A Summer’s Dream: Part Two.
In A Summer’s Dream, we met Kate, Jordan, Scott, Rhyan and Pearl. They are five adventurous kids who are being adopted by James and Ana Florez. Today we can peek again into their life as they get set up in their new house . . .
As the sparkling waves crested the horizon, my siblings, our adoptive parents, and I crested the dunes and headed to the house. We had only spent a few minutes at the sea for we had other things to do. Besides, Ana promised we would most likely be back every day!
There was something about that swim in the ocean. It added the final touch to the magic of the house. As we headed in, dripping wet and laughing about the fun we’d had, I felt happy. I felt like I had when I’d first seen the ocean. And it was a good feeling!
We reached the house. There James and Ana showed us how to rinse our feet off every time we came back from the beach. And Ana told us to shower off in the outside shower before we got in the pool. They explained that if we didn’t rinse of we would get sand everywhere. So we showered and then, while Ana went to get pizza, we dove into the pool.
I was the last through the shower. I came out, feeling much better to be rid of all the sand. Scott and Rhyan were battling in a splashing war. Kate was gliding along the bottom of the pool and Pearl was leaping into the water.
I watched them all with a huge smile on my face. Then, after soaking in the scene, I took of dashing over the short distance to the pool. Out from under the second story deck and into the brightness of the sun I ran. I reached the pool and vaulted into its sparkling depths! I came up and sighed. I knew right away that I loved the pool as much as the rest of the house.
“Don’t you love it!?” Rhyan laughed.
“Yes! It’s awesome! This is like a dream come true! A pool! The ocean! Warm weather! This house!” I turned and gazed up and the yellow house smiling down on us. “I love it all!”
“Me too.” Kate grinned.
“Yep.” Scott nodded, “This place is great!”
“Hey guys,” James leaned out the basement door just then, “the truck is here, I’m gonna help unload. If ya’ll want you can help me, but you don’t have to.”
“Ok.” The twins and Pearl nodded.
“I’d like to help.” Kate decided. “James, would you mind bringing my suitcase down so I can change?”
“Yah. And mine too.” I added, a little shyly. I still wasn’t the most comfortable around James and Ana but, I was still trying to just be myself.
“Sure.” He agreed. “Your’s is yellow, right Kate?”
“Yah, and Jordan’s is the ancient one.”
“Right!” He laughed and disappeared back in the door.
Meanwhile, Kate and I climbed, sopping wet, out of the pool.
“One thing about it,” I decided, “I am never wearing jeans to the beach again!”
“Agreed.” She laughed as she looked at our soaked clothes. “I’ll enjoy it more with swimming suits.”
“Oh, I don’t know if I could enjoy it more!” I exclaimed, “I love that ocean!”
“It’s a little big.” She decided, “But, I like the pictures. I think I got some good ones!”
We stood, dripping by the little deck, till James peeked out again.
“Your suitcases are in the twins’ room and here are two towels.” He handed the towels to us, “Just go in the bathroom down here to change.”
“Ok.” We nodded and marched up the steps into the house.
“Ugh.” I noted as I peeled of my wet jeans. “I still have sand in my pockets!”
“Uhuh.” Kate agreed as she dried off. “I see why people invented swimming clothes!”
It felt so good to be dry again, or, at least, to be out of wet jeans. I loved the feel of water and how it cooled me off but I did not like sticky, wet clothes!
While Kate grabbed a T shirt and a pair of jeans, I stuck on my sunshine shirt, and a a green, knee-length skirt. Already the beach was reminding me of my love of color and dressing up. Some how the beach just agreed with those two things! After changing we bounded up the steps to see how we could help.
The truck had backed up to the front door, which was the door that the outside stairs led up to. Inside that door was the landing between the basement and the second floor.
“Hey, girls.” James greeted as we bounded up the steps.
“Hey.” We grinned.
“Here,” He handed me Scott’s green backpack and Pearl’s stuffed, pillow pet. “would you take these to the kids’ room, please?” He wondered.
“Sure.” I grabbed both things and trotted down the stairs. Meanwhile, Kate followed James out to the truck to get a load.
The two guys driving the truck helped us unload. The work went quickly and soon we had the suitcases, Christmas decor, lamps, chairs, beach umbrellas, beach toys, two bikes and all other things unloaded.
Everything was either in the garage or piled some where in the house. Nothing was organized, still it was there. Then, just as the men headed out the door and we started inside, Ana pulled up in the suburban.
“Well, I came back in perfect time!” She laughed as she trotted up the steps, the pizza in hand.
“Yes, I believe you were just in time.” James agreed with a teasing grin.
Ana chuckled and wondered, “Would you get the kids? We might as well eat!”
“We might as well!” James went to get the twins and Pearl, but I didn’t head upstairs right away. Instead, I headed to my room.
My old, decorated suitcase and my backpack sat on the bed. Beside them was a satchel with my favorite things in it. I looked at the sparse amount of belongings and then swept my eyes around the room. Ana had said that everything in the room each person picked would be theirs, theirs completely.
It was my bed. My lamps. My chairs! I had my own bed, I owned it! For the first time in my life I owned something bigger than a suitcase! I owned lots of things! I owned two whole chairs! I reached down and felt the fabric on the bed. It was my blanket. My own blanket, no one else’s! And I loved it so very much!
Opening my satchel I grabbed Willy. He was a well loved whale of ancient age. I had gotten him at an aquarium and he was the only stuffed animal I ever kept. He was rather tattered. And he still had a few stickers from the time Kate and I had thrown him into a sticker bush. But he was my friend and he had heard many tales in the middle of the night when I could not sleep.
Holding Willy, I plopped on the bed.
“I like this place.” I whispered. “I like it a lot.”
He seemed to agree, and I nodded, “It will be fun while we’re here! Will it not?” Just then the sounds of an elephant herd pounded swiftly by! “Well, there’s the kids, I better go.” I decided.
Standing up I took my suitcase and bags off the bed. Then I set Willy down on the bed and headed out the door. I glanced back and smiled, he fit perfectly into his new perch!
When I came up the stairs the twins were on the island stools talking animatedly. Pearl was getting a drink and Ana was setting the table. James was putting kitchen utensils away. There were dishes on the island, boxes on the floor and piles of things in the living room. The place was busy with activity and excitement, just like the camper had always been! Behind me, Kate came up the stairs and announced,
“MMM! I’m hungry!”
“Me too!” Pearl agreed.
“Oh.” I whispered, as a happy feeling fluttered into my soul. “Oh, I love it here!”
And all that day the happy feeling never left, until that night.
We had stayed up rather late that night. After all the next day was Saturday so we didn’t need to be up early. In fact we were done with school so we were planing on sleeping in a lot! James and Ana did send us to bed and they told us they wanted us to be quiet by twelve. However, we didn’t have to go to sleep right away.
Kate headed to her room to get her electronics set up. Meanwhile, the twins prepared to sleep in the bunk bed. Scott had the top bed but they decided Rhyan could share it some nights or they would switch every so often.
I headed to my room but I didn’t feel like unpacking. Instead, I grabbed Willy and slipped under the covers of my bed. After a warm shower and pulling on cozy pjs I was getting tired. Still I had to record the day. So I opened my journal and began to write.
“Hey, Jordan.” Pearl greeted me as she trotted by, she was headed upstairs.
“Hey.” I replied though it was a rather absent minded answer. I kept writing and remembering each feeling I’d had and each thing I’d liked about the day. I was describing the pool and its sparkling water when I heard a sniff. I looked up and saw Pearl coming in.
“Jordan.” She sniffed.
“Oh, Pearl! What’s wrong?” I wondered.
“Oh . . . it’s true!” She whispered, while starring at me with wet, blue-green eyes. “It’s what I feared!”
“What? What did you fear?” I wondered, setting Willy and my journal aside, “What happened?”
“James and Ana . . . they. . . don’t want us!”
“What? No! Of course they want us!”
“No, they don’t!”
“Yes, they do. Come here.” I pulled her into a hug, “What made you think that?”
“They said so.”
“What did they say?” I was surprised. “Did they tell you that?”
“No. I heard them when I went upstairs!”
“What did you hear?” I wondered.
“They were talking when I went up and they didn’t hear me. Ana said, ‘I love this house but it is a little small for all those kids!’ And James was like ‘Yah, do you think we out to keep them?’ Ana laughed and said that she guessed they better, but then they started talking quieter and I couldn’t hear them! I think they are planning to get rid of us!”
“No. Why would they do all they’ve done and not keep us?”
“Mona Thompson at the stuffanage said that’s what they do. She said a family tried to adopt her. But, then they discovered they were expecting a baby so they got rid of Mona! She said it happens all the time and the families don’t really love us and someday they’ll wish they’d never got us!”
“Pearl! That’s not true, look at all the families who’ve adopted, they still have their kids.”
“But look at all the kids who aren’t adopted!”
“Pearl, look how nice they’ve been. They will keep us.” Yet, deep down, I knew I had my own fears.
“No, we make one mistake and they see what a pain we are. And right away we’ll be gone! Oh, Jordan, I hate it! This house, this place you love it. It is so neat. But if I love it I’ll just break my heart like when we left the camper, or the orphanage. This will just be place number three that broke my heart!”
“Oh, Pearl, that’s why you haven’t acted very happy today. You were afraid to leave it!”
She nodded and moaned, “I’m tired of going from home to home.”
“But, you always have us. You only go from house to house, with us you’re home, right?” I sighed not knowing what to tell her. “Oh, I have an idea!” I finally announced, “Go to Kate’s room and I’ll get the twins. We need to have a sibling meet.”
“Ok.” She got up and plodded to Kate’s room. The twins and I met them a minute later and we all piled on Kate’s bed. Pearl told us her story so we could all contemplate it.
“I’ve been worried of that all along.” Scott noted.
“Yep.” Rhyan agreed, “What if we get to crazy or loud? Do you suppose they would really consider getting rid of us?”
“But why would they do all they have done and then just get rid of us?” Kate wondered.
“Yah. If they really care enough to do all they have, then they won’t give us up easily!” I decided.
Suddenly Rhyan grinned, “Guys, I have a great idea!”
“What?” We all leaned in, even Pearl did
“We’re all afraid they’ll act like they’re adopting us and then not do it. For all we know they’ll get rid of us no matter what so let’s just be us! Let’s have adventures like we used to and do the crazy things we always did. So far when we’re with them we are quiet and not at all like us. If we’re quiet and easy they’ll keep us of course, but if we’re not so quiet then we’ll see if they really want us.”
“So test them out and see what they’re made of?” Scott wondered.
“Oh, not purposely test them, just be us. Let’s do things we want to do. I want to climb up on the roof. Jordan wants to surf. And You, Scott, want to sneak out and stay on the beach all night. Instead of being so shy let’s be us and do that stuff!”
“Good idea.” I agreed, “If they’re sending us back they will sooner or later. It might as well be sooner before we believe we are staying.”
“But I really like it here. Why should we try to get sent away.” Pearl cried, “That’s not gonna help us!”
“We’re not trying to get sent back,” I announced, “we’re trying to just be us. We didn’t say let’s try to get sent away. We said don’t worry about them getting rid of us. Besides, if they send us away we’ll still be together.”
Pearl sighed, “Well, that’s true.”
“Maybe we should try talking to them.” Kate suggested, “Do you suppose they were just joking?”
“They probably were.” I agreed, “But talking is not going to help. If they want to be rid of us they probably won’t tell us to our faces.”
“That’s right.” Kate groaned, “Then I think Rhyan’s plan is good.”
The rest of us grinned at each other. I was quiet sure our wisdom was correct. After all, what we knew to do was prepare to leave if the place got to dangerous. I was sure that wasn’t a bad plan, it was just a plan that protected me, and my siblings, from getting hurt.
“Well,” Rhyan wondered, “do we have a plan?”
“Be crazy, be us, have fun. Yes, we have a plan.” I pronounced.
“Then let’s do our sibling vow and also vow to fulfill our plan!” Rhyan grinned.
“Let’s do this thing.” Kate agreed.
And as we all stood up a new feeling, an adventurous, excited feeling, swept over me. My thoughts of the morning flooded me again. While we were at that house, however short the time might be, I knew we would love it! For some reason I didn’t believe we we’re going to really live there forever. And I knew if we were prepared to leave then we would be fine. I caught Pearl’s hand in mine and smiled at her,
“It’ll be ok. I promise.” I whispered, “If we all remember our vow we’ll be alright. No place, however good or bad, no time, however long or short, can take the love we all have. Siblings stick together in heart. Remember that, ok?”
She nodded, “Ok. And you’re right, when I’m with you all, I’m home!”
“Yes,” I smiled, “home is the people, not the house, however nice it may be.”
“But,” Kate added, “while we’re here, let’s enjoy the house!”