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How did Cosmo become mine? The damn thing thinks if I sit somewhere, it’s a sign for him to take a nap. I gave up when he seemed to find ways to get to me. It helped that Penny started carrying a lint brush to get the cat hair off me. My baby understands, no one wants cat hair on Armani. I fell asleep on the couch with a kitten purring next to my ear, it was weirdly relaxing. Justin and the rest of the gang were getting everything ready for meeting my mother’s boyfriend. I was ordered out of the kitchen when I tried to stop the massive carb fest they were planning to feed everyone. So I sat there, then laid down when Cosmo seemed to want me to, it was the last thing I remembered. I woke up to Nathan sneaking past me with a box.

“Everything okay?” I ask him.

“It’s fine Daddy.” He says loudly, inching away backwards.

“What do you have behind your back?” I ask.

“Nothin.” He tells me, trying to escape.

I grabbed him and he giggled, trying to keep the box away. I finally got the box and pulled it over to see what he was hiding. “What’s in here?” I asked him.

“A present for Grandma.” He tells me.

“Why were you trying to hide it?” I asked him.

“Cause I wanted it to be a surprise.” He tells me.

“Then we’ll wait for Grandma.” I tell him.

“What if she doesn’t like it?” He asked, biting his lip.

“Do you want me to look?” I asked, and he nodded.

“Just don’t let it escape.” He tells me and now I was scared.

I pulled out my Y chromosome and prayed it wasn’t something that would have all of us worried about where he found it. I lifted the lid and found some roses with a butterfly sitting on them.

“Who put the plastic over the top?” I asked him.

“Penny, she said it was so Grandma could release it if back into the wild if she wanted.” He tells me.

“It’s really a good present, and Grandma will love it.” I tell him smiling.

“I wanted the frog, but it got away.” He tells me covering the box again and hopping down.

“Frogs like the outdoors.” I tell him.

“Yeah, maybe he’ll figure out how to get out of the house.” Nathan tells me, shrugging and skipping out the door.


Brian spent the hour before Joan got to the house searching for something, but wouldn’t say what. I left him to it while all of us were helping to get everything together for the picnic we were having. Sue Ellen and Jasper were visiting Howard, so Sue Ellen insisted on teaching us how to make real country cooking, while Jasper took the kids outside to play. Emmett really loved having his family come to visit. We all enjoyed Jasper’s way of looking at the world.

My mother showed up with Molly and at first stayed in the kitchen, not saying much to us. When everything was finished and everyone dispersed in different directions she seemed to want to talk to me.

“Was it really bad having me for a mother?” She asks.

“No, it just seems like when I left, you and I stopped talking about anything that mattered.” I tell her.

“My life was falling apart, I needed you to listen to me. No one else seemed to care.” She tells me.

“So was mine, but nothing seemed to matter to you. I gave up on you being the mother you used to be.” I tell her.

“Justin, I love you, you know that, don’t you? I didn’t know how to handle your lifestyle, and you seemed to just expect me to not have a hard time when you announced you were gay and barely gave me a chance, before walking out the door. It just seemed like you didn’t need me anymore.” She tells me.

“I needed you, but it was like the only time you called  was to complain about Molly and then about me not telling you anything. I got tired of you telling Craig everything as if he cares about me anymore. If you want to be a part of my life, then let it be about me and you, and no one else. I would love to have the woman who was proud of the things I achieved.” I tell her.

“You’ve always made me proud.” She tells me.

I hugged my mom as Deb and Joan came in with Carl and Stuart. Joan seemed really happy to see my mom here with me.


Stuart stayed with my mom as she introduced him to everyone in the house. He was really interested in meeting the kids. I sat with Justin while the kids ran around playing and talking to everyone else. His mother made an effort to talk to everyone, which she tended to shy away from doing since Justin and I got together. He told me that they talked, but he wasn’t going to hold out hope that it would mean any big change for their relationship immediately. When it was time to eat I got up to make Nathan and Penny’s plates, so Justin could relax. Jen came and sat with me while Justin was talking to Emmett and Alex. Stuart came over and sat with us while the girls and my mom watched the kids. I really wasn’t sure why they wandered over to me.

“I wanted to thank you for having me over. Joan can’t seem to go a minute without talking about your kids.” Stuart tells me.

“I wanted to meet the guy who could get her out of the house and into the world.” I tell him.

“Joan was telling me that there are two other grandsons?” He asks.

“My sister’s kids, right now one is most likely going to fulfill his dream of prison while the other one I’m not sure of. He never seemed to be as big a pain in the ass as the older one.” I tell him.

“She’s worried about them. I get the feeling your sister isn't very good about taking responsibility for her actions.” He tells me.

“She'd rather believe her problems are more important. She also never believes John does anything wrong, it's always someone else. How she wants to believe John didn’t know he stole a car when he broke into the thing is anyone’s guess. I just don’t need Mom letting Claire drag her into this mess. Justin has Dan looking into it for us.” I tell him.

“If you need any help, let me know, I don't want Joan to backsliding because of it.” He tells me, going back to sit with mom.

I look over at Jen who sat quietly while Stuart and I talked. “Can I help you?” I ask.

She and I have never really exchanged more than a nod. I didn’t like the way she kept telling Justin she wanted to change the relationship they had, but didn't do anything after asking for the chance.

“I thought it was time that we talked to each other.” She tells me.

“Why? I know you don’t like that Justin married me and really just tolerate me.” I tell her.

“I don’t know you.” She tells me.

“I’ve been in Justin’s life for six years. How long were you planning to wait?” I ask her.

“You made it hard for me to try, I could tell you didn’t like me.” She tells me.

“You let him leave without even fighting for him. I know what that made Justin feel like. I know what it’s like when the only time your parents bothered with you was when they needed or wanted something from you. My old man wanted me to keep him in booze and a roof over his head. The only time he called was when he wanted cash, not to see me. You only seemed to call when you were upset and wanted Justin to comfort you, it didn’t really make me see you as someone that would be worth knowing. The only reason I haven’t kicked your ass out of our home is because Justin is still smiling after talking to you. I’m willing to give you the same chance Justin gave my mother, but not if there is anything you do that upsets my family.” I tell her, keeping my voice even, because I’m only telling her why I never talked to her.

“I want to know my grandchildren.” She tells me, wiping her eyes.

“Then ask Justin about them, he can talk for hours about them if you’re interested. Show me that you can be the mother he tells me you were when he was younger. I’m not an obstacle for you, Justin is, because I’d allow Craig near us if he managed to be the father he’s never has been to Justin.” I tell her.

“You love him more than anything, don’t you?” She asks.

“I love him and everything he brought into my life.” I tell her.

“Daddy, it’s in your office.” Nathan tells me running out.

“You wouldn’t want to help your grandson would you?” I ask.

“I would love to.” She tells me, smiling.

I watch as Nathan is about to introduce her to our world, let’s hope she gets that thing out of my office.

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