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Posted on 31 Aug 2022 @ 4:51pm by Patricia Paahao-Ivanovich

Episode: Our Path
Location: Washington DC.
Timeline: First Day of School

“I just don’t know, Patricia,” Natalie Ivanovich-Hearst told her grand daughter as Tricia sipped at her coffee and tapped at her son’s plate with an index finger.

“What’s that, babushka,” Tricia said, though she had an inkling of where this conversation was going.

Looking at her son, Tricia said, “Eat, Matt. I don’t need you trying to wheedle snacks from your prababushka and babushka all day long. Besides, this is cake.”

Mattao scowled, his chubby face eyeing the apple cake with suspicion, then grabbed a chunk and shoved it into his mouth, crumbs flying as he looked at his mother.”

“Just like your father,” Tricia said sighing, resisting the temptation to clean up before the twins were done eating.

“I,” Natalie replied, “Just think you and Kemo should have found a girls school. Like you and your mother attended.”

“We’ve been through that,” Tricia said with a smile toward the old lady who sat in her house coat, hands gripped around a mug of tea as she kept an eye on Tricia and her brood. She’d been up early, making breakfast for everyone and now she took pleasure in watching them eat.

“And Mattao is ok to have snacks. We’re going for a walk today and spend plenty of time outside. I think the weather is going to hold!” she enthused, meeting her grand daughters eyes.

“Sorry babushka, but it’s a different world now, you know that,” Trisha said, looking at her grand mother’s name sake and smiling at Nattie who was carefully drinking the spiced orange tea her nana had made for her. “Good girl, Nattie,” she said, smiling at Mattao’s twin.

At her words, the boy grabbed at his glass and slurped at the sweet spiced beverage from his dinosaur cup. She promptly praised him too and he beamed at her, then stuck his tongue out at his sister who routinely ignored him.

“Still,” don’t you think girls should learn to be girls with other girls while they can without the whole weight of all those boys around,” Natalie asked. “And don’t get me started on gender identities. People need to learn who they are and things are even more confusing than ever. I think a filter of some sort would be welcome.”

Tricia nodded and said, “To a point I agree, but the world isn’t going to get less confusing. So, Keno and I think it’s better this way. Especially since we both thought,” she paused gesturing toward the twins,”And still think that it’s better for you and mother to spend days with them rather than going to an one of the Early Learning programs that are out there.”

“Family,” her grand mother nodded approvingly, “I can’t argue with you there. And your mother’s a fine teacher. The children need to know their family too. Alright…I can acknowledge your point on the world and how it’s smaller than it ever has been.”

“Thanks, babushka,” Tricia said wryly. “And mom teaching at Cambridge and Northwestern really did prepare her for raising the herd.”

“Bah,” her grandmother said, waving off the comment. “Though Kemo’s family,…” Natalie said, sipping at her tea.

“Don’t start, please,” Tricia said, warning her grandmother off. “It’s not his fault and he’s a best man I’ve met.

“I almost take offense to that,” her father called from the the mud room where he was hanging up his hat.

“Why,” Tricia said, stepping over to her father and giving him a peck on the cheek. “You’re a daddy. That’s steps up from just a man.”

“And were does Kemo fall on the daddy scale, then?” Her father asked, his brown eyes glinting with humor.

“That is yet to be seen,” Tricia said, glancing at the twins. She heard a clatter of a book bag hitting the floor and her attention turned to Elizabeth who was looking about apprehensively.

“Do I look alright mama?, Lizzy asked.

“You look beautiful, Tricia told he eldest, beaming at her as she stepped away from her father to give Lizzy a hug. “I see you went with the red one.”

“Yeah,” her father said. “I liked the yellow one with the flowers.”

George caught a look from Tricia and he hurriedly said, “Not that the red one’s not nice. I like the red one too.”

“Daddy’s favorite,” Lizzy said somewhat shyly as she returned her mothers hug then climbed up into a chair at the table and dug into the apple cake that was waiting for her.

“Ahh,” the George said wisely. “Not every daddy is the same to everyone. That proves it. But Tricia is more than right that Kemo’s a good man, Natalie. Don’t be a grouch.”

“Well we’ll have to make sure to send him pictures of you today, Lizzy,” Tricia told her. “Though you haven’t put shoes on..”

“No shoes in the house,” Lizzie said. “I put them by the door.” Her voice was soft and Tricia regarded her eldest frankly. She was a shy one.

Where had she gotten that from.

As if reading her mind, her father said, “You were a bit tentative too at that age. You didn’t start burning the neighborhood down until you were nearly into your teenage years.”

After a pause, he concluded with humor in his voice. “My poor insurance rates…”

Now it was Tricia’s turn to stick her tongue out at him and then she smiled fondly at her father. “That only happened once.”

“Three times,” he corrected her. “My agent also includes the car you burned up.”

“Not my fault,” Tricia automatically replied. “Bad wiring, according to the report.”

“Yeah,” George half snorted, still amused. “Nothing to do with the ninety in a fifty five zone. It’s a wonder you never lost your license.”

Now Tricia smiled wickedly and said, “Well daddy, when you bat your eyes at the nice judge and promise never to do it again…”

“Right,” Natalie cut in, her own lips turning into a smile. “Judge Weatherby…Maggy. That did wonders for her… you nearly had to go into pre-law after she saw that attempted scam.”

“Not my fault,” Tricia said again, “Maggy expected me to do something. So why not…”

“Scandalize her court. Yes we all remember,” her father said, rolling his eyes.

They all shared a smile a laugh and then her father checked his watch, “Whelp kiddo’s,” he said, addressing both Lizzy and Tricia. Work calls and I’m chauffeur today. Car’s out front…I’m going to go terrorize your mother for a moment and then we’re off like a prom dress.”

Tricia rolled her eyes again as her father stutter stepped around the kitchen, stopped to kiss the twins and his mother in law before bounding up the steps.

“Terrible, terrible man,” Natalie stated as she checked over the twins plates and cups, then looked at each to see if they might still be hungry. She still had cake left after all…

“No wonder he gets along so well with Kemo,” Tricia said thoughtfully, a bit of sadness touching her as she looked at Lizzy and smoothed the eight year old’s dark hair.”

Her grandmother looked at her fondly then and said, “Well, at least you’ll get to see him when the ship makes port in New York, the older lady said kindly. “And then you can share your secret…”

Tricia’s eyes widened in surprise as she met her grandmother’s sharp gaze. The older woman’s pointedly glanced at Tricia’s stomach and now Tricia colored a bit.

“How,” crept out of Tricia’s lips then she stopped and glanced at the children, shaking her head.

She wasn’t ready for those conversations yet…

“Because. I am old and I am wise,” Natalie said, as she added more cake to each of her grandchildren’s plates and slid Lizzies mug closer to her plate. “Drink up Elizabeth dear,” she add as her first great grand daughter looked at the two women.

After a few minutes, George had returned and bustled his daughter and grand daughter out of the kitchen, leaving Natalie and the twins.

Smiling to herself, Natalie stood to refill her tea cup and got the twins up to take their plates to the sink and then ushered them up to get ready for their day.


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