Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chapter 16 - Changes

I did not want to leave the house when my parents did.  Not only have we established that my father is a jerk and my mother is a flake, but Roman has always been much more of a father to me than my own was.  My cousins have been like brothers to me.
I'd expected for my father to go ballistic when I told him but he didn't have much to say about that.

For once in his life, he recognized futility when it reached out and smacked his jaws.  I was right on the heels of adulthood.  

Anyway, Roman and Yvette have been kind enough to let me stay.  I do my best to make sure that they don't regret it.
I threw a surprise party for Roman's birthday; I think he was a bit non-plussed at being the center of attention.  Of course, is anyone ever really plussed?

As soon as the party ended, he shocked everyone by adopting a baby girl.  Had he not always wanted a girl, I'd have feared senescence.  Is Monique spoiled? No, babies always smell that way.
No sooner had Monique arrived than Lizbeth discovered that she was pregnant with Pierre.
Roman is right in his element with babies in the house again.   They're babies for such a short time.
I thought I'd outdone myself with Roman's birthday party but it didn't hold a candle to his collaboration with me for Yvette's.
I don't know where she found time to have a birthday; when she comes home from work, she races to the computer to program some more.  She relaxes by entering game tournaments, which she nearly always wins.
Lizbeth is phenomenal as well.  Besides working in the garden, she's the most athletic woman I've ever met.  I try to keep in shape, but she puts me to shame.
My career is taking off nicely, thanks to the cooking I've been doing since my teens.  I'm learning quite a bit about mixology as well.  Etienne's career is quite literally taking off.
Alain is becoming quite the sensation in the art world.  Somewhere between paintings, he managed to complete Josette's collection of elements.
Monique is following in his footsteps.  She spends a lot of time with her niece, Shannon, Edouard's youngest.  She met her Uncle Luc as well.  I didn't warn her about him; if he hasn't mellowed by now, she'll find out for herself soon enough.
Pierre would much rather play video games than study.  His parents and grandparents ride herd on him, so his grades remain respectable.
Now that the children are in school, Roman seems to be at loose ends.  He helps with homework, continues to work in the garden, paints a bit and forages for collectibles.  He's always worked so hard that I don't think he knows how to relax.  It's a shame, because if anyone has ever earned his relaxation, he's the one!
All too soon his time has come.   I'm too devastated to say anything beyond  "Godspeed, Roman Desjardins.  You were far and away the best father I ever knew".

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chapter 15 - No Failure to Launch

Please disregard what I said before.  Call it  too much drama, too little sleep, too little help, too many spewing plumbing fixtures and too many computers crashed to blue screen.  Add all the horror stories I've heard about how much worse things are with teens in the house.  I wasn't at my best.  
The difficulty of teens is vastly overrated; it's been much smoother sailing since their birthdays.  
Etienne has gotten serious about his schoolwork and helps around the house without even being asked.  I couldn't ask for better; I even have time for an occasional card game.
The twins had birthdays as well.
Alain is conscientious about stepping up to help around the house.
He has taken an interest in his great great grandmother's collections and spends every spare moment seeking out collectibles.  He's well on the way to a full-fledged museum; he's already completed her fossil collection and found the last extant My Sims figurine.
Edouard is a good student and conscientious about helping out in the garden, but it's clear that his heart isn't really in it.  He prefers to spend every available moment with Linda Ling.Linda is such a spitfire she can even hold her own with Luc.  I don't snicker where he can see me; he's gotten scary lately.
He is still perpetually spoiling for a fight.  He prowls the bars and usually manages to find one.  
During one of his expeditions he was asked "Are you a turtle?". Needing to keep the language G-rated, he was unable to supply the correct response and had to buy a round of drinks.  Once again, I didn't snicker in front of him.
He's taken up collecting challenge coins. Unfortunately, he isn't buying them on E-Bay but acquiring them more directly.  I'm sure that last one was quite a trophy.  
I'm not sure how he and Bella managed it, but Michel is a tidy, well-mannered child who likes to draw and play the piano.
Yvette and I had grown apart for a while but have since rekindled the romance.  Who knew that her computer mischief could stand her in such good stead?  She's become a tech guru and is advancing quickly up the ziggurat.
 Etienne has grown into a fine young man.  He's refurbished his grandfather's rocket ship and has joined the Space Patrol as a technician.  He needs to work on physical fitness in order to advance.  I'm not sure that this is what was meant by reaching for the stars.
Edouard married Linda at the first possible moment.  They live nearby.  He wants a large family and their first is already on the way.
Alain has rekindled his passion for painting.  He's interested in Hana but in no hurry to marry.

Michel has taken over in the kitchen.  We had a surfeit of grilled cheese sandwiches when that was the only recipe he knew, but these days we're feasting splendidly without my needing to lift a finger.

As soon as Etienne made it to astronaut, he got serious about courting Lizbeth. Michel baked their wedding cake.
Luc and Bella are gone.  Luc had always claimed to be a criminal mastermind, but I never took him seriously; Yvette often claimed the same thing.  When I saw Luc's room, I realized he wasn't kidding.  Before I'd come to a decision about that, he did his best to spoil Etienne's reception.  I never dreamed I'd see the day that a family member wasn't welcome here.  


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Chapter 14 - Responsible Adult in Charge

Lucien left us before Edouard and Alain were born, but, Reaper or not, he was determined to meet his new grandchildren.

The family threw me an epic birthday party.  Once again, the Reaper put in an appearance; this time for Uncle Jean-Paul.

Yvette is still stirring the pot.  Yes, that was me that she dared to streak.  And yes, that was me that she convinced to take a joyride in Lucien's rocket.  I realise that everyone needs a hobby, but couldn't she stick to gardening?

Her mother and I have tried again and again to warn her about hacking and spam propagation.  "So, how's that working for you, Roman?" Well, I'm becoming adept at computer repairs.

Even with few, if any, of his grandmother's paramours still alive, Luc still fights for any reason or none at all.

He found time between rumbles to elope with Bella.

She's putting the gym to good use and helping out in the garden.  For all that, I still suspect she's a few fries short of a Happy Meal.  Nonetheless, there's at least one more little Desjardins on the way.

And, in due time, Michel is here.  It's good to have another baby in the house, since Edouard and Alain are no longer tiny.

All of the boys continue to delight and amaze me.  Etienne and Edouard keep the house full with all of their friends, while Alain prefers to draw.

The Reaper arrived for Lia.  (I think he has ninja aspirations).  She'll be sorely missed, and not only because someone else (very short list of candidates here) will need to step up and learn to cook.

Yvette's birthday came and I'd never baked a cake before.  This seemed as though it could not possibly end well, but somehow it did.

I wonder if I'm really cut out for the challenge of being the only functional adult in the household. I'm exhausted and actually entertaining the thought of running away from home.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Chapter 13 - New in the Family

Yes, I am indeed well aware that my bride will be a challenge.  We have been close since childhood, after all.  Yvette is fragile; I'll need to observe both the spirit and the letter of my vows.  It won't be a hardship; I can't imagine going through life without her.

Yes, I'm also well aware that it's a challenging family I'm marrying into.  Mother-in-law and father-in-law are great; I'm sure that with a bit of effort I'll reach a modus vivendi with my brother-in-law.  As for my grandmother-in-law, well, it's a large house.
The wedding promised to go flawlessly.  Lia outdid herself with one gourmet item after another and Caitlin plays a mean piano.  The Grim Reaper did his best to ruin it by taking one of Caitlin's special friends but nothing could dampen my joy over Yvette's and my pledging our futures to one another.

The Reaper's visit and the wedding proved to be too much for Caitlin; Grim returned for her the next morning.  It's a shame that she won't know her first great grandchild.
And here he is! Meet Etienne Desjardins.  Yvette sailed through it like a trouper; me, not so much.

There's never a dull moment chez Desjardins.  I'm enjoying my son, learning the family business, keeping the plumbing in good repair and finding time for the occasional card game.

Lucien has a new project.  Yes, he read "Rocket Ship Galileo" too many times.  And yes, he and Lia inaugurated the ship properly.

Luc has a new project as well; her name is Bella.  

Speaking of Luc, he seems to have instituted a vendetta.  "My name is Luc Desjardins.  You have kissed my grandmother.  Prepare to die".

Yvette likes to stir the pot as well.

She's in a family way again.  Et quelle surprise! Les deux!