By the time I had raced down the stairs Josh was close behind me and we both made it to Marcus' room and ran inside, only to find him sitting on the side of his bed, feet and legs hanging toward the floor and he was sobbing, his head in his hands. I asked what was wrong as I sat beside him, pulling him to me as I did, his head now resting on my chest as Josh took the other side and put his arm across Marcus' shoulders. Marcus looked up, realizing we were both there and then told us to look at his feet. His two feet were almost to the floor, and we both watched as he wiggled his toes. Not just on one foot, but both of them!!! We both noticed as he did this that his scrawny calf muscles were flexing, just as they should when you flex your toes. He sobbed that he had instinctively tried to stand to swivel and sit in his wheelchair when he realized with a shock that he could feel his feet, for the first time in over a year.
His tears were tears of joy, amazement, and total surprise, as were his yells which he hadn't really meant to wake us up with, but he guessed that subconsciously he had, he had wanted to share this new discovery with us. He admitted he couldn't walk yet, but he hopefully asked if this meant he would eventually be able to. I traced my finger down his thigh to his knee and it flinched, and he told me he felt that! Josh told him that my leg muscles used to respond just like that when my nerve bundle had been repaired, just as his arm had whenever I ran my finger on it when he was recovering as well. I told him that I really did think we should call Theresa a bit later in the morning and see if she had some exercises, he could be doing in preparation of him walking again. We both had armfuls of a very happy teen.
I asked if he needed the bathroom and he nodded, so Josh took him in his strong arms and carried him in there as I tried to compose myself by straightening Marcus' bedclothes, and fluffing his pillows. By the time they were back Marcus had one more revelation for us, he could feel his penis and balls, he even thought that it felt kind of like when he was going to have an erection before being paralyzed. He was blushing as he told us this as Josh set him back in his bed. I reached in his nightstand and removed the new box of tissues and a small jar of petroleum jelly and told him the supplies were always there if he needed them and if he had any questions all he had to do was ask one, or both of us. He thought he might have another go at those sweet dreams we always wished him and try to sleep a little more. Josh told him that it was Sunday, and he'd let him sleep 'til ten-thirty, then he thought we all should go to the late mass at church, it seemed we had a lot to be thankful for.
We didn't go back to bed to sleep. It was our usual wake up time anyway, but being the weekend we knew we would have a little bit more time before the twins woke so we used that time to make sure that some of our own favorite body parts still functioned. My sexy daddy checked out perfectly. After our shower we went down to the kitchen and began breakfast for our boys. Just as the twins came downstairs breakfast was ready, and we told them to take their seats after they set the table, but they wanted to know where Marcus was and we told them that he was going to sleep in for a little bit more, but by the time those words were out of our mouths Marcus was rounding the corner in his wheelchair, all washed and dressed for church, still with that happy boy look on his face.
I asked if he had any trouble getting ready, and he told me everything went well, and he had more tingles, but "something" just wasn't ready to work properly yet, but he was so ready for it to. He said he could wait for it to wake up on its own. He then proudly showed us he could wiggle his feet, now in a pair of shoes resting on the footrests of his wheelchair. The twins thought that was great.
After breakfast the twins rushed to get ready for church and we didn't have to go to the late service, we made it to the 9:45 one, the one our fathers and brothers usually went to. Outside the church was where we ran into the seven of them and they rejoiced with us as we filled them in on the early morning developments on Marcus' recovery. Yes, it really was a day for thanks to be given.
Marcus was showing some of the twin's school friends and their siblings he had met how he could wiggle his feet after the service was over and we were congregating out on the lawn in front of the church when we were approached by none other than Theresa, the physical therapist who had worked with both Josh and me during our own recoveries. She said she had seen us in church, but she had been on the other side and waited to talk to us. She was introduced to Marcus, and he showed her his foot movements and she agreed to start coming to the house three days a week to work with Marcus on regaining some of his leg strength back. I gave her the contact phone number for Ingrid and she and Marcus worked out the best times for them to meet during the rest of the winter.
The rest of the day was spent with family, but I did have a chance to call Ingrid and told her about the small steps already achieved in Marcus' recovery and she was thrilled. We set a follow up consultation for Wednesday afternoon and she thought Dr. Vrenner would want to be there as well. The family spent the better part of the rest of the day together, the staff for the riding trail business taking care of the trail riders for the day and we used the trails not utilized and then spent the rest of the afternoon around the pool, where Marcus and the twins became water babies for the afternoon. During the afternoon we worked out which uncle would spend what time with our boys during the rest of the winter after they were all home from school. They had worked out between the three of them who would do the afternoons, since Marcus could do his on-line classwork and his tutors only came three days a week, otherwise he would be alone until either I or Alex was done with work. I was glad they had come up with this solution to our "babysitting" dilemma for the rest of the winter, because Marcus was not yet ambulatory, and the twins were pretty active boys.
So, on Monday both Josh and I went back to school, and the twins did too, not like during the Summer, when our chores, on the extensive riding farm my family had established, kept us fairly busy during the mornings and sometimes in the afternoons as well. During the Summer we took over the responsibilities for a lot of the maintenance of the restrooms and picnic areas, as well as trail upkeep, freeing up the year-round staff, like Mr. Ellis, our friend Terry's father who still worked year round for the family, to lead trail rides and the maintenance of the tack and the horses themselves. These men also maintained the fields held back for the use of the riding farm itself, although some of them were kept up and eventually harvested by some of those farmers who leased out some of our fields. Once Summer was over it wouldn't be too long before the hayrides would begin again, shortly followed in October by our now well-known Haunted Hayrides. Repairs of the wagons and such were beginning, as well as making sure the paths that the wagons followed were maintained and safe.
Josh and I always had our cells with us when out doing our chores, just in case of an emergency, or the kids needed us for some reason or another. We had taken care of the last restroom one summer Monday when Josh suggested we use the farm lane through the fields for a ride out to the far end of the property. I knew just what he was up to, he not only wanted to race out there, but there, at the farthest point of the property, was the old fire pond, a natural spring fed tiny lake or pond that a lot of rural properties had to supply fire brigades a supply of water since there were no hydrants out here in the country. Having one on the property also reduced the cost of fire insurance for the homeowners.
Since I knew his thoughts were centered on us skinny dipping in the fire pond at the end of our race, I readily agreed and we trotted our horses along some of the paths between the fields and once we had reached the main path that ran right to the gate at the end of the property we lined up and then took off. There was no real prize for the winner, except bragging rights, but that was enough to make us a tad more competitive, I mean it wasn't like we were competing for a gold medal or anything. We raced our horses and for the first time in quite a while we tied at the gate. We teased each other as we loosely tethered our horses near the pond, and we started to undress as we did. We were both shirtless and sitting to take off our boots when we both heard a noise coming from the farm lane on the other side of the gate.
It was a tractor making that noise and the farmer driving it was coming through the gate to tend to the fields he leased. He waived as he rode past after closing the gate behind him and we waived back to him, both of us thankful that we hadn't fully stripped yet. We laughed about our near exposure, put our shirts back on, and rode the horses back to the farmyard to see what was next for us to do.
When we got back home from school that first Monday after Marcus had started to get some feeling back in his feet, the boys were all riding in the fenced pasture with the granddads, they all seemed to be having a good time. We suggested that if they wanted a swim before dinner; they had better get their horses and ponies groomed and put in their stalls before the sun got too much lower. But it got the boys moving to the barn and by the time everyone had their mount groomed and their tack wiped down and stored we had called the uncles to see what they were up to. They were already at the pool and we told them we were all heading there (so they had better get their swimsuits on; we had learned they liked to skinny dip when no one else was using the pool, but we didn't think it was a good idea around the twins). Once done in the barn, we all headed to the changing room in the small pool house.
We all rinsed off under the showers in there before going out to the pool. After a while, Calum and Scott were pestering Josh and me to perform some dives for them, and with the older teens keeping the twins in the shallow end, and Marcus floating with the grandfathers at that end, too, we began a series of dives much to their amusement. We then traded places with our brothers and let them do some of the dives we had taught them years ago. They did do some basic dives admirably, but their synchronized dives were done strictly for amusement, fun for them to do, and even funnier for their audience to watch. The twins then had some basic dives to show us and I must admit they were pretty good for their young age. Marcus had proven to be a well-informed spectator, obviously, his dads had taught him some of the technical aspects of diving and I wondered if Pedro and Chuck had taught Marcus some diving skills before he was incapacitated.
I found out at bedtime when he asked if his therapy sessions would help him get back in shape to be able to dive again, and when both Josh and I assured him that Theresa was the one to get us into shape to dive he seemed very content. We told him that should he want us to we would gladly help him to get the strength back in his legs, as soon as Theresa set up a training program. He hugged us both, telling us he would really appreciate that. Josh and I talked about that after the boys were all asleep and although neither Chuck nor Pedro had ever mentioned Marcus diving, in any of their emails or our phone conversations, but as observant and smart as the teen was it was definitely possible, he could be a good diver.
Theresa started working with him the next day and continued on three times a week until by the middle of April Marcus' legs were showing marked improvement, his thighs were much stronger, his balance greatly improved, and his overall stamina much improved. She did the same things she had done with us, making sure we were strong enough and able to maintain our balance before even taking those first exhilarating walks, and in Josh's case before doing one-handed exercises or even two-handed ones. Marcus was so improved that even during his first post-procedure exam with Ingrid and Dr. Vrenner he was able to stand after showing off his toe wiggling and his foot rotations. Both doctors were so pleased he even had that much movement regained, but when he stood up, albeit a bit shaky, from his wheelchair they all had grins that perfectly matched Josh's and mine.
After two months of therapy with Theresa, he was making short walks around the first floor and out on the patio out back and onto the front porch. He had a walking cane to help maintain his balance, but the kid showed a lot of determination and his achievements showed that. A week or two later he was up on his horse, sitting on a regular saddle, and riding a bike along with the twins, the three of them riding the paths between the fields on their fat-tire bikes.
We took him to the high school where he was enrolled as an incoming mid-year sophomore. His transcripts showed he was a good student and had passed his freshman year in Maryland with flying colors. He had used a home tutoring service online that winter to keep up with his studies. His only problem was that he couldn't take a regular gym class. Theresa would come into the school to provide his therapy during his gym periods, unless the gym period that day was at the school's swimming pool. Swimming wasn't considered a contact sport and Theresa did have him exercising in our pool and was about to move his sessions up to the physical therapy pool at the swim center in town, where our friend Terry had had his therapy sessions, and where Josh and I learned to dive.
Marcus had worked very hard to regain his balance and just the week before school ended he was able to deftly move around without his cane. He felt ready to transfer into his new school and while we were helping him get registered and his schedule arranged; he noticed that we were not any of his teachers. He seemed disappointed until we told him that the school rarely put the children of teachers in that teacher's classroom, plus we were teachers in the middle school next door, but we'd be able to help him at home with his questions and homework if he needed it. He got a questioning look on his face and said he wasn't one of our kids; he was our ward. The court in Maryland had ruled on that before we had even left Maryland. I started to explain the guardianship was like being declared his parents, but Josh spoke up and asked Marcus if he would object to us adopting him, sometime before the end of the upcoming summer if he'd like.
Marcus stared at him and then asked if we really meant it, we'd adopt him just like Pedro and Chuck had? I told him that Josh, and I had talked about that since he came home with us, but with everything going on since the middle of January we really hadn't had a chance to do much about it, other than have our lawyer start the paperwork, but if he wanted us to proceed all he had to do was tell us to do so. He could take all the time he needed to do that. Neither Josh nor I was quite prepared for his response to that, he asked if we'd really do that, adopt him, we'd be his fathers and Calum and Scott would be his brothers, forever? And we chuckled at his obvious enthusiasm and told him "yes" to everything. He gathered us together and we shared a three-way hug and since he was a bit teary, he also got me going and we both snagged a few tissues from the box of them on the table in the small conference room in the high school guidance counselor's office we were in to set his schedule set up for the next school year.
Once his registration was complete, and he had his class schedule set for the Fall term we took him and the twins' clothes shopping. He protested we were spending too much on him, but we told him it wasn't cutting into our funds as much as he feared. His fathers had set up trusts for him and one of those covered his clothing, and while we might buy him the occasional outfit, or a new pair of shoes or sneakers, this kind of bulk clothing at the beginning or end of a school term was really on Pedro and Chuck, which only proved how much they had cared for him.
By, the third week of May Theresa asked us to come to one of her therapy sessions with Marcus. She wouldn't say much about this, but she really thought we should stop in at the town's swim center during one of their therapy sessions there, and to bring our swimsuits. Two days later we did just that, having arranged for the twins to go riding with some of their grandfathers while we were gone. We arrived and were instantly greeted by several staff members and folks who used the facility. It took us a bit of time to get changed and over to the therapy pool where Theresa was putting Marcus through his exercises.
By the time we had greeted them a couple of trainers had asked if we were going to dive today. Marcus asked too, saying he had only seen us diving in person off the two lower boards at home, and he'd love to see us do some of our dives from the 10-meter platform. We agreed to do a few for him, and Theresa stood there grinning at us. By our third dive more than half the people there were around the diving pool watching and clapping, Marcus and Theresa among them. We were about to climb up again when Theresa caught my attention and motioned that we should take Marcus up too. At first, I didn't even understand what she was trying to say with her gestures, and then it hit me, she was encouraging us to get Marcus diving. Josh soon got the idea, and we had Marcus up on the 3-meter board showing him some good basic dives. He had had some experience diving with Pedro and Chuck, and he had the basics still down pat in his mind, but he still needed some more strength in his legs.
He was tiring a bit so we told him that each week we would move up to the next level of platforms, that is, if he wanted to. The kid's face lit up again, and he assured us he wanted to. As he left to go shower off and change, we thanked Theresa for her hints and for what she was doing for Marcus during his therapy. She responded that she was thinking of some more strength building exercises for his legs, now he had a good incentive to get in better shape.
Marcus wanted us to do some of our most famous dives he had heard Pedro and Chuck talk about and had seen on video they had shown him, so we did spend a bit more time "performing" for him, and I guess for the others at the swim center. He was just as appreciative as the other spectators were, if not more so. He was thrilled, and we saw him talking to several of his future classmates during all this. He ended up going home with us when we left, and he thanked us for showing off for him. We assured him that as soon as Theresa said he was ready we would work with him on the high diving platform at the center if that was what he wanted. For now, we would work with him at our pool on the lower level boards we had, during his exercise times at home after school.
Calum and Scott were right with us as we all went to the pool the next day after school and we five were soon joined by my dads', Josh's dads were still working out on the property but would join us soon. The twins also got more of a training session that day and every day we were working with Marcus they were right there waiting their turn. It was funny, but right after their afternoon classes the uncles were taking at the University's summer sessions were out for the day Brian, Justin and Bill were right there as well, honing up on their diving skills as well. Our three younger boys were actually better than their uncles and everyone, including their granddads encouraged them to do their best.
Marcus thrived, and at least once a week made mention of adoption. Josh and I did check once a week with our lawyer, but it wasn't until the weekend of June 15th that we actually got our family court date for the following Tuesday afternoon. The lawyer told us that there had been no problems that had popped up since filing our petition to adopt Marcus, and the paperwork from the court in Maryland that had granted our guardianship had proven to be very complete and accurate.
We had quite a crowd for the hearing, as the twins, the granddads, and the uncles all wanted to go to show their support. Ian had told Marcus that he and Wayne had adopted me after he had had guardianship of me after my father had died and Marcus seemed somewhat relieved to hear that this wasn't an unusual occurrence, it in fact was a normal progression, from guardianship to adoption. Even the twins, Calum and Scott, had taken him aside at one point that weekend to explain how their adoption had gone, about how the judge would want a private talk with him before he would bang his hammer and proclaim Marcus adopted. The uncles also told Marcus about their adoptions and that too helped to calm his nerves and it let him see that at least in our family, adoptions were par for the course.
Sunday at church the friends he had made that attended the same mass we did also told him about their adoptions and that our lawyer was their uncle, Rich Major. The actual hearing was kind of anticlimactic after all the good wishes we had all received that weekend, but it did get Marcus legally accepted as a family member, and it gave him a new last name. He had retained his previous last name, Harrington, which was Pedro and Chuck's married last name, as his middle name, but his last name was now Wheeler, the legal son of Josh and Max Wheeler and the legal older brother to Calum and Scott. He was a very happy teen at our party for him that evening; he had a new family, a new name, a bunch of people waiting for us when we got home, and he had turned 16 today as well.
Josh asked me in bed that night if I had noticed that Marcus had spent a lot of his time during his party with that kid in the church choir, the one we both thought looked like a young Tom Cruise but blond, he thought his name was Dave, David Hutchinson. I looked at him and asked if he saw them doing anything inappropriate and he chuckled and said no, it just seemed that they had spent a great deal of their time at the party practically glued to each other's side. He said they interacted with everyone, including the adults as well as the kids there and that they both made sure Calum and Scott participated in the games the younger crowd all played. I admitted that I had seen them together a lot, and that I thought they looked really good together, David's light coloring and Marcus being darker in an Italian sort of way. I asked Josh if he thought they were experimenting with each other, and Josh said he didn't think so, they were just in that initial phase of getting to know each other first, but he thought there definitely was a connection growing there.
Well, I never said Josh wasn't smart, or observant. Before the month of July was even half over Marcus had a shadow almost from morning to night, just about every day. David became a fixture at the farm and he even became another person who helped Marcus with his exercises and therapy sessions. We noticed as they spent time together that Marcus was beginning to sing around the house as well as when the two guys were together riding. Soon they had Scott and Calum singing with them and to be honest, the four of them really harmonized well together. We soon were taking them all to church early as David had also taught them the hymns he sang there and our sons were welcomed into the choir, joining David there.
David was the son of a single mom and they lived about a mile up the same road we lived off of, so the boys getting together every day was pretty easy for them. David's mom was the manager of a diner out on the main route through town and she usually had two days off during the week, working the other five, weekends included. We gradually got to know this hard working lady and when an opening for a cafeteria manager came available during the next school year, we mentioned it to her, explaining that the hours were consistent, Monday through Friday, she would have all the school holidays and vacations off, including the summers, and the pay was just about what she was knocking herself out for now at her current job at the diner.
The job opening was at the middle school, just down the road from the high school, and that she'd get to see Josh and me every day, as that was the school we taught at. She laughed at that and told us she thought that the eye candy was good, but we were not her cup of tea, if we knew what she meant. We all had a good laugh at that, and we then told her we had someone we thought she might want to meet. So, we arranged to have a small dinner party at our house just after Cindy, got the job at the school cafeteria. It was just Josh and I and Cindy and Ingrid; the boys were all spending the night at my father's house, David included. Almost from the moment they met the two women were chatting up a storm, this high energy surgeon and the cafeteria manager were hitting it off and we couldn't be happier for them.
By the middle of August Marcus had a question for me one night just before bedtime. We were folding some laundry together as the others were watching something on the TV in the family room. Marcus asked me how I knew that Josh and I would last, that we knew each other was "The One".
I don't know that there was ever any question that Josh and I were meant to be together, that we both just knew, we were each other's first kiss, each other's first crush, and we were each other's first lover. We suited each other, and we learned together what it would mean to be with only each other, we grew together; we helped heal each other, and we learned our school lessons together and participated on our school's diving team together. I asked Marcus if he was happy around David and he told me that being around David was like being under the sun on a beautiful day; he told me he thought they might be going to kiss each other a couple of times but then one or the other of them would pull away and ignore the incident, but Marcus felt that he was afraid that if he did kiss David that that could split them apart and he sure didn't want to be shunned by David.
This was my newest, but oldest son I was talking to as we did something so mundane as folding a load of washing. In his own way he had just come out to me, asking these questions as to how his fathers had known they were right for each other, and I only had the time to finish folding one of Josh's T-shirts before Marcus would expect an answer. I cleared my throat and asked if Marcus wanted more than just a kiss from his friend Dave. He blushed and stammered out that yeah; he thought about touching him, running his fingers through his hair, holding his hand when they were alone, and he admitted that he had had sex dreams about David but that he knew they were a bit young for most of what he dreamt. I asked if he had ever told David these things and he told me he wanted to, but that he was scared that if David didn't feel the same way he'd lose him as a friend, and he didn't want to ever do that.
I told him that I thought I might have a plan, but he would have to wait a day or so for me to find out what he wanted to know. I told him this as I hugged him to me and I asked him to please, no matter what happened concerning Dave, to please not grow up too fast, we were enjoying him just as he was. He was returning our hug, telling me he was never so happy as he was living here with both us dads, but he was even happier still that he now had brothers he loved and maybe, just maybe, a boyfriend he thought he already loved. As we hugged Josh, and the twins came into the kitchen for a snack and we all ended in a family sort of hug, no one asking why we were hugging, content to be a part of the affection the hug represented.
The next day, as the whole group of us, was getting ready for a swim in the afternoon, I asked David to help me in the kitchen to prepare a tray with some snacks to take with us. Josh had been told about my talk with Marcus while we were in bed the night before and he knew what I had planned, so he asked Marcus to take the twins over to the pool while he grabbed a few more of our towels.
Josh did grab a few more towels but then came and sat at the table as we placed drinks and snacks on the tray. Since this was my idea, I started things off. Dave was a very direct kind of guy, so I started off kind of blunt and asked him why he hadn't kissed our son yet. Before he could stop sputtering Josh spoke up and said that we'd noticed how close they were and even thought at times they were going to kiss but one of them had always pulled back from following through. Was he nervous about how Marcus was going to react? Didn't he notice that as they moved their heads toward each other that Marcus was actively participating? Didn't he see how whenever they were together that Marcus couldn't take his eyes off him? What was David waiting for, a big sign around his neck saying, "Hey David, will you kiss me?"
I spoke up and said I didn't want a wimp for a son-in-law, if he liked Marcus as much as we thought he did, I thought they were old enough for that, and maybe some discrete hand holding and maybe even some sleepovers so they could get even closer under the covers, but Marcus had been waiting for some kind of hint from Dave and we all knew Marcus was no good when we all played Clue, so one of them had to step up and grab the other's lips with theirs, and we were counting on Dave to do this, that is if he felt for Marcus what we thought he did.
Poor David, he stood there looking back and forth between Josh and me, his mouth doing a fish impersonation and his blush so deep even his neck was red. He stammered out, "You mean Marcus Wants Me to Kiss Him?" I asked if he wanted Marcus to kiss him and he blushed even more and kept nodding his head up and down. I told him that I thought they had waited long enough for this sign of affection between them and David told us then that he knew he was in love with our son, he thought about him all day long, even when they were apart, and for weeks now he'd had dreams about them not only having sex, but dreams about them having their own family after they graduated college together.
Josh handed him the stack of pool towels and asked him to take them over to the pool and ask Marcus to show him where we stored them on a shelf over the pool pump and filter in the pool house, we'd be following with the snack tray so they wouldn't have to worry about the twins, they'd be kept occupied.
We followed behind David as he carried the towels and as we knew as soon as the twins saw the snack tray they would be glommed onto that and never saw their older brother taking his boyfriend into the pool house or even noticed their absence for the half hour it took them to come running out of there with huge smiles on their faces, their lips a bit red and puffy, but that wasn't the only place the two teens were puffy and I don't think the twins noticed them until after they had run for the pool and jumped in about halfway down to make sure their middle sections would be underwater when they both surfaced. They treaded water there for a while, talking softly to each other, unable to take their eyes off each other, that is until the twins decided to try and dunk them, then it was an all-out water fight, all in good fun of course.
The two teens had smiles for each other the rest of the day and both took the time to whisper their thanks to us as we went about our day. We did watch them as they walked one of the trails later and when they thought no one was looking we saw them, holding each other's hand as they strolled. I don't know what was more rewarding for Josh and I, seeing young love bloom, or watching our teenager walking on his own two feet. He was so appreciative for this gift, and we knew he didn't take that lightly, he meant it every time he thanked us for taking him to see Dr. Ingrid and her co-worker Dr. Vrenner and he meant every word when unknown to us he sent each of them a thank you letter, which Ingrid shared with us some time later. It was beautiful and heartfelt, and it brought tears to my eyes, and when he read it Josh teared up himself.
Ingrid and Cindy, David's mom, were dating now, and both ladies seemed much happier and relaxed and it looked like they were going to be life partners, but David told us he hoped they would someday marry. The boys were all having a good school year, the twins often asking if they could have friends over to ride the trails with them, the teens happily learning better diving form when we took them a few times a week to the swim center and gave them some coaching after Marcus had his therapy sessions with Theresa, and with her helper, David.
By the end of October, we had had our Halloween season haunted hay rides which all the boys participated in, and many of their classmates and teachers. The twins had developed friendships at school and those now spilled into out-of-school hours, and the teens were now an official couple at the high school, which it turns out was not that unusual there as they were only one gay couple out of maybe ten in their sophomore class alone. They had waited until the hayrides started before asking for sleepover privileges, and after some talks with Cindy we gave our permission, as long as there wasn't an excessive amount of PDA in front of the twins and the customers of the farm, There were web sites like the ones our dads had us view when we were teens ourselves and we made these available to David and Marcus.
Of course, we also had talks with the boys and although they (and we) were sometimes embarrassed with the topics raised, we all soon got over that and the discussions became lively and informative, sometimes for all involved. I saw a lot of what Josh and I had experienced in what was growing between Marcus and David. It was, I must say, not only interesting, but very heartwarming too.
At the swim center one day in November, after his next-to-last therapy session, Marcus was taken to the 10-meter platform, the highest at about 33 feet above the water. Josh and David were already there, Josh giving pointers to Dave and getting him ready for what the two teens had been practicing for, their first tandem dive off the 10-meter platform. My dads' were there that day and Ian had his video camera at hand, ready to capture what we hoped was a respectable attempt by the two teens that could be shared with the rest of our family and Cindy and Ingrid. The boys were not near as nervous as Josh and I were, but both listened intently to us as we gave them some last-minute reminders and then we left them up there and joined the rest down at the poolside so we could see their entry into the water. We didn't have to wait long once we got down there with my dads' and the other onlookers. There wasn't a fanfare or anything, but then the boys walked to the edge of the platform and stood there, their big toes overlapping the edge of the platform and raised their arms and themselves up and performed the best tandem cannonball I had ever seen anywhere, and then in perfect unison they straightened out for entry.