"Hmm yes back already?" I said as I shook off the cobwebs bringing myself back to the here and now only to see the object of my memories plus a couple of years sitting down in the co-pilots chair grinning at me
"You fell asleep" he said.
"I did not"
"Did too, did too, did too di…"
"Lear 7175 contact Spokane approach 124.9 interrupted the conversation if you could call it that and Sammy quickly called back.
"124.9 for 7175" and switched the channels and called us in to Spokane who started us on our descent for landing eventually by bringing us down to 25000 feet. The next while was spent in preparations for an ILS approach into runway 11 with dialing in all the nav aids and all the appropriate frequencies including the waypoints for a missed approach. By the time it was done Spokane was descending us for the Mullan Pass initial approach fix and we never got to continue the conversation which was probably for the best.
As we approached the IAF I turned operation of the jet over to Sammy just as Spokane called
"Lear 7175 descend and maintain 9000, cleared to the Mullan Pass IAF at 25 DME, intercept the 113 localizer, cross Konna at or above eight thousand five hundred cleared for the ILS runway 11 approach contact tower 118.4 at the 10 DME"
Sammy then repeated it back
"Lear 7175 down to 9000 and maintain to Mullan Pass IAF at the 25 DME, intercept the 113 localizer, cross Konna at or above 8.5 and cleared for the ILS approach, 10 DME on the tower on 118.4, 7175 Romeo."
I defy anybody to do it better, I was so proud of him, he took to it like he had been born in the cockpit. I watched carefully as he went down his pre-landing checklist getting everything done while staying with the aircraft. I had started him out in a 172 and then a Piper Twin before he got to do anything on this one. If he had been old enough he could have had his pilot's license but even without it he could fly an aircraft quite well.
I watched as he set us up for the ILS approach starting his turn gradually as the needle began to move and rolling us out on course as the needle centered right at 9000. I then saw that he remembered the 3 degree glideslope on this approach while powering back a bit.
We crossed Konna right at 8500 and he switched radios at the 10 DME calling the tower.
"Missoula tower Lear 7175 Romeo is with you 10 DME on the runway 11 ILS approach."
"Lear 7175 Romeo cleared to land on runway 11 with one on the roll"
"75 Romeo copy clear to land with one rolling ahead of us, in sight 75 Romeo"
"Dad?" he said. "yes" I replied
"Umm we're like…umm almost down"
"I know and you've done it all so far, bring us on in son." Which caused him to turn his head quickly in shock and then as he turned back to what he was doing to get one of his wonderful grins all across his face which made my incipient heart attack worth it.
I stayed with my hands near the controls in case but I knew he could do it and he did. We crossed all three markers and he stayed right on the glideslope with just minor corrections. He then started counting down at 1000 agl then 500.
"400, 300, 200, 100 runway in sight" and then he pulled the power at 20 feet letting us settle gently onto the ground with his lip between his teeth in concentration as we touched down and immediately moved the levers into reverse thrust mode and began slowing us down as the tower called "75 Romeo next hi speed when able, contact ground .9"
"75 Romeo roger next hi speed when able and .9 for ground."
I watched as he slowed the plane down applying the brakes and all then killing the reverse thrust and cleaning up the aircraft while approaching a taxiway. As we came up on it he very smartly turned us onto the taxiway and brought us to a stop while keying his mike
"Lear 7175 Romeo off of 11 on J1 taxi to general aviation"
"Lear 7175 Romeo clear to taxi to general aviation"
I will be damned if he didn't give me a cocky grin and increase power and do just that all the way in stopping just where the guy told him to.
I then helped him completely shut down the aircraft and we got up and headed out. We were met at the door by someone to help us with our luggage and with that we headed out to the car.
When we got everything loaded and got in the car I turned to him and said
"Sammy you did fantastic today and I am really proud of you and everything you accomplished."
The smile I got right then was worth it all to me as he reached over and wrapped his arms around me and hugged me for all he was worth.
"Thanks dad" and I knew he meant for more than my comments. "Thank you Samuel for being the best son a dad could ever dream of having" I told him and he actually blushed.
I didn't call him by his full name very often but when I did he knew I was dead serious.
Before I headed out I reached over and grabbed my badge in its holder out of the compartment where it was secreted and placed it on my belt along with my service weapon in its holster which I clipped onto my right side opposite the badge.
I was in a vehicle which was fully equipped with lights and all so it might help if I had my ID around should I get stopped. We pulled out of the secure area where we had parked and headed towards home while Sam was turning on the radio and activating the local systems into scan so we could monitor while en-route.
We headed out listening to them go on with routine chatter until just as we entered I-90 the dispatcher put out a call.
"Attention all city and county units and surrounding agencies to the following 245 attempt 187 207 broadcast" followed by the alert tone then; "Attention all city, county units and special attention to surrounding agencies a 245 attempted 187, 207 occurred 15 ago at Pendleton and 8th suspect vehicle is a black 1997 Jeep Cherokee Montana license 344 John Paul Nora, 344 JPN last seen east bound on Pendleton unknown destination. Suspect is John Adams male white 28 years of age 6 foot 200 pounds brown and brown. 207 victim is a male white 7 years of age named Peter Michael Scott. Consider…"
But Sammy interrupted me with "Dad look" pointing ahead of us at a vehicle that we were approaching in the middle lane of the freeway. Damn.
It was the vehicle, and Sammy immediately said "Dad that's it, that's the car that took the kid"
"I know son" and picked up the mike. I hated to do this. Sammy loved riding with me but I always had him in a vest and now I didn't. I really didn't want to get in the middle of this but I couldn't just let it go.
"35 1 Sam 41 PD, 10-33" I called. With the regional redeployment every police or sheriff's dept in the state was assigned a pre-fix code and Campbell county's was 35 while the rest was my unique radio code.
"35 1 Sam 41 go ahead with your traffic all units 10-33" and the beeper started
"Sam 41 I'm westbound behind that vehicle from your broadcast in an unmarked suburban approaching 28th at this time center lane."
"10-4 Sam 41, unit in 3 or less?"
"2 boy 73 in 1 code 3, 2 sam 30 in 3 code, 2 adam 31 code 3 in 3…" and numerous other units responded.
I keyed the mike and said "Sam 41 considering this is a 207 it might be best to shut down the code 3s and let me code 5 the vehicle for a while and see if we get anywhere."
"2 Sam 30 all units 10-22 code 3 responses and stay back Sam 41 you have the handle for right now" came back over the radio. I was glad that they had agreed but then again Sam 30 was a good friend and for someone who had tried to kill another and then kidnapped a child this was the safest bet. If we could follow until he hopefully separated himself from the child it was possible that we could end this without anyone further being harmed, especially the child.
I had just seen lights in my rear view and just as quickly saw them go off as I replied "Sam 41 10-4 can we get an a-tac frequency for this?" which was a request for an area wide repeater tactical channel.
"10-4 do you have A-Tac 5 on your radio?" to which I replied "10-4"
"All units on the 207 245 vehicle switch to A-Tac 5, all units on the 207 245 vehicle switch to A-Tac 5 with 35 1 Sam 41, frequency clear"
Sammy switched the radio and I checked in "Sam 41 on 5" and spent the next little while just following at a distance as the vehicle got off a couple of times and then back on the freeway in the opposite direction. It was difficult as we didn't want him to spot the units that were around but we still wanted to keep them near by should an opportunity present itself to end this.
Sammy remained quiet except to point out them changing lanes a couple of times. It was probably a good half hour of this or better when he headed into the right lane as we approached an exit. I notified all the units to clear the area in case he got off which was a good thing as that is exactly what he did.
He pulled off the freeway and into a gas station right next to it and I reached back and moved my gun to the small of my back while pulling out my shirt all around the front and sides in case I was able to do something now as I followed him in to the pump to the left of the ones he had pulled up on.
I had told them I would be off the radio for a bit and to stay out of sight of the station.
Sammy then shocked me by saying "They're getting out dad. You get out and I'll take off to go inside while you chase me then just take him"
"Sammy no" I said but it was too late as he was opening his door and I quickly got out on my side. I was going to kill him.
Things seemed to move in slow motion and there was a squeezing around my heart as it played out.
The suspect had a tight hold on the boy and Sammy yelled
"Dad I'm going inside"
"No Sam get back here and wait until I'm done getting gas." The suspect had turned to watch this and Sammy played it for all he was worth as he said
"Dad I'm not a baby" and took off running for the door playing the bratty pre-teen that one often sees these days to perfection.
"Sammy I am going to whip your little butt" I said as I took off after him and I have to admit he was good.
He acted like he was now scared and I watched as the suspect moved back slightly to get out of his path but Sammy acting scared of me kept looking back and "accidentally" ran right into the boy knocking both of them down to the ground as I ran up to them apologizing profusely but the suspect not noticing Sammy wasn't getting up nor allowing the boy to either.
"look its ok" the suspect kept saying looking from me back to Sammy and the boy and it was one of those times when he had his attention on Sammy that I pulled my gun and put it to his head saying
"Move and you're dead" I told him while Sammy had yanked the kid up and was dragging him away towards our truck while I screamed "GO, GO, GO"
I moved back away from the suspect and told him to get down on the ground and I could hear Sammy yelling "35 1 Sam 41 997 one at gunpoint, 997" I guess into the radio because my attention was solely on the suspect at this point.
All I knew was that Sammy and the boy were no longer in immediate danger.
In seconds I had about 10 units showing up on the scene and taking the suspect into custody.
I was glad it had ended the way it had but there was going to be one dead kid in a minute as soon as I could stop shaking over might have beens.
The sarge came up to me and asked where the 207 victim was and I pointed towards my unit where I could see Sam looking out at me with a look of fear on his face.
I just stood there because I was afraid of what I would do if I went over there right now. I would either kill him or give him a hug so big I would probably smother him to death anyway. Maybe both in reverse order.
I was suffering a mixture of the come down from intense fear and at the same time extreme pride in my son, he had saved that boy.
I was broken out of my reverie by Sammy trying to get out of the grip of the sergeant who was pulling on his arm. So I walked over rapidly and said
"No that's my son, where's the boy Sam?"
"In the back on the floor" he said
The sergeant looked at Sammy and then back to me before Sammy went to the back door and pulled out a very terrified little boy telling him it was alright now and taking him to the sergeant who got on the radio and called another officer over and turned the boy over to her.
He was small and scared to death with dirty blonde hair and my heart went out to him when I saw him standing there looking like the world had deserted him and he was so lost as she led him away.
"Sorry about that son, was that you on the radio before?" he said to Sammy
"Yea when dad got him down and I got the boy safe I called for assistance" and shrugged his shoulders.
"What exactly happened here?" the sergeant asked me.
I shook my head and said "my son decided to play cop tonight" which got a scowl from him and a quick retort
"I wasn't playing nothing I was trying to keep that boy from getting hurt and it worked too."
I had just decided which option I was going to take when the sergeant put out his hand out to stop my forward movement and said "You better sit here and I'm going to go talk to your son for a bit, you hear me Mike."
I just nodded my head and got in the back seat where I could have some privacy. As soon as I got the door closed and no one could see me I broke down and started crying. To think I could have lost him tonight was too much and with the adrenaline high crashing all the emotions hit me hard at once and I thought back to our first meeting again
I don't know how long we sat like that with all being right in the world before he began to speak
"My momma died when I was a baby and I didn't ever know my dad. I always lived with my grandma until…until last year when she died. I heard her call me from downstairs and ran down to find her on the couch and she told me she was hurting real bad and to get to the phone and call 911. I did and they said they'd send an ambulance right out but when I got back to grandma she was having a lot of trouble breathing and she told me
"I'm so sorry little one, remember I'll always love you" and then she fell over on the couch and wouldn't wake up. I started screaming but she didn't hear me. The ambulance came and they took me in another room and that's the last time I saw my grandma until the funeral.
They took me to this place with a bunch of other kids and I stayed there for a few days but then the social worker lady came and took me to the funeral.
Grandma just looked like she was asleep and I tried to get her to wake up but she wouldn't."
He fell quiet as I just hugged him the harder. I would let him tell it all in his own way we had time.
Eventually he continued with his story "after the funeral she took me back to that place and left me there. I didn't like it much. The older kids were always mean to the younger ones. They would hurt them and make them do stuff they didn't want to. That's where I really learned to do sex stuff. It was about the only good thing we had to do there. We would make each other feel good down there and it made it a little better as long as it was us wanting to do the stuff. When the older kids made us we didn't like it but there wasn't a lot we could do about it. One kid told and when the older kids found out they hurt him really bad."
He was silent once again and once again I let him be. After about 10 minutes he started talking again
"I had to stay there for a few months and then the social lady came back and took me to this house that takes in kids that ain't got no place to live. There were about 7 kids there and they didn't like me. I only stayed there for a week before they moved me again.
I went to another house with a mommy and a daddy and 4 other boys. The mommy was never home except when the social lady came and the daddy was mean. The kids were nice but we was all scared of the daddy. He hit us all the time and locked us in the basement when he got made at us. Then one night he walked in on me and Kelly touching each other's things and started screaming at us. He said since we liked it so much we could make his feel good.
So from then on he made us touch his thing and after a while he made us start sucking it. It was when he put his thing in Adam's butt that we all got scared because it hurt him a lot and he was bleeding real bad back there. He said he was going to do that to us soon and we all were real scared. That's when I ran away."
Again he got quiet and I just waited. I didn't have long as he continued.
"So I ran away and got rides with a few truckers until I got here. They were real nice. I told them I would do stuff for them but none of them ever would except one guy and he only asked if he could watch me once when he caught me playing with myself. I didn't mind and told him yes and he took his out and played with it. He was really nice I even tried to play with it cause I wanted to make him feel good but he wouldn't let me. He just played with his dick while I played with mine until the white stuff came out of his. Anyway I got dropped off here this morning and then I met you" he finished.
I had a feeling there was a lot more details to all of this but I wasn't going to push, I would find out in time.
We sat there for a while longer and finally he softly asked "What's going to happen to me now?"
"Well that's up to you, I'd like it if you would stay with me though" I told him shocking even myself. I hadn't planned on saying it quite so bluntly but once it was said I didn't have any regrets whatsoever.
"Really?" a startled little voice asked while he turned and looked me straight in the eyes.
I just sat there returning that look deep into the brown pools in front of me as a connection seemed to be forged even more deeply between us in those minutes that seemed like they would never end. I don't know how long we sat with our eyes and souls locked but at the end I said simply "really" and he sighed and melted back into my arms.
I knew with that one word that I now had a son and the hole was filled.
We just sat there holding onto one another.
I don't know how long we were like that. .
It seemed like forever and yet not long enough at the same time if that makes any sense.
Eventually though it came to an end with Sam turning and looking once again at me and saying "So what now?"
"that's a good question little one, we have some things to do if you want to stay with me so are you ready to do them?"
He got a scared look and asked me "What things?"
"Well for one we have to notify the authorities that you are with me right now and start the process of me getting custody of you so you don't have to go back to that place." I told him
"No please" he begged with real fear on his face. "He said he'd kill us if we told anyone" he said to me and I knew he was talking about the foster father in that house.
"First of all no one is going to kill anyone and second of all if I don't let people know you are with me then I might not be able to keep you, will you trust me little one?" I asked him quietly.
He didn't answer for several minutes and I didn't push but finally he said "ok"
"Good the first thing is I have to tell you something about myself and I don't want you to be scared ok?"
He looked at me apprehensively but nodded his head so I reached into my back pocket pulling out my carrying case and then flipped it open so he could clearly see my star in its holder.
He gasped and said "you're a policeman?"
"Yes honey I am" I told him.
He reached out and took my badge from me and looked at it closely for a few moments running his fingers over and over it before finally looking back up and me and with a big grin on his face surprising the shit out of me by saying "Cool can I ride in your police car maybe?"
I just shook my head in wonder and said "I think that might be arranged sometime after we get home"
I didn't think a grin could get any bigger but it did and he wrapped his arms back around me for a while before jumping up calling
"I gotta pee" and running off leaving me with a surprised look on my face it had all happened so fast.
I guess I had a lot to get used to with a child and I thought I was used to it after dealing with my adopted nephews, guess not.
He came running back seconds later with things put away this time and jumped back in my lap causing me to take defensive measure so I would still have functioning organs which he apparently thought was funny because it started him laughing.
I decided to tease him a bit "You sure you went potty cause you weren't in there very long, maybe we better check for a wet spot, it might still be coming out"
Which caused him to laugh even harder and moan "You're weird"
"Weird huh, I'll show you weird" which got a look of mock terror on his face as he tried to escape my rapidly approaching fingers which began to tickle him mercilessly.
Somehow we both ended up on the floor rolling around in a fit of giggles and you would think it was two 7 year olds instead of a grown man and only one kid.
Somehow we ended up side by side facing each other staring into each others eyes once again lying on the floor as the giggles faded and seriousness suddenly took its place forging a connection never to be broken.
Then in the most gentle, loving, and definitely mature way imaginable like something out of a romance novel this little bundle of love and affection slowly without ever breaking eye contact with me brought his face to mine and gave me a kiss on the lips that lingered for several seconds before he pulled back and stated simply "I love you" while never moving his eyes from mine.
I never thought about it, there was absolutely no question in my mind or heart when I replied
"I love you too" and meant it with ever fiber of my being as our eyes remained locked together exploring the depths of our souls it seemed.
I couldn't explain it. The kiss hadn't been the least bit sexual but it was as powerful as the most intense orgasm you could ever imagine even though I hadn't even gotten hard.
All the times I had read about two peoples' destiny being joined with a single kiss now made perfect sense because if I had any doubts at all before that kiss I certainly had none afterwards.
I loved this child with every molecule of my existence and I knew I always would.
This was my son.
And tonight I had almost lost him.
I was brought back by a voice calling my name
I turned to find Eric sitting there with a hand on my shoulder
"Its ok Mike, he's alright" he told me
He knew I was wondering what he was doing here
"Sammy had them call when he saw the state you were in"
"He…he" but that was all I could get out as Eric pulled me into his arms and held me as more tears came from somewhere.
I had never been more scared in my life than I was when Sammy opened that door tonight. I was so proud of him but it didn't stop all the scenarios of what could have happened from playing in my mind.
Eric knew this and just held me until I could pull myself together.
When I did I simply said "thanks"
"I can't lose him Eric"
"I know, he's your life just like the UTies are mine but you got to admit that took guts, he's gonna make one hell of a cop someday" with a big grin on his face.
"Not for another few years" I snapped back, clearly not amused causing him to chuckle softly before asking "you alright?"
"yea, I think so" I told him
"Well I think you need to see each other, he has been crying since he saw the state you were in. Remember he loves you just as much as you love him and seeing you devastated like this was more of a lesson to him than any punishment you could ever dream up"
"Ok, thanks Eric"
"We'll talk some more later" and he got out while I took a deep breath trying to get myself together a little bit before Sammy got here.
The door opened a couple of minutes later and I looked over to find the love of my life standing there fearfully not sure what to do with tears running down his face and a look of deep sorrow and regret etched on his face.
At that moment time went backwards as our eyes locked and we gazed deeply into each other for moments which could have been hours before he cried
"Dad" and flew through the open doorway into my arms wrapping his arms tightly around me and holding on for dear life as sobs racked his little body.
He wasn't the only one as I was crying again as badly as he was.
I don't know how long we sat like that before our death grips loosened and he pulled back and looked into my eyes once again. This time it was me who said simply
"I love you"
and his instant reply as he said "I love you too" and his face coming closer and closer to mine while never releasing the lock his eyes had with mine as he brought his lips closer and closer until they met together in that special kiss just like the one we shared on our first day together.
Just as on that first day this kiss was unlike any other and seemed to last forever but was in reality only a few seconds but those seconds were filled with a love and passion that reaffirmed our bond in a way like no other.
Like that first day there was nothing sexual to it but emotionally it was indescribable and unforgettable sealing us even closer in our love for one another.
This was my son.
When he pulled back from the kiss his gaze was once again still with me as he said softly and with great intensity
"I'm sorry dad"
"I know" I told him just as softly still looking into those pools of his soul.
I knew everything he meant by those words without him having to say it somehow. He was sorry for scaring me and sorry for making me feel bad but he wasn't sorry for doing what he had to in order to save that boy's life.
This had been the way it had always been. He could be the most normal kid in the world most times and even immature at times like any kid and then at other times it was like there was a fully mature adult standing there wearing the body of an 11 year old boy. I had seen it on the day we first met and many times since then but I never got used to it.
"I just can't stand the thought of ever losing you" I told him all the while our gazes were still locked in that communion of our souls.
It was his turn to say sadly "I know" and I knew like a few moments before that he understood everything I wasn't saying as well, that he was my life and I couldn't live without him, and that what had happened had scared me to near death.
We just sat there for a while and then the kid was back as a grin came to his face with these words "We better go outside pretty soon or they'll think you killed me in here or something".
Which got a chuckle out of me as I pulled him to me for one last big hug for the time being while I said softly, "I thought about it" laughing softly which I could do now.
The physical and emotional contact had done wonders for me as I pulled myself together and got out of the vehicle and we went over to a very concerned Eric who was standing with the Unholy Trinity anxiously awaiting us apparently.
For once those three were quiet silently watching us as we approached and I couldn't resist teasing a little
"Hey Eric you think we need to call the medics out?" which got a puzzled look from all of them including Sammy who was looking at me like I had grown another head or something.
"Medics?" he said
"Yea medics, something must be seriously wrong for this bunch to be so quiet" I got out just as we got up to them which got loud calls of "UNNNNNNCLE MIIIIIIIIKE" from all three boys and giggles from Sammy.
Then I was wrapped in a gigantic hug from my next favorite kids and nothing got said for a while as everyone got some attention.
Randy, Kevin and Danny were the three everyone called the Unholy Trinity or sometimes the Unholy Terrors as the case may be, because while only Randy and Kevin were actually twins Danny was a little less than a year younger than the 9 year old twins and looked so much like them that it was uncanny. They were also as inseparable as if they were triplets instead of twins and were generally unholy little terrors hence the name being born. They were all boy but could be as gentle and loving as my Sammy and they had adopted me into their family immediately and likewise when Sammy came along they had taken him in like he had been a part of their lives since birth.
Now days the kids lived almost as much with me as they did with their dad leaving Eric, I and the boys like we were one big family. It was a wonderful feeling.
Once they all settled down some and verified that we were all going on a trip this weekend Eric was able to actually speak finally
"the sergeant needs you down at the station when you can" and that was when I noticed that everyone else was gone from the scene.
"Ok then I guess I should head down there"
"Ccan we come" came from all three mouths as I quickly said "sure if its alright with your dad and you can behave yourselves…" they all started yelling as I yelled "BUT" which got their attention "You have to behave while I am down there filling out all the paperwork ok and its going to take a while."
That got their attention and they started looking at each other intently and over to Sammy. I could swear sometimes that they could speak telepathically the way they exchanged looks between themselves. Eric and I just watched knowing they were cooking something up and as usual Danny was the chosen spokesman with the rest being backup.
"Umm maybe we could like, ummm maybe" glancing to the others quickly "well maybe we could like go and do something with dad while you're like…umm you know, doing all that paperwork" as the others chimed in with "yea we wouldn't want to be in the way"
Eric and I both stared at Danny and the others with a rather displeased expression on our faces as they began to squirm minute by minute more and more before I finally said
"I thought you wanted to go with me so bad?" which got a lot of shuffling of feet and "ahhhs" and "ummms" out of the lot of them while they were exchanging looks between them as their discomfort greatly increased.
I guess Eric finally took pity on them by saying "well I suppose I might be able to take them while you handle the paperwork Mike" which caused groans and sighs of relief from the boys.
"Course I don't know if any of them might like where they would be going" he added which caused the sighs to turn to indrawn breaths not sure now if they were out of the woods yet or not.
I could see the twinkle in Eric's eyes and knew he was playing them big time and I guess he couldn't do it anymore because he finally said in all seriousness to the 4 boys who were now almost holding their breathes in trepidation
"I just don't know Mike if any of them would be interested this late at night in ice cream what do you think?" he asked me
I just barely got out "you're right Eric I don't know if they would be interested in something like that" before it sunk in and they got it as all four boys started screaming "DAAAAAAAAD" and "UNNNNNNCLE ERRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIC" and attacking him.
Me, I just fell against Eric's car laughing. The look on their faces was absolutely priceless and I wondered if Eric's dash cam was on or not. It was one of those moments where they didn't get it at first and then it was like watching a wave wash over the sand at the beach as the words he had said sank in and they realized they had been had royally.
Unfortunately they didn't find me taking amusement at their expense very amusing and broke off of Eric to attack me next. Anyone watching probably thought it was a bunch of crazy people out there that night as we chased each other around for 10 or 15 minutes just playing like we were all kids, two adults with badges and guns being chased and chasing 4 kids around a gas station while a unit sat there with its lights still flashing. It must have been some sight.
It was something I really needed at that time though and I felt a million times better by the time it wound down and we slowly gathered back together but I couldn't resist a final shot
"So Eric do you think anyone might be interested in ice cream or do you just want to wait in the station parking lot for me?" which got daggers being shot out of 4 pairs of eyes at me.
Eric was laughing and it took him a moment to be able to speak coherently before he said
"I guess they might be interested" which got a couple of "Daaads" out of the boys and one "grown ups are sooooo weird" from mine.
I gave Sammy and the three hugs and said I would see them later and Eric told me he would monitor Mary 3 which was a mutual aid tac channel and would be at the Denny's on San Cristobal Drive waiting for me as he got everyone loaded into his unit for the ride over there.
I went and got in mine heading for the station thinking about the fact that I was going to have four sugar hyped kids to deal with in much too short a time.
Ahhh, the life of a parent.
But you know what, I wouldn't trade it for the world I thought as I drove off to the least favorite part of the job.