just sells art at the craft show, and Planet Java. I wish he’d see that art is not a kind career, his cousin Luca hasn’t made anything of himself, and he’s been trying for nearly a decade now.
I really don’t think he’s ready to take on the responsibility of Elise, or be the burden to her, as she’s destined to make more money than him. I don’t have an issue with that, as Delaney has always made more than me, but I’d still like to contribute more than I do.
Then there is the small fact that Delaney is not on Elise’s fan-train. Elise is in sports marketing, and Delaney doesn’t know much on the subject, but she likes to pretend she does, and Elise doesn’t mind telling someone they are wrong. They just don’t have anything to talk about, and it always seems to turn bad even with the best of intentions.
At the end of the night, I just had to hope that Peter would wait until he at least had a steady paycheck. Me and Delaney were married at thirty-two, and didn’t have Meg and Peter until we were thirty-six. Plenty of time.
For Halloween, Lauren came home to stay for the weekend. She seemed distracted, like she had a decision to make and not sure what to do.
I had her help me rake, hoping we could discuss what was on her mind, but she wouldn’t open up.
Delaney tried after her run, Lauren just yawned obnoxiously, and had an attitude.
I think Lauren regretted being rude to her Mom. When she’s ready to graduate college, I don’t think Delaney will be on the phone begging her to move back home.
She did volunteer to get Lizzie ready for trick or treating. She wanted to be a mermaid, but Lauren did her own thing with the face paint.
Lizzie did not like it, she said it didn’t look like a seashell, though we all thought it did.
Without her siblings living at home, Lizzie is much like an only child. She plays well alone, she sits where she wants at the table, doesn’t have to worry about someone drinking her grape juice, or stealing her candybar. So when one of the older three come to visit, she usually has some type of tantrum, just because she doesn’t know how to handle sharing things, especially with big siblings that do what they want.
I was able to calm her down when we finally hit the pavement for some trick or treating. She’s only seven, lots of time to learn how to handle situations, and herself.
I will miss taking her trick or treating in a few years, when she wants to go with friends only. There’s something nice about having her so late in life, neither of us are worried about raising her right, they seem to just grow up to be themselves irregardless of our opinion. We can enjoy Lizzie’s stages in a way that we couldn’t before with so many strong personalities, and trying to do the ‘right thing’ that society pressured on us.
The only complaint, is that there is no end in sight to working long hours, to pay for her college that won’t be here for another eleven years. Winning the lottery would be awfully nice, but instead I might need to work on a promotion, and put more effort into my career.
Notes: Jared is still a horoscope writer, he has not had a promotion in ages, while Delaney is the top of the cuisine career since Meg and Peter were young teens. They have been on opposite shifts forever pretty much, and Jared has raised all the kids, while Delaney was off being “Top Chef” at work.
I had wanted Delaney to open a restaurant, but she’s about to be sixty, and has no one to pass it down to. I think she will roll a retirement want quickly after her birthday. All four of their kids have different hobbies: art, film, sports, and tinkering, and none were decided or changed by me. Jared is a tinkerer too, so him and Lizzie literally spend hours on the train, and reading the hobby magazine. If Delaney had a kid with cuisine, then I might have done a family restaurant.
The school’s Dinner Sale earned $3283 which I used to add in more playground equipment. Now there shouldn’t be such long lines to play. Will hear a bit more about Lauren in the next update, though it won’t be her point of view, she’ll be there.
Peter did roll the want to marry Elise, and she is pretty cute (she was a townie), but I literally just decorated his apartment, and she already has one too… and Peter doesn’t have a job. I’m thinking I’ll put him in an Illustrator career.
Thanks for reading!
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