What Happened to Baby Cameron?
by: E Walk
(© 2009 by the Author)
The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the
author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...
Christmas Eve Day
By the time we got to the ranch, Gisele had the guys in a trance. She threatened them, “I have two thirteen year brothers, a seven year old brother and a five year old brother. I make them do all the work when I’m home. I expect to be pampered while I’m here.”
Cam asked, “What does that mean?”
Gisele sighed, “It means I’m allergic to work. I break out in bumps if I have to do any work.”
Cam wasn’t buying into her story, “Dad, what’s Miss Gisele gonna do when she has to take care of the horses. She’s probably never seen a horse.”
“Cammie, I’ve been riding horses since I was three. We got lots of horses back home in Argentina.”
“Geisel, please don’t call me Cammie. I’m not a girl.”
Gisele responded, “I’ll make you a deal, Cam. If you don’t call me Geisel, I won’t call you Cammie.”
When we arrived at the house, everyone was waiting to meet Jacob and his mysterious guest, even Hank. After a nice lunch, it became apparent that Gisele was going to fit in fine as she practically kicked Cam, Ricky and Randy out of the kitchen.
It was during lunch that we learned that Gisele’s family had flown home to Argentina for Christmas. Her father was the deputy to the Ambassador of Argentina to the United States and her family lived in Washington, D. C. Her parents would be back on the twenty ninth, and she and Jacob were going to go spend the New Years holiday with them before Jake had to go back to school for basketball.
After lunch, Hank took me aside, “I need to do some things. Why don’t you take the three boys and buy some gifts for Gisele, so she won’t be left out tomorrow morning. Bring the boys to the church for the eight o’clock Christmas Eve service. Kevin, Ramsey and I need to be there for the six thirty service. We can eat after the eight o’clock service.”
Jacob approached me, “Dad, what should we get for Ricky and Randy. Are they really going to be our brothers?”
“As of now, they will be after the first of the year. We’re not saying anything to them, in case something should happen to preclude the adoption from taking place.”
“Jacob, how long have you known Gisele? Why hadn’t we heard about her before now?”
“Dad, Gisele and I have dated off and on ever since we were freshmen. It wasn’t until school started this fall that we finally began to get serious. We decided after Thanksgiving that we would get married after graduation, and I decided to keep it a secret until we got home. I hope that you’re not upset because we did that?”
I hugged Jacob, “Son, we’re not upset in the least. We were totally caught flat footed, that‘s all. As far as what to get the guys, they will appreciate anything. They have not had a very good life up to this point in their lives. Speaking of gifts, what can we get Gisele other than a gift certificate?”
Jacob chuckled, “Dad, I honestly don’t know what to tell you. The only thing I have for her is her engagement ring. I have no idea what the size is of anything she wears.”
Our conversation was interrupted by Tim, Denise, and Gisele. Tim announced, “Dad we’ll see you for dinner. Come on Jake, we need to get going.”
I went into the kitchen and Ellie was sitting, making a list of things that she needed to do. “Ellie, is there anything I can do to help you in any way?”
She shook her head no, “Not that I can think of, but we need to get some gifts for Gisele.”
I chuckled, “I was going to ask what you thought we should get her. Jacob was absolutely no help at all.”
Ellie nodded, “I haven’t any idea, since we just met her. Whatever you get, make sure you get a gift receipt so she can return it if she would choose to do so.”
I rounded up Cam, Randy and Ricky and we started for the mall. While we were driving, I explained what we needed to do.
Cam spoke up, “Dad, I saw that she had dangly earrings on. Maybe we could get a nice pair of earrings.”
That gave me an idea, “Did any of you notice if she had a watch on?”
Randy answered, “Daddy, I don’t think so. I heard her ask Jacob what time it was.”
Ricky spoke up, “Daddy, maybe we could get her some of that pretty smelling stuff that girls wear.”
The first stop was a jewelry store. The boys finally agreed on nice pair of emerald earrings because they matched Gisele’s eyes. I found a very nice watch that was very feminine. We had them gift wrapped and I paid with my debit card.
We went to a big department store, and of course the cosmetics department was right as you walked in. I went to the sales clerk and asked, “What scent would a young lady who is a senior in college like?”
The young lady laughed, “Sir, that’s a difficult question to answer, because there are so many scents to chose from. I’m a senior in college and I like to wear scents that are not so overwhelming. Let me get you three or four scent cards and you can see if there is one you think she might like. She can always return it if she doesn’t like it and get what she likes.”
She started to hand me the scent cards and I handed them to the boys. I definitely didn’t like the first scent. I didn’t like it at all, but I handed it to Ricky who was standing beside me. He smelled the card and handed it to Cam who shook his head no. Cam handed the card to Randy who smelled it and looked at me, “Dad, please don’t get this one it reminds me of something our mother would have worn to hide the smell of beer.”
The second and the third cards were nice and light, but the fourth was awful and we eliminated it right away. I told the boys to decide which of the scents we should buy. They decided on the third scent which also happened to the one I would have chosen.
I turned to the young lady, “We’d like to purchase this one.”
The young woman chuckled, “That’s a scent that is just new on the market. I told my fiancé that I wanted this scent for Christmas. If you will follow me, I’ll show you what we have available in this scent.”
We bought a boxed set with a bottle of perfume, a bottle of cologne and a container of bath powder. The set was in a fancy gold box and the young saleslady put a fancy gold bow on it and said, “Here you go, gentlemen. All you need to do is put a tag on it and its set to go. Hope the young lady likes it.”
Randy looked up at me, “Daddy, can we go now? We need to stop spending money.”
I put my arm around Randy, “We need to buy one more small gift that can be from the three of you.”
As we walked back into the mall, there was a card/novelty items shop. We walked in and the boys were looking around and Cam came and started to pull my arm, “Dad, I know what we can get. Gisele starts with ‘G’, right?”
I nodded yes. The boys were looking at a boxed stationary set that had a fancy gold G in the corner of the of paper, and note cards and on the back of the envelopes. “This would be a perfect gift for the three of you to give Gisele.”
When we arrived at the ranch, no one else was there. We quickly wrapped the stationary and put tags on the other gifts, and the boys put them under the tree.”
They were eating their snack when Tim, Denise, Jacob and Gisele arrived. Gisele challenged, “As soon as you finish your snack, we want to go for a ride, so I can prove to you that I know the front of the horse from the back.”
That was all that it took and the boys were finishing their snacks. I walked out on the patio to watch the seven of them come out of the stable. Tim had Ricky in front of him and Jacob had Randy. Denise was on Anastasia and Gisele was on Natasha. Cam appeared last and challenged, “Last person to Uncle Dusty’s and Aunt Mimi’s place has to do the dishes all weekend.”
I watched as the five horses were galloping toward Dusty’s ranch. Ellie arrived as I was starting to go inside. As she climbed out of her car, I asked if she needed any help and she said no. When we were inside, Ellie asked, “What should I fix for dinner?”
“Ellie, Hank is going to take us to get something to eat between the 8:00 and 10:30 services. Why don’t we let everyone fix their own sandwiches and have some melons. Surely that will keep the three youngest from starving. They just had an orange for a snack.”
The phone rang, “This is Steve Michaels.”
“Steve, were you successful in taking care of your mission?”
“Yes, Cowboy, the boys and I successfully completed our mission. They have very discriminating tastes. I think you’ll be pleased.”
“Good, tell everyone to eat light before they come to church. I’ve made reservations at the Golden Rooster buffet for nine fifteen. I figure that would keep everyone from starving and keep the boys from thinking about the arrival of Santa. I miss you. I’ll see at 8:00.”
When the seven young people arrived back, Ricky came into the kitchen and got a bag of apples and was out the door without even saying boo.
When they all arrived in the kitchen, Cam announced, “Grandma Ellie, “Denise, Tim and Ricky have to do the dishes all weekend. Come on, Randy and Ricky, let’s wash our hands so we can set the table.”
Gisele started to laugh, “I thought my brothers were active, but these guys have my brothers beat by a mile. There will be no rest for the wicked when the five of them get together.”
The three boys returned and Cam asked, “Grandma Ellie, what are we going to need for dinner tonight?”
I stepped in, “Cam, everyone has to make their own dinner. We’re only having sandwiches and some melons. Your Daddy just called and we’re going to the Golden Rooster after church.”
After we ate our sandwiches and melons, Jacob took the three boys to get ready for church while Tim, Denise and Gisele did the dishes, what few there were.”
I was in the shower when Jacob came into the bathroom, “Dad, I don’t know what will happen if you aren’t able to adopt Ricky and Randy. Cam says he's going to kidnap them if you aren’t allowed to adopt them. He wanted to know if he could bring them and live with me.”
I hugged Jacob even though I was naked and he was nearly naked. “Son, he’s become very attached to the two boys in a very short time. He’s even been saying prayers asking that they be able to stay.”
Ellie rode in my car with me and the three boys, Jacob and Gisele rode in the vehicle with Tim and Denise as we went to the church. When we arrived at the church, Hank was watching for us. The three boys ran to hug him.
Hank, Chris, Kevin and Ramsey not only sang one special song, but three throughout the service. Ricky was sitting on my lap and Randy and Cam were sitting on either side of me and I was surprised at how good they were. When the offering plate was passed, I watched as both Randy and Ricky put in a dollar bill before they passed it along to Cam who also did the same.”
I whispered in Ricky’s ear, “Where did you get the money?”
He whispered, “Cam gave them to us and told us to put it in the offering plate, so God would make you our Daddy.”
As soon as the service was over, we made our way to The Golden Rooster. Hank and Cam were leading the way. When we walked in, a lot of heads turned to look at our group of handsome young men and beautiful young women.
After we had eaten, Jacob announced, “We’ll take Grandma Ellie and the boys back to the ranch and you can stay and make sure that Dad Hank gets home safely after the last service.”
I figured I’d be the only person at the service from our extended family, since everyone had been at the eight o’clock service. Boy was I wrong. Tad came and sat down next to me and then I was joined by Cyndi and Michelle. Michelle said, “Chris said that they were doing a special song at this service, so I thought I had better come check it out.”
Our four guys were the only people in the choir loft. I figured that this would be a sparsely attended service, since the eight o’clock service had been so full, but that was not the case, because the church was full, albeit the congregation was older and there were almost no young people.
The four guys did sing a special fourth song as the candles were being lit. They sang it acappella as they started down the aisle and had the first person on the aisle light their candles as they passed by. When all the candles had been lit, they stood at the back of the sanctuary and sang the last refrain of ‘Oh Night Divine.’
When Hank and I got to his car, he handed me the keys, “Steve, you drive. I’m mentally and physically exhausted.”
The ride home was very quiet and I finally asked, “Hank, is something wrong?”
“Steve, I’m just tired. I keep forgetting that I’m not getting any younger. Remind to slow down.”
When we arrived at the house, the only lights that were on were the Christmas tree lights. When we walked in, Jacob and Gisele and Tim and Denise were sitting on the sofas watching the tree, and the fireplace was glowing. Jacob looked at us, I don’t suppose you have any of that noggy stuff around? Do you know how difficult it is to put three bicycles together?”
Hank started to laugh, “Just think, you’ll be experts by the time you have children of your own. And yes, we do have some of that eggy stuff around. Come on, Stevie, let’s get these people drunk. We’ll make two extra ones for our other two sons when they get here.”
Tad had heard what Hank had said, “I am here, and Kevin will be, shortly. Do you need me to take care of the drinks? Dad Hank, you guys were great tonight.”
Tad and I were fixing the eggnog drinks when Kevin came in, “Good, I was hoping we would have one of them thingies tonight.”
After we had our drinks, Tad took care of the cleanup and started the dishwasher, while the other three sons took care of the fire, and made sure everything was ready for when the three guys who supposedly were sleeping would wake up in the morning.”
Hank took a shower, since he hadn’t had one and when he crawled into bed, I held him, “Merry Christmas, my Cowboy.”
We were embracing when the door opened and three young boys came in, “Dads, me, Ricky and Randy are worried, because we didn’t write a letter to Santa telling him that they were gonna be living here.”
Hank stood and went to get some briefs, “You guys get in that bed. It’s too late to be worried about that, now. Get in bed and we’ll all keep our fingers crossed.”
Editor's Notes: I think it is reasonable to believe that, by sometime in the next chapter, we will see what happens Christmas morning. Ricky and Randy are going to have a wonderful Christmas, and chances are pretty darn good that everyone else will too. I can hardly wait.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher