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The next morning we arranged to have room service deliver our breakfast, as we wanted to sleep in a little. We didn't have to check out until 11 a.m. so we thought that this would be a nice treat. The girls were going to come down to our suite about 9 a.m. as that was when breakfast was being delivered.
The boys got up a little later than I did and decided to have their showers in my ensuite, with the multiple shower heads. I answered the knock at the door, and when I opened it Carol was standing there. She said Katie and Marty would be down shortly. As she entered, she stopped abruptly.
"Omigosh! I didn't know you had a streaker in your room, Dad," She said, as she had a big smile on her face.
I turned around just in time to see Jake's naked bubble butt disappear into the boys' room.
"I'm sorry, Jake isn't into clothing this early in the morning," I said as I laughed.
Breakfast arrived just as Katie and Marty joined us. By now the boys were decent and came out into the living room, where we were going to eat.
"Well, that outfit's a little less revealing than the one you were wearing 10 minutes ago, Jake," Carol said as she smiled at Jake.
Jake turned 10 shades of red, and apologized, as the rest of us laughed. It took him about 5 minutes to recover, as he was really embarrassed.
He was recovered enough to have a substantial breakfast though, as did Sean and Marty. The boys loved having room service again, and made sure there wasn't much left on the platters when they were finished.
"Pack up boys, and be careful not to crease your dress shirts ..... unless you don't mind ironing them again."
Needless to say that comment didn't go well with Sean and he gave a pained look. The girls and Marty didn't know what was going on, and when he had left the room I explained what had happened.
"Well, we're going to have to have a talk with little bro about that," Katie said. "It took me a year to train Marty," she said as Carol and I laughed.
We were picked up by a stretch limo after we got packed up and checked out of the Grand Floridian. The limo was going to take us to the game, which was in Dunedin Florida and wait for us and take us back to the house after.
When we got into Dunedin, we had some time to spare, and I had the limo stop at a sports store.
"We need a couple of things before we get to the game, boys," I said as I smiled at them.
We ended up getting a couple of ball gloves for the boys, as well as Marty. Marty was a big kid at heart, and was having as much fun this week as the boys. We also got a couple of Blue Jay jerseys and hats for the boys.
"Now we're ready for the game," I said as I smiled at the 3 of them.
We arrived at the Dunedin stadium in time to see some of the warmup. The stadium held about 5500 people and has been the home of the Blue Jays spring training since the early 90's. We had great seats about 10 rows back down the third base line. We bought programs and got seated. The boys and Marty took their programs and went down to the end of the stands and stood by the fence to see the players as they came out of the dugout. Sometimes they stopped and signed autographs, and we could see from where we were sitting that they did get some.
"Carol tells me that the adoption hearing may not go as well as we'd like," Katie said.
I brought her up-to-date on Sean's grandfather, and the unfortunate choice of judge assigned to the case. I also told her that Ray would be representing us.
"We want to be there for the hearing. Is it Ok if we come?" Carol asked.
"I don't see why not. It can't hurt, and certainly would be appreciated by both of us, from a moral support point of view."
"I just can't imagine you two not being together," Katie said.
"I also can't believe what you and Katharine told us about his behaviour that was documented in his CAS file," Carol said. "Both Jake and Sean are great kids."
"Carol tells me that Jake still lives in Sean's old neighbourhood. If I remember, that neighbourhood is one of the worst in the city. Is there anything we can do to get Jake and his uncle our of there?" Katie asked.
"I'm working on it. I've got a plan, and we'll see how it goes."
"The two of them are such good friends. It would be possible to keep up their friendship even though they weren't near each other, but it sure wouldn't be easy. I would hate to see the two of them drift apart," Katie said.
By now the game was ready to start and the boys and Marty took their seats. It was very gratifying watching the boys as the first inning unfolded. They were so animated and were really into the game, as they cheered and bounced up out of their seats when the Blue Jays got a home run.
During the third inning, the boys had just finished their second hot dog of the game, when a foul ball came into the stands. It bounced and was coming right for us. Sean and Jake reached up and Sean was able to snag it.
"Good catch, buddy," Marty said as we all smiled at Sean.
The boys spent the rest of the inning looking at the ball and going over the play. Jake didn't feel the least bit jealous that Sean came up with the ball.
At the end of the 6th inning, the Blue Jay mascot came up the aisle near our seats. Jake stood up and the mascot motioned him over to him. He put his wing around Jake and we took a picture. Then Jake and the mascot did a little jig, which entertained the entire section.
"Where'd you learn to do that?" Katie asked him.
"I just made it up," he said with a big smile on his face.
Marty had captured the dance on his camera, as it was capable of taking video. We all thought that that would be a good clip to send to Pietro when we got back to the house in Naples.
When the game finished, Jake, Sean and Marty went down to field level to see if they could get the ball signed that Sean caught. When they came back they showed us the one signature they were able to get, and the ball that one of the players gave Jake with his signature on it. Both boys and Marty were beaming from ear-to-ear.
The limo got us back to the house in Naples shortly before 6 p.m.. The girls and Marty were going to stay overnight and leave early the next morning. The boys were going to have to sleep together, as I had no choice since we needed the other two bedrooms.
The boys and I were going to play golf after they left and we were flying out the day after tomorrow. When we unloaded, I volunteered to go to the grocery store to get some steaks to barbeque, salads, vegetables and dessert, as we didn't feel like going out.
When I got back, everyone pitched in and we prepared a great impromptu meal. Marty, Jake and I were packing the dishwasher and putting things away while Carol and Katie stayed out in the lanai with Sean. They wanted to spend as much time with Sean as they could before they left tomorrow morning. The two of them sat down in chairs on either side of him. I couldn't see what they were looking at, but whatever it was Sean was very interested in it.
When we were finished and joined them, I instantly recognized that it was an old photo album they were looking at that we had at the house.
"I can't believe how much you look like your dad, Pop," Sean said as he smiled.
We spent the next half hour going through the album and the girls and I told family stories, which illuminated the various pictures we looked at. I could see that Sean was genuinely interested, and longing for that family experience. I was hoping that what had happened in the last few weeks would just be a taste of what was to come for him.
"Dad tells us you have a girlfriend," Katie said as she smiled at him.
"I don't know ... maybe," he replied, as he blushed.
"From what Dad told us, I'd say she's your girlfriend," Carol said as she laughed.
Now Sean was really blushing red, with a smile on his face, as he was looking down at the ground.
"You know either one of us would love to have you come and stay at our places in Toronto some weekend, and you and Melissa can see each other," Carol said.
"Dad knows we'll be good chaperones," Katie said as she laughed and looked at me.
I was pleased at the interaction between the girls and Sean, and I was proud of them that they wanted to spend time with him. I guess they missed having a brother to grow up with, as much as I missed having a son to raise.
Jake and Marty now joined us in the lanai, as they had finished sending the video to Pietro on my laptop. Jake had also called his uncle to touch base with him again. He said that his uncle had to work on Saturday, and that he would have to pick Jake up later that evening.
"I'll call your uncle back and suggest that he picks you up at the townhouse Sunday morning, if that's alright with you?" I said as I smiled.
He agreed, and I made the call. I also invited Pietro to stay for lunch, as I wanted to broach the subject of my plan to him. Pietro was grateful that he didn't have to come and get Jake late at night, and he happily accepted the invitation to lunch.
We were all tired, and we got ready for bed early. I went into the boys room and sat on the side of the bed.
"Did I tell you that I had a great time with you two guys this week?"
"It was great, Pop. That's the best week I've ever had. Thanks," Jake said with a big smile on his face.
"Me too, Pop. I'm sad it has to end," Sean said as he lowered his voice.
"There'll be lots more weeks like this," I said to the two of them, as I gave them a big smile.
"Now right to sleep, OK."
I tucked them in and tousled their hair.
The next morning was a busy one. After breakfast we said goodbye to the girls and Marty.
"You be a good boy for Dad, little brother," Katie said as she smiled at Sean.
"Don't forget our invitation to come stay with us and spend time with your girlfriend," Carol said to Sean, as she emphasized the word girlfriend.
Sean blushed and the two girls hugged and kissed him goodbye. They then turned to Jake.
"Please don't ever lose that sunny disposition, Jake," Katie said as she hugged and kissed him.
"You're a wonderful young man, Jake, and a great friend to our little brother," Carol said as she also hugged and kissed him.
I had noticed that Katie and Carol had referred to Sean as their brother, which gave me a great deal of pleasure to hear.
By now it was mid morning, as they left in the limo. I called the club and got a tee time for 11 a.m. We made our way over to the driving range to warm up before we played the short course.
We then chipped and putted for about 10 minutes. I showed the boys some tips on their putting stroke and reading greens. They were very attentive, and showed a keen interest in learning the game. I was glad, as it would be something they could play the rest of their lives.
When we got to the first tee, another older boy by the name of Jamie was joining us. He was about 16, and wasn't able to get on the regular course until later in the afternoon, so he was going to play the short course instead.
We played the first 3 holes, and the boys were a little bothered by him as he had a bad temper. When we were playing the 10th hole, Jake and I were near each other on the right side of the fairway waiting for Jamie to play, as he was away. Sean and Jamie were on the left side and were near each other. Jamie hit, fluffed his shot and immediately slammed his club down on the ground. Sean then got ready to hit, and before he addressed the ball, stopped and turned around to say something to Jamie. Both Jake and I noticed that the discussion was a little heated, and we made our way over to them.
"Listen prick, I don't have to fucking watch my mouth. I'll say whatever I want," Jamie said as we came within earshot.
"If you don't apologize, I'm going to tell my Pop what you just said," Sean said, with fire in his eyes.
I got in between the two of them, and told Jamie that he was going to have to play by himself, and that I was going to report him when we got to the 18th. I told him we were going to play ahead, and that he was to wait until we had finished the next hole. He wasn't too happy, and he never did apologize to Sean. I guess Jake was rubbing off on Sean, as he was very assertive.
"I'm very proud of the way you handled that, but what would you have done if he had physically threatened you? He was a lot bigger than you."
"He made me mad. I wouldn't have backed down," he said firmly.
I explained to him and Jake as we walked down the fairway, that in some situations, discretion is the better part of valour. I told them that sometimes it's better to back down, and wait for the opportunity to complain or bring the problem to someone's attention. I was getting the sense, that when Sean was pushed, he could become a real scrapper. I was hoping that we didn't have too many incidents like this in the future where he put himself in jeopardy, but I wasn't betting on it.
We had 5 holes to go and Sean was struggling with his swing. We were playing a par 4 and he had already taken 4 strokes and he wasn't close to the green, so I suggested that he pick up and put his ball on the green and putt out.
"I want to finish," he said curtly.
I decided to leave him alone, and he ended up finishing with an 8.
"A snowman, buddy," I said as we went to the 15th tee.
Neither boy knew what I meant by a snowman, so when I explained that the number 8 looked like a snowman they understood. By now however, Sean wasn't in a good mood.
"Do you want me to tell you what's wrong?"
I pointed out, that it was protocol not to tell a playing partner what was wrong with his game, unless they asked. He agreed and I corrected something in his downswing, and he said he remembered that Kevin had told him that in golf school. He took a few practice swings as I watched, and he was able to make the correction.
The next holes were much better for Sean, and we were able to speed up our play.
We were on the 18th green, and Jake had putted out and it was Sean's turn. I didn't realize, but the boys had a friendly competition for bragging rights going, and they were very close in score. As a matter of fact, if Sean was able to make the 12 foot putt he had they would tie. I helped him read the putt, and he lined it up. I noticed as he did, the tongue came out, and he stroked it into the centre of the cup. He pumped his fist like Tiger woods, and let out a big 'yes', as he quickly walked to the cup to pull out his ball.
"Well done, Sean. And well done, Jake," I said as I gave them both big smiles.
We took off our hats and shook hands. Both boys were really happy at the way they played, even though their score didn't reflect it. They were getting better, and the main thing was they were having fun. They were also very happy at the result of the competition, as neither one wanted to see the other lose.
We made our way to the house after we had a late lunch, and the boys went into the pool. I was checking email, as I kept my eye on them from the great room. I was just about finished when I heard a commotion outside. There was a cloud of testosterone as I looked out and saw Jake and Sean wrestling on the grass around the pool. They had knocked over one of the heavy deck chairs and were rolling around on the grass laughing.
"Boys, stop!" I yelled as I ran out.
They stopped immediately and looked at me with sheepish looks.
"What are you two doing?" I said as I glared at them.
They explained they were fighting over the basketball that they were playing with in the pool.
"You could have broken something out here, but worse, you could've hurt yourselves. Both of you need some time out."
I sent them off to their rooms, and I said that I would come and get them when I was ready. After about 20 minutes, I called them into the great room.
"Is there anything you two want to say?"
Both of them said that they were sorry and that they wouldn't do it again.
"I'm not as concerned with the rough housing, as I know that you two are typical boys. What I am concerned with is the fact that you were irresponsible about where you did it. You could have broken something, or worse you could've been hurt. If that chair had fallen on one of you, we'd be in the hospital now with one or both of you injured."
Again they apologized as they hung their heads down.
"So you two are going to do all the cleanup after dinner tonight as your punishment."
We had a great barbeque of Chicken, leftover salads and some frozen yogurt with fresh fruit. After dinner, the boys cleared the dishes, and I wouldn't let them use the dishwasher. They washed and dried everything by hand.
When they were finished, they came over to sit on either side of me on the couch. I could see that they were feeling their necks, as they cuddled close to me and said they were sorry again. I put my arms around them and drew them closer.
"This is nice boys, but it's too bad the way we got here," I said as I smiled at them.
We decided to watch a movie for the rest of the evening. We found another Harry Potter movie on the Pay Per View channel and I went off to the kitchen and made us a big bowl of popcorn. When I returned to the couch, both boys cuddled up to my side again, so I put my arms around their shoulders. They were a little subdued, and I knew it was because we were going home tomorrow.
When the movie was finished Jake asked, "Can we go back into the pool before bedtime?"
"Ok, but no rough housing," I said.
I joined them, and we played with a frisbee for about another 1/2 hour.
We dried off and by now it was time for bed. They were both in their own rooms, as I suggested they needed the sleep as tomorrow would be a tiring day as we flew back. Surprisingly neither objected.
When I went to tuck Jake in, he was almost asleep. When I bent down and tousled his hair, I noticed that he had a big smile on his face. I tucked him in and said goodnight.
When I went into Sean's room, he had Teddy with him.
"Well, did you bring Teddy up-to-date? You haven't seen him for a while," I said as I sat on the bedside.
He just smiled at me, nodded his head yes and rolled over. I leaned down and kissed him on the forehead, tousled his hair and tucked him in. This was a routine I knew I would never tire of.