Laughter resonated from the porch as Wayne and Trent playfully ran around each other, giggling and screaming as loud as they could. The five year olds were engrossed in their play time as Michael watched them lovingly from the kitchen window. He couldn't imagine what their lives would be like without the boys and wondered what adding another child into the family would do to the boys.
"I'm catching you Laynee." Screamed a delighted Trent. "I'm gonna twickle you Laynee." For the life of him Trent couldn't say Wayne's name right as hard as he tried, but he knew he could catch him. Before to many runs, Michael and Trent came out onto the porch each grabbing their one of the boy's as they tried running by.
"Okay you two little monster's, it's time for lunch and then a nap for the both of you." Smiling Michael looked at Trent as he watched him with Trent Junior in his arms struggling to get him quieted down.
"Babe, we're going to need their booster seats, there under the island on the first shelf. I'll handle these two until you get back." Trent gave Michael his namesake and headed for the kitchen to retrieve the two booster seats.
"Okey dodey Mikey will do, here, take your son. He won't stop squirming for me."
"You just have to know how that's all Babe, it just takes some practice. You've been too busy the past year to get any practice in."
Michael laughed knowing how hard Trent had been working with the business. The third year after they opened the doors the business took off and Trent's ideas had caught on, building only large one-of-a-kind homes. He prided himself on the fact that no house would be replicated. And his home designs started at six thousand square feet with a heavy detail to post and beam architecture. He was booked for the next three years with client's, and new prospects approaching him all the time.
Michael had gladly taken on staying home with the boys and taking care of the house and Trent's bookkeeping. They both loved what they were doing. Next year the boys would be in school full time. Michael knew his time would be spent taking Trent and Wayne back and forth to school and getting them in the habit of going. He knew he was going to miss having them in the house. He had spent so much time teaching them how to read and write. Again he wondered about the prospect of taking care of another one as he had done with the boys and embraced the idea completely.
Michael had gotten in the habit of finding books for the boys when they were old enough so that they could start learning the alphabet and their numbers. Monday through Friday he worked with them an hour every day. He wanted them to do well in school as did Trent, he didn't want the boys to struggle like he did and having Michael teach them he thought was a wonderful idea, and it showed.
They were ahead of other kids their age by the time they were five. They were able to write their full names and everyone's name in the family plus little things around the house. Both could count to one hundred without help. Michael had used cookies to add and subtract. Wayne was the analytical one whereas Trent took after his father and was the builder and full of ideas.
"Is anyone home?" Clay and Sarah walked in the door, with presents in hand, pretty much as usual.
"Mom and Dad if you two don't stop I'm going to have to have Trent build another wing to the house just for the twins stuff." Sarah laughed and took Wayne in her arms.
"Give me my grandson...how's Grammie's little man?" Wayne squealed with delight as Sarah sunk her fingers into his little exposed belly.
"I good Gammie" Trent squealed as Clay reached around and ticked his ribs. Clay had scooped him up.
"Are you being good for your father's?" Trent looked at Clay and then glanced at Trent and Michael.
"Daddy Mikey says I good, but Daddy Trent, says I being....inkeragibble." The four of them laughed.
"Why don't you two sit down I have everything just about ready for lunch." Michael was frantically trying to get everything on the table so that they could feed the boys and try to eat themselves. Clay and Sarah would undoubtedly take over feeding their grandsons. Michael relished the times they came for lunch or dinner. It gave him the time to eat an entire meal while it was still hot. It also gave them time to catch up on family business and whatever else was going on.
"How are Danny and Yvonne doing with the company these days Dad?" Trent wanted to know since the two had taken over two years ago. As young as they were Clay had given them majority voting power allowing them to run the company as they saw fit. They were respectful and ran everything by him before they put anything into motion. Both were still young but desired to keep the family business vibrant and profitable at the same time. The ideas they had come up with had kept them at the forefront of the computer industry. Danny was a natural innovator and Yvonne was the marketing genius behind them. Together in the years to come they would push the company forward and the family was proud of the both of them, they had all gained financially in the two short years that the two had been at the helm.
"What did the doctors have to say about you two on your last visit?" Michael looked at Sarah knowing he'd get an honest answer, whereas Clay had a way of just brushing everything aside as if it were no big deal. And for the most part it wasn't. They both had remained active and were constantly on the go. After Clay's heart attack, he had taken it easy and had persisted in working one day a week, but he and Sarah traveled frequently, visiting the children spread throughout the country.
"The doctor said all is well and that your father is in good shape. Josh and Andy have been doing a wonderful job of keeping us fit by fixing nothing but healthy food. Which by the way they both send their regards and want to know when you'll be bringing the boys to the house next? They are both anxious to be there when you come. Andy wants to make sure he has some cookies made for the boys. They miss the both of you terribly, I think Josh misses you the most Michael, but he won't say that."
"Let's go have cookies at Gammie's and Pops!" Both boys yelled in unison when cookies were mentioned. Trent picked up his fork and started tapping it on the table and Wayne followed his lead, as usual.
"I swear, one follows the other no matter what." Michael reached over and took the forks from the boys and put them aside. "Finish your sandwiches boys or there won't be any treats after lunch. Wayne and Michael scowled at the prospect of not getting anything.
"If I'm weaallllly goood, can we have candy?" Wayne was the leader this time, but Trent followed right behind him.
"Pwweaassse, we be good." The four of them looked at the messy faces of the boys and laughed it seemed they wore more of their food than they were actually eating at least it looked that way at the moment.
"I'll see, now finish up or your father will be taking you for a nap with no treats." Trent looked at Michael as if to say, I don't have time for a nap with them. Michael looked back at him with a twinkle in his eye and nodded to him, as if reading his mind.
"I'm glad the doctor said you're both doing well, Trent and I were both wondering how your last office visit went and what he had to say. Did he say anything else? And when is your next appointment?"
"No, all is good Michael, now stop your worrying Clay and I are just fine, I promise you. I would tell you if the doctor said otherwise Michael Wayne, now relax and that's an order." Sarah reached for Michael's hand and gave it a squeeze, trying to reassure him that indeed everything was okay with the doctor's latest report. Between Michael and Trent, Michael was the worrier of the two. And he did worry, especially about Sarah. Since the death of his mother Sarah had become Michael's rock and foundation of staying grounded. Whenever he was down or just needed someone else to talk to, it was Sarah that he turned to. Often he felt that he needed the softness of a women's outlook on things and Sarah was more than happy to take Michael under her wing.
"All right I will, I just worry about you the two of you that's all, you know how I am Mom when it comes to this kind of thing. I have a husband who I practically have to beat into submission in order for him to make an appointment. Usually I have to make the appointment and then go with him just to make sure he goes. He doesn't like going to the kids doctor with me, that's how much he hates the doctors. Although I can understand his view point after what he's been through with the accident in Jamaica. Which by the way Trent and I want to know if you would watch the boys in January so we can go again? This year will mark our tenth anniversary of going there. We've taken the boys the last couple of years but this time is special and we'd like to go on our own. But only if you feel that you're up to it."
"We'd love to Michael, you just make the plans and let me know when you are leaving and Clay and I will take the kids to Disney while you're gone. Maybe one of your brothers or sisters would like to go with us and take a few more kids, might as well make it a family vacation. I know how much the boys like spending time with their cousins."
"You might change your mind about that in a minute. We have some news for you two, think you can stand some good news? Michael and I talked to our lawyer the other day and the same women that gave us Trent and Wayne is due in a month. We haven't said anything until now, we wanted to make sure everything was okay and it all worked out. You two are the first to know and no we aren't having twins but we are having a little girl this time." Trent had a smile a mile wide on his face as he thought of becoming a father to a little girl. Clay and Sarah just looked at Trent and Michael, Sarah had tears in her eyes, and Clay looked like he was going to bust.
News traveled fast in the family and before the day was done everyone knew. The entire family was delighted and at the same time wanted to know why they hadn't been told earlier. It gave them the opportunity to tease Michael and Trent about keeping the family out of the loop. They let it be known that the next baby they had everyone wanted to know about it as soon as they started thinking about adopting another one. It wasn't long after that, that Sarah Yvonne Sanders was born and Michael and Trent began to think about expanding the house they were in to accommodate the possibility of more children, after all they both wanted more than three if it was possible. After the first three both men sincerely believed they could have as many as they wanted.
As with all things time passed and Trent and Michael's family grew, when they reached child number six, jointly they decided that enough was enough. They now had, Trent Michael, Wayne Nicholas, Sarah Yvonne, Delany Rose, Clay Bradley and the youngest Grant Maddox. They ranged in ages from twelve to five. Trent built a bigger house on their property and Clay and Sarah moved into the old house. Yvonne took over the house they grew up in, she didn't want to see it leave the family just yet.
The business continued to grow for the family and before long they sold everything to retire comfortably. The kids had inherited their trust funds plus received in excess of fifty million dollars each for the sale of the company. They all retired to enjoy the growth of their families and the closeness they shared as a family. After all Clay believed in keeping it in the family, their Monday night dinners continued, everyone would meet at Michael and Trent's house where Joshua and Andy would prepare their dinner just as they had done on countless Monday's while the kids were growing up.