Grace! Grace!” The pounding on the door was insistent. Robert opened one bleary eye,
“How can they be awake already?” he whined.
“They weren’t awake as long as we were,” Grace said, rolling out of bed and pulling on a nightshirt.
“Almost,” he complained, pulling on a pair of boxers.
“Get back in bed,” she said. “They’ll want to cuddle with us. Hey kids!” she said, and the younger children piled into the room, “come cuddle?”
They did indeed ‘come cuddle’, and the bed, for the next half an hour, was rather full. Finally Mom appeared at the door, which Grace had left open, “OK, kids, get ready for breakfast.”
“Finally!” Robert said, grabbing at Grace.
“Not now, Robert,” she said. “Breakfast will be in a couple of minutes…”
“It can wait,” he said, grabbing at her again.
“No, seriously, Robert,” she insisted, avoiding him. “Mom will have breakfast all ready.”
Robert moaned, loudly, and Grace grinned at him, pulling on a nice wooly robe. Robert thought back, wistfully, to what ‘Bobbi’ had worn to breakfast, but knew that even suggesting it would ruin his day with Grace.
“Say, do I have to put on a robe?” he asked.
“No, I guess now. Dad always wears his boxers, and the boys sometimes come in their BVD’s. You never wore them to breakfast before.”
“Not here. I was never sure how it would go over. I mean, a dad is one thing, a boyfriend another.”
“Oh, well, sure. If you’re going to do it, best start that way, instead of surprising everyone after a while.
“OK,” he said, and followed her out the door.
“Well, Robert, Grace, what are your plans now?”
Grace looked at Robert, “Well, Daddy, we really haven’t had much time to work on plans. Everything came on so suddenly. I don’t want to go back to my dorm room, though.”
“No,” Robert said, flatly. “Definitely not.”
“You’re in a co-ed dorm, aren’t you dear? Perhaps you could get a different room, together?”
“They don’t allow married couples,” Robert said. “Or, at least, you have to sign something saying you aren’t sleeping together.”
“An apartment, then?”
“That will be tough,” Robert said. “Getting an apartement at this time of year.”
“You could stay here,” Dad said, causing all eyes to shift toward him.
“Well, they could,” he said. “Juliana could move to the boys room while we convert the play room.”
“Oh, that would be wonderful,” Mom said, “But wouldn’t that be hard on them?”
Grace looked at Robert. “Well, I don’t see why,” he said. “We’d be away at school a good bit of the time. We’re going to be staying at my folks for weekends and things.”
“Well, that would be just marvelous,” Mom said.
“And I have to stay with the boys?!” Juliana asked, appalled.
‘But that means that Grace will be home during the week,” Mom said, and Juliana subsided.