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Chapter 98

The next nine days were spent getting Kevin ready to go back out on tour and sorting.  Bron was tired of sorting.  Since the fans had found out about the baby, gifts were arriving on a daily basis and in large numbers.  The volume was overwhelming as they sat in the reception area of the offices trying to sort the ‘baby mail’ from the regular mail.

“Kevin, you have to have Cole issue another statement.  We don’t need all of these things.  I would have to give birth to triplets.”  Bron was hitting whiney rather fast today.

“I will, I will,” Kevin had begun separating quilts and baby blankets from outfits.  “I know they love us but we don’t need this stuff.  There are so many without.” 

“Donate it!”  Suzie looked at the two people sitting on the office floor.

“That’s it.  I have an idea Kevin.  Issue a statement that they can make a donation to a charity in the name of the baby.”  Bron grinned at her idea.

“Not your charity either,” Suzie added, just in case.

“I wouldn’t think so Suzie,” Kevin returned just as caustically as she did.

“A women’s shelter and an orphanage, and Tim’s church.”  Bron sprung off the floor like a spring.  “They need these kind of things and diapers too.”  Bron was dashing into her office to call Tim, he would know who needed what.

“They’re coming, I told him to leave your Mom at home, she’s too sentimental.”  Bron walked right into her mother in law Anne.  “Ooops,” she blushed and gave her a toothy smile.  “Nothing personal.”

“Right dear, but it could be worse.  I could be a meddling mother in law.”  Anne’s eyes scanned the huge containers of clothing and baby items.  “I am sentimental but this is too much, let’s sort it, pin the cards to the gift for a proper thank-you and then we can give them to people who really are in need.”

Bron watched a few of the quilts be put away for safekeeping.  The quilts had been handmade for them and would be kept and handed down later. 

Kaylin made her way into the offices and looked at all the items that had been sent.  She now had to do her homework under the watchful eye of Kevin since he had caught her using a calculator to do her math homework on the third day into the new school year.  He didn’t care if it was Friday either.  With their lifestyle, anything could come up on short notice so the homework had to be done when she received the assignment.

Kevin was irate about what Kaylin had pulled and told her as much.  Then he let off the rest of his steam at Bron.  “If she would just spend the amount energy she spends on looking for shortcuts or outsmarting me, she would be fine.”

“That’s no fun,” Bron laughed.  She didn’t have much room to talk.  Bron was as calculator dependent as they came.  She laughed even harder when she had told Kevin that she had been caught doing the same thing.

Kevin let his displeasure be known by making a wiseass remark about they didn’t call it a calculator back then, it was an Abacus. 

“More stuff for the baby,” she mumbled out a little too loud and stepped on quilt on her way by.

“A little jealous?”  Anne spoke to the back of a blonde head.

“No, I don’t care,” Kaylin went into Kevin’s office and shut the door. 

Crawling up from the floor, Kevin went into his office and shut the door again.

“What is that about?”  Anne began her line of questioning. 

Bron proceeded to explain with Suzie adding her interpretations along the way.

“She’s just a little jealous.  Let’s face it, I’m jealous,” Bron looked at all the items packed into the room.  “I didn’t get a damn thing and you know that most of these were sent to demonstrate their love for the man in there.”  Bron pointed to Kevin’s closed office door.

“I know dear, don’t take it personal.”  Anne retrieved a book and set in the box.

Bron retrieved the book back.  Turning the pages, she smiled.  “I like the books.  We need to keep them.  I love to read to babies.  I always read to Kaylin and Andrew.”

“Bron, Kevin tells me you are going to breastfeed.”  Anne couldn’t help but ask.  This didn’t seem like her daughter in law one iota.

“I will for as long as I can,” Bron gave her a faint smile.  “He bought me a fancy breast pump but I don’t know if I’m going to be comfortable pumping in front of my crew.”  Bron was waiting for the crack to be made about her staying home and working from the house.  If she had expected it from anyone, it would be Anne.

“Well if you bought a new truck instead of that dilapidated heap you drive, you could have some privacy.  The tinted glass would help.”  Anne folded the baby clothes as she pinned the card to the garments.

“Oh, so that is why you are here.  Did Kevin put you up to this?”  Bron leaned closer eyeing her mother in law up and down.

“Oh no dear,” Anne sighed and looked towards the ceiling.

“MeeMaw did it then, I know it.  I just know it.  I bet Kevin was a formula brat, wasn’t he?”

Anne nodded as the corners of her lips turned up.  “You know MeeMaw.”

“I’m going to get that old biddy.  She’s sharp, don’t let her fool you.  She conned me out of a printer last week for the Church paper.  Church paper my ass, she was printing out dirty jokes for the old ladies in her card club.”

Anne sat on the floor laughing hysterically at the vision, now she new why MeeMaw had suddenly become so witty.  “She said that she found a new bumper sticker.  ‘Body by Bally, Brains by Mattel.’  She likes those blonde jokes.”

They sat and folded more clothes, Suzie joined in since the phones weren’t ringing.  “We should get that bumper sticker for Gillian.”

“We need a party,” Bron sighed.  “Just girls.”

“You could have a baby shower,” Anne added.

“Baby showers are co-ed now,” Suzie folded a blanket with bunnies on it. 

“They are not,” Bron folded a little dress.

“They are too.  When was the last shower you went too?”  Suzie continued to fold.

“Mine, now the women at my age are smart enough not to have kids.”  Bron snorted, she thought it was funny, evidentially they didn’t as both Anne and Suzie frowned at her.  “Why would I need a shower anyway?  Look at all this stuff and I’m giving most of it away.”

“Maybe one just for family?”  Anne let a discreet smile play on her face.  She wanted to have a shower so she could invite all of Kevin’s family together to celebrate.

“No, no shower, it’s a waste.  Besides, if they are co-ed, I won’t do it.  Those stupid games drive me nuts.  I never could get the damn clothes pin in the jar anyway.”  Bron sat almost cross-legged on the floor.

“Man you are old, the games have changed,” Suzie quipped as she reached for the phone.

“I’m sorry what do you play now, pin the condom on the penis?”

“BRONWYN!”  Anne blushed and chastised at the same time.

“You’re a little late on that one Bron.”  Suzie’s eyes squeezed shut and then she looked at Bron, “It’s MeeMaw... Her sink again.”

“Dammit!  I knew there was something I was going to do today.”  Bron grabbed the phone, apologized accordingly and then hung up the phone.  “I have to go over there.  Tell Kevin I’ll be right back.  He told me that he fixed it last week for her and I don’t know what happened.  This time I’ll fix it myself.”

“Bron, take Jake.”  Anne didn’t move from her spot.

“What the hell for?”  Bron heaved herself up from the floor.

“Because there were a ton of cars at the end of the driveway when I came up.” 

“Aww shit!  Jake!”  Bron called him.

Kevin’s door opened, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.  I have to run over to MeeMaw’s.  I thought you fixed her sink.”  Bron waited for Jake.

“I did,” Kevin stood baffled.  “It was just a little leak.  I tightened it up and left.”

“I’ll be right back, somebody start dinner.  I don’t even care if it’s fish sticks and tater tots.”

Kevin’s yuck wasn’t as loud as Kaylin’s Yeah.  “Go finish your homework and don’t touch my calculator.”

“It’s going to suck when you leave.”  Suzie glanced up from the floor to Kevin.

“Kaylin will be fine, I plan on having a long talk with her before they leave Cincinnati.”  Kevin went back into his office to find Kaylin grinding her pencil down to nothing with the electric pencil sharpener.  “Will you stop that please!”

“TA-DA, the real Kaylin is back and jealous as hell.”  Suzie touched the soft blanket to her face.

“Are you and Nick going to have kids?  Of course, you will have to get married first.”

“Change the subject, it’s none of your business,” Suzie set the blanket down.

“Fine just remember the milk...”

“I know, now leave it alone,” Suzie snapped back at Anne.  “What are we going to do about a shower?”

“She doesn’t want one dear,” Anne placed her arm on Suzie’s shoulder as she stood up.

“She doesn’t want a new truck either but we both know Kevin bought her a mini-van.”  Suzie covered her face with a blanket to muffle the laughter.  When she lowered the blanket, her face was red and her eyes glistened.  “It plays cartoons, it’s the Looney van.  Tell me he did this all on his own?”

“Most definitely,” Anne laughed.  “Oh that boy, he really put himself in a spot this time.”  Leaning on the glass that enabled her a view into Kevin’s office, Anne smiled.  “He’s good with her.”

“She loves him but she is jealous as hell over this baby.  Nobody is thinking about her in all of this.  All these wonderful gifts keep coming except from Bron’s real friends who have sent little things to Kaylin too.” 

“I’ll go start dinner, fish sticks and tater tots is not a good meal.”  Anne watched how patient her son could be at times.  Some days he had more than a saint, other days were left for Nick.

“It’s Kaylin’s favorite,” Suzie added.

“I know it is and she’ll get them, but Bron and the rest of us need a little more.  Why don’t you come down and help me.  We can talk about the shower.  I have a list a mile long, and you know all of her friends.”

“YES!  I love to plan parties.”  Suzie flipped the phone over and grabbed some thank you cards.  Assisting Bron in writing thank you notes would be a pain, but she needed the help. 

“No wonder you and Kevin get along so well.  Just don’t ever feed my son laced brownies, he gets extremely stupid on them. Then he will eat the entire contents of your kitchen.”

“Pot brownies for Kevin?” Suzie elbowed Annie.  “I didn’t know you had it in you.”

“I don’t but I’m a product of the sixties dear...”   Anne laughed as they gingerly went down the stair steps.  “Once Kevin and Keith drank an entire gallon worth of Mad Dog 20/20... Those boys had no sense at all.  Sneaking in the house thinking Jerald and I wouldn’t know.  We probably wouldn’t have, if Kevin hadn’t kept calling Keith honey.” 

Suzie was taking it all in, Bron would want to know about this.  They talked, they cooked, they planned, and made lists.  Then they called everyone to eat.  Tomorrow was the big day; they were leaving for Milwaukee.

Kevin called MeeMaw’s and found out that Bron and Jake were on their way home.  Anne left plates on the counter for both of them after she had cleaned the kitchen.

“I could kill you,” Bron growled at Kevin with a monkey wrench in her hand.

Kevin put some distance between them at a rapid pace she was hot.  “I didn’t do anything.”

“You tightened the damn thing so tight you split the freakin’ pipe.  Now I have to lay a new floor over there again since I just re-plumbed the entire drain, waste, and vent.”  Bron dropped the wrench and headed for the sink.  After washing her hands, she grabbed a plate.

“Suzie headed home since you were going to be late.”  Anne frowned as Bron bypassed a good meal for the fish sticks and tater tots.

Bron nodded understandingly, it was late.

“Why a new floor?”  Kevin pulled a chair out a safe distance from her.

“Because she guilt tripped me into it.  She said if I had done the work in the first place, the floor would be fine.  ‘But you didn’t have time for me, so you sent my grandson.  All I needed was five minutes of your time.’  Damn the woman has the market cornered on guilt.”  Bron shoveled food in her mouth, she was starving.

“She’s been doing it for years.  We should move her out of there but the last time she batted her eye lashes at me and asked if her and Pa could live with us.”

Bron and Anne inhaled sharply as Jake walked in the back door.  Bron was choking on a tater tot that had lodged in her throat.  Anne began to take the plate away until Bron frowned at her.  Shaking her head, Anne left the plate in front of her. 

“Don’t worry, I told her no.”  Kevin grinned as he uncapped his beer.

Jake sat down as Anne handed him a plate.  Silence settled in as the new comers ate.  Tomorrow they were leaving for Milwaukee.  Kevin never needed a grand plan to get her to go.  Simply telling Kaylin she was going was all it took.  Bron never did like to disappoint Kaylin. 

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