What Happened to Baby Cameron?
by: E Walk
(© 2009 by the Author)
Editor: Radio Rancher
The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the
author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...
Who Are They?
Dear Reader: This is a sequel to We Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus. Five years have past since that story ended. Cameron is about to turn five and is in kindergarten at the Wentworth Academy.
For those readers who have not read We Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus. I’m Stephen Michaels and I’m now 44. My partner of nearly five years is Henry (Hank/Cowboy) Rodgers and he is now 41. You will meet the rest of our family as we go along.
Hank, Cameron Rodgers, Hank’s adopted son, and I were finishing breakfast with Miss Ellie when Cameron started to complain, “Dads, I don’t want to go to school today. I want to be here when the big guys get home.”
I shook my head, “Cam, Kevin isn’t going to be arriving until after dinner. We’re going to the airport to get him and Cyndi. The rest of the guys aren’t arriving until tomorrow or in the next couple days. Jacob won’t be here until the day before Christmas.”
Cameron slouched down in his chair, “Oh, okay, I’ll go to school.”
Hank put his hand on my upper thigh and squeezed it and sighed, “Cam, I guess you don’t need to go to school today, since you will only miss the Christmas party. You can stay here and be bored by yourself since Dad Is in charge of the party and I have to work at the mall.”
Cam sat up straight, “Daddy, I think I had better go to school and make sure that Dad does a good job.” He stood and picked up his dishes and took them to the sink.
“Dad, I’ll be back as soon as I brush my teeth and get my backpack.”
Hank put his arms around me and started to laugh, “A stranger would think that Cam really hated school. He’ll probably start asking how soon school starts the day after Christmas. Steve, meet me at the food court at the mall at noon. We can get some food and eat it in the security office while we make sure we have all the gifts we need away from little ears.”
Cam arrived with his backpack. I looked at him, “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
Cam looked confused, “Dad, what am I forgetting?”
“What about the bag of presents we wrapped last night?”
Cam did a u-turn and went into the family room then returned with a bag of gifts.
It is absolutely never boring when Cam is in the car. He started to talk as soon as he had his seat belt buckled. “Dad, make sure you don’t bring any of those cookies that taste like cardboard for snacks for the party. Bring something different for a change. And don’t bring any of those little bottles of juice.”
He never even gave me a chance to respond, “Dad, make sure we play some fun games for a change. We’re tired playing pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs.”
Fortunately we arrived at the Academy before I could receive any more instructions for the party. I parked and escorted Cam into the building, “Dad, why are you coming in with me? You almost never walk me in.”
“Cam, I want to talk to Mrs. Dee about the party. Why don’t you deliver your gifts to the other teachers before the bell rings? I’ll see you at the party.”
I walked into Cam’s classroom and Deanna was doing something at the white board. “Hi, Dee. I understand that congratulations are in order.”
Dee turned to look at me, “Yep, we had just about given up hope. The doctor says I should be able to teach until close to the end of the school year.”
“Dee, I’m in charge of the party this afternoon. Do any of the children have any dietary restrictions?”
Dee nodded, “We have one little boy who is allergic to peanuts. That’s all that I know about.”
I looked around, “I believe you have twenty children if they’re all here. I see you have them divided into groups of five, that’s great for one of the games that I have planned. I’ll be back about 1:45. I have the food scheduled to be delivered 2:30. Hopefully, we’ll have the children ready for dismissal on time.”
The bell rang and I met Cam walking toward the classroom talking to one of his friends. He waved at me but said nothing. I stopped at the Michaels Ad Agency and was greeted by Ted.
“Hi Ted, I just talked to your lovely wife. Dee is looking lovely as always. I guess the two of you are excited about the stork’s impending visit.”
“Yep, our parents are pleased as punch about the new one.”
“Ted, I’ll talk to you later. I need to check in and talk to Mr. Young.”
I stopped in Wayne’s office. Wayne Young is the Comptroller for the Michaels Advertising Agency. Wayne looked up, “Here you go boss, as you requested; I’ll let you distribute these special Christmas bonuses before I have the other bonuses delivered. I must say that you have been more than generous. That’s why these people bust their asses for you.”
I hugged Wayne and walked to my office area. When I walked in, Chris stood and shouted, “Everyone stand at attention. The CEO has condescended to pay us a visit. Remember, we agreed we weren’t going to bow down to him anymore.”
“Watch it, Christopher Farway, or you going to get your butt kicked back to the H.R. area.”
Chris was laughing, “Haven’t you heard, Mr. Michaels, I’m taking over as the head of The Human Resources Department now that I have my degree in Personnel Management and the incumbent is retiring. Thanks probably to you. Chris came and hugged me.”
“Cam, made me do it. Here, take this and perhaps you can buy an engagement ring for Michelle.”
Chris giggled, “I already bought one for her with the graduation gift that you and Mr. Rodgers gave me.”
I hugged my long time secretary, Mrs. Cynthia Wright. “Merry Christmas, Cynthia, here maybe this will help pay for the wedding that is probably going to take place in June. I guess that now that we are going to be in-laws, we need to learn to get along.”
Cynthia looked at me, “Steve, it has been a great time. Once we get Cyndi married, I am thinking of hanging up the computer and we can go retire in the sun. I have already informed Dusty to be looking for a replacement. This office is going to really miss Chris when he moves to H.R.”
I hugged Dusty. Dustin Summers is Hank’s nephew and is now running the Michaels Advertising Agency. He lives on the ranch next door to where we live. He and his wife, Mimi, have six children, Danny is now thirteen, David is eleven and the quadruplets are four. I handed Dusty his Christmas bonus check, “Dusty, you and Mimi should get away over the holidays while the guys and their friends are here to take care of the children.”
As I was leaving the building, I handed Ted, the Chief of Security, his bonus check, “Perhaps you can use this to buy some baby furniture for the expected arrival.”
Ted followed me to the parking lot, “Mr. Michaels, you have been more like a father to me than my father ever was. He is finally beginning to understand why I didn’t want to become a priest especially now that Deanna is expecting. All I can say is thank you for believing in me.”
I stopped at the restaurant where I ordered the food for the party to make sure everything was going to happen as planned. The next stop was a novelty shop where I had ordered the treats for the party favors.
I made my way to the mall and grabbed a cappuccino and was sitting at a table waiting for Hank to appear. The mall was busy and the food court was almost full. I was approached by two young boys. The oldest spoke for them, “Mister, could we sit with you?”
I looked at them, “Sure, I’m waiting for a friend.”
The younger of the two looked at the older boy, “Randy, can we please get something to eat?”
The older boy pulled some coins out of his pocket, “Ricky, this is all the money we have. I don’t think we have enough money to buy anything.”
The younger boy started to whine, “Randy, why didn’t Daddy and Mother come back for us last night, like they said they would. We gotta eat or we’ll starve.”
Hank was standing there in his Santa suit listening. I wasn’t liking what I was hearing, “Guys, did you spend the night here in the mall last night?”
Randy looked at me with tears in his eyes, “Please don’t tell anyone. Our parents said they would be back for us yesterday afternoon. They were going to look for a place where we could live. Daddy was supposed to start a new job here. When they didn’t come back and the stores started to close last night, we hid in a closet and stayed there real still, until this morning when we heard voices.”
I looked at Hank, “Santa, why don’t you take the two gentlemen with you, and I’ll get us some lunch. I’ll meet you in your office.”
Hank took the two guys and I went to look at the choices and tried to imagine what Cam would choose to eat if he were here. I decided on two hamburgers and two large orders of fries for the two young guys and Cobb salads for Hank and me. I stopped and got four Orange Julius drinks and two large cookies for the boys.
When I arrived at the Security office, Hank was questioning the boys, “Randy and Ricky, what’s you’re last name and where do you live?”
Randy sighed, “Santa, I’m not sure I know what our last name really is. Every time we moved; it was something else. We used to live in Los Angeles and our name was Calvin. When we moved to San Diego, our name was Jones. When we lived in Phoenix, our last name was Fine. When we lived in Las Vegas, our name was changed to Gold. When we lived in Salt Lake City our name was Smith. That’s the last name we had.”
The two boys devoured their food. Hank looked at me, “I need to get back to work. Take these two guys to school with you. I’ll call Elaine Gordon and the authorities to see what I can find out. Cam will crucify you if you don’t do a good job at the party.”
I took the two boys to the Academy with me and it was 1:45 as we were unloading the trunk of my car. With Ricky and Randy’s help, I was able to take the things for the party to Cam’s classroom in one trip. I looked at Ricky and Randy, “Why don’t you sit back there at the table while the party is going on?”
Two other parents arrived and Mrs. Dee, as the children called her announced, “I believe that Mr. Michaels and the other parents have some activities for you today. I expect you to behave like ladies and gentlemen.
I started the party, “I’m glad to see that you are all here today. The first game is going to see which team can build the fattest Santa. I’m going to each of the four groups a bag with some supplies and you need to decide how to use them. You have fifteen minutes.”
I watched as the four teams dumped the contents of the bags on the table. I watched as Cam’s group reacted. Once they realized what they had, Cam suggested, “Timmy, you be Santa. Here put the hat on; the rest of us will wrap the toilet tissue around you.”
The four people took the rolls of toilet tissue and started to wrap it around Timmy. Cam stopped them, “This isn’t working; we need to work as a team and do one roll at a time and pass it to the next person carefully so we don’t tear it.”
Cam’s team was the first team to finish wrapping their Santa and he was by far the fattest Santa when they were done, but I declared, “It’s a four way tie.”
Cam gave me the evil eye. I started to pass out Bingo cards, “We’re going to play Happy Holidays bingo.”
Cam looked at me and was shooting daggers for sure, but I ignored him and handed a card to Ricky and Randy.
The cards had the symbols of Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza. There was one symbol on all of the cards that I put in my shirt pocket. So as the game progressed, everyone had blackout Happy Holiday bingo except for one square. I reminded the boys and girls. “Remember, anyone who yells out when they win will lose their prize You need to raise your hand.”
I pulled the last card out of my pocket which showed a twinkling star and twenty two hands went up. I was passing out a bag of treats to each of the children, including Ricky and Randy when the food arrived.
I had two of the children passing out plates and napkins while the two parents were giving each of the children a piece of cheese pizza and holiday cookie pizza with red and green M & Ms. Dee was helping me pass out the small chocolate milk shakes. The children were still eating when the dismissal bell rang and parents started to arrive to see why their children were so late.
One mother looked at the children, “This must have been some party.”
Cam looked up, “My Dad was just following directions and brought something other than cookies that tasted like cardboard.”
After everyone had departed, the three boys were helping me collect the things. Dee said, “Mr. Michaels, this was a great party. It will be one the boys and girls will remember for a long time. I think it was the best party we have had since I‘ve been teaching here.”
As we were riding to the ranch, Cam was his usual non-stop talk person. “Dad, are these two boys going to live with us? Where are they going to sleep? Do I gotta share my Christmas presents with them?”
“Cam, your other Daddy is going to try to find out where Ricky and Randy’s parents are? Would it be so bad if they slept with you? Would it be so bad to have to share your Christmas gifts with them?”
Cam answered, “I don’t care if they sleep with me. But If I have to share my Christmas gifts with them then I want a new birthday so I can get some more presents. I can’t have a birthday party on Christmas because no one would come.”
Ricky asked, “Do you have two Dads?”
Cam was very matter of fact, “Yep, I got two Dads. One of them is driving us to the ranch and I guess that the other one is at the mall playing Santa’s helper.”
Randy asked, “Was the Santa at the mall Cam’s other Dad?”
I answered, “Yes that was Cam’s Daddy.”
Ricky looked at Cam, “If you got two Dads, how many mommies do you have?”
Cam answered, “I don’t have any Mothers. I have a bunch of brothers and they are going to be coming home for Christmas.”
Fortunately we arrived at the ranch before there were any more questions. Cam jumped out, “Let’s go see what Grandma Ellie has for a snack.”
Randy stopped, “Cam, we just ate, We aren’t hungry.”
Cam wasn’t to be deterred, “Well, I am. Besides she’d be upset if we didn’t eat what she has fixed for us.”
When I walked into the house carrying the remnants of the party, Ellie looked at me, “Steve, The Cowboy called and said that you were not to let Ricky and Randy out of your sight. He didn’t explain except to say it wasn’t a pretty story.”
To be continued...
Editor's Notes: I don't like the sound of that last statement. I am a bit worried as to what might have happened to Ricky and Randy's parents. Having said that, I somehow have a feeling that Ricky and Randy will not be lacking for love anytime soon. You have to remember when Santa is involved, there are almost always good things about to happen. Let's hope that this is indeed one of those times. I sure want the next chapter soon.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher