Everything went fine on Thursday night, the waffles were a bit hit with Alphonse and Logan. Bed time? Not so much. It took us two hours to get them into bed and halfway through the night, Alphonse ended up in bed with Ben and myself. Logan was found in bed with Mark later that morning. I guess he knew that Mark needed him that night.
We had another hurdle the next morning when Ben decided he was going to go into the office only for half the day. Alphonse didn’t want to let him go. Ben managed to talk Alphie in to letting go and was out of the house while I stood in the backdoor with a crying child I couldn’t understand yet.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt that helpless.
I tried my best to calm Alphie down, but there was nothing that I could say to him that wouldn’t seem like I was patronizing him. So instead I held him close and let him cry. Miles walked in then and looked from us to the backdoor and back.
“Ben went to work already?”
I nodded. “He promised a half day and not to leave the office, which means he’ll stay the whole day and leave the office whenever he can.”
Miles laughed. “Got him nailed.”
“Yeah well, I pick up on people fast.” “I said as I cuddled Alphie. “You’re going shopping with us today, by the way.”
Miles whipped around from where he was poking in the fridge. “Shopping? My favorite word.”
“Alphonse needs clothes. You’re going shopping with us.” I said.
Miles looked from me to Alphie and back. “Why am I going again? I’m not suitable for children.”
“You’re a boy.”
“I’m a gay man.”
“Male. XY chromosome.”
Miles’s forehead wrinkled as he thought, then sighed. “You win. I can’t think a come back for that this early.”
I laughed. “If you behave, I’ll let you drag me in to the wedding shops.”
With that, the smile was back on Miles’s face. “You hear that Alphie? Your Mom is going to let me dress her up like a princess.”
Alphonse smiled up at me and reached up. I bent down and he touched my face. Miles laughed.
“I think he’s saying you are pretty.”
I smiled at him and then swooped in to kiss his nose. “I think you’re pretty too.”
Alphonse blushed and looked down at his hands. Miles grinned.
“You have an effect on men and little boys, Lowe.”
I smiled and got out my mixer. “More waffles today?”
Alphonse nodded so hard he almost fell off his chair. Miles grinned and helped me make waffles for everyone. As soon as the first batch was finished, Mark walked in to the room with Logan perched on his back and shoulders. He trumpeted a hello and startled us; we didn’t see them walk in. I was teaching Alphonse how to get the waffle out of the waffle iron.
“Hey. Breakfast?” I asked and held up a waffle.
Mark looked at all of us and shook his head. “No. I’m going to work.”
We watched as Logan hopped off Mark and on to Miles as he headed out the backdoor.
“What was that about?”
“We brought home Alphonse. He doesn’t approve.”
“Well I can see the hesitation, but you’re right. You can’t hide until all of this blows over.”
“I think that’s what he wants us to do, because of all the forced changes.” I said.
Alphonse grabbed my hand and looked up at me.
“What is it, Alphie?” I asked.
He mimed sad and pointed at the backdoor.
“Oh. You think Mark is sad?”
“Well, that is something to consider.” I kissed Alphonse’s head. “I’ll think about it, okay?”
“Come help me wash dishes. I’ll show you how.” I said to Alphie and smiled when he pushed his chair over eagerly.
Together we washed the dishes. I smoothed over looks of concern when a plate was dropped and blew bubbles at Alphonse to make him smile. When they were done, we were both covered in suds and I declared it was bath time before we went shopping. I hauled Alphonse up and over my shoulder while he laughed and took us both upstairs. It didn’t take much to convince him to get into the tub, especially when I put bubbles in to the water. Dish soap is a great thing.
After Alphonses’ bath it was my turn. While I showered, Miles helped Alphonse in to his clothes. They were both ready to go by the time I got downstairs.
“Well, this is a first. Usually I’m waiting on you.” I said to Miles.
“Alphie insisted on helping me get dressed so I couldn’t procrastinate.” Miles said.
I laughed and grabbed my coat. “Let’s go.”
We trooped out the door and headed for the garage. After getting in to the Jeep, we headed out and to Serene Harbor. It was the only place that I knew of to get all Alphie’s clothes in one place where we wouldn’t have to leave. As soon as I parked and we got out of the car, Alphonse’s hand was in mine and his eyes went wide.
I looked down and spotted Alphonse’s look. “It’s okay, Alphie. No one is going to hurt you here. Just stay next to me, okay?”
Alphonse nodded and we walked in to the mall. Miles dragged us from store to store. We walked out of a shoe store with boots for Alphonse who I could see was on the verge of an epic meltdown. His mouth was drawn and he looked really confused.
“Miles, let’s go shop for my dress.” I said.
Miles stopped dead in the middle of his sentence and looked at me. “You were serious this morning, weren’t you?”
“Yes.” I said and tilted my head to where Alphonse was.
Miles looked down and nodded. “Dress it is.”
I gave Miles my bags and scooped up Alphonse who was sniffling.
“Alphie, honey, do you want to go help me choose my wedding dress?”
Alphonse looked up at me with wide eyes.
“It’s a dress that’s very special. Would you like to help me pick one?”
“Okay, but you have to keep it a secret. A Secret is a promise that you can’t tell. Understand?”
Alphonse scrunched his nose up.
“You can’t tell Daddy, understand? He’s not supposed to know about my dress.”
Alphonse nodded with a little smile.
“Okay. Let’s go pick one out.”
We headed in to the first shop and were immediately cooed and fussed over while we all picked out gowns for me to try on. Even Alphonse lost the storm clouds in his eyes and helped Miles. He manged to pick out two. One he wouldn’t let go of, it was a strapless with an a-line cut and way too much skirt for me. The second was a mermaid gown that was covered in lace. I shook my head and tried them on anyway.
I stepped in to the dressing room and with the help of the attendant, I tried on the mermaid gown that Alphonse had picked out first. I silently thanked my lucky stars that I’d thought of this to save the day. When the lady helped me zip up I realized that my kid had good taste. The sleeves were lace down the arms and covered me up to my neck, leaving the back free and even had a small train.
“My kid has a good eye.” I said and the attendant laughed.
“He does, but this isn’t your dress.” She said.
“How do you know?”
“You’re not glowing, but lets show them anyway.”
I smiled and walked out to show Alphonse and Miles. As I cam around the corner of the dressing rooms, Alphonse clapped. That caused everyone to laugh.
“Well, the kid’s got a point. You look hot.” Miles said.
“I have eyes, don’t I? I can appreciate a fine figure, but that isn’t your dress.”
I laughed. “That’s what the attendant said.”
I saw Alphonse frown and I bent down to explain. “Honey I’m not glowing. You’ll know my dress when I’m wearing it, okay?”
Alphonse looked like he was unsure of what I said, but nodded. I kissed his forehead and headed back in to the dressing room. I tried on one of Mile’s gowns next, but discarded it before I even got out of the dressing room. It was too froofy. Yes, froofy is a word. It was a ball gown.
I picked up the next gown, the one Alphonse had picked out and wouldn’t let go of. As the attendant was doing up the row of buttons in the back, I looked at myself in the mirror and all of a sudden I was crying. This was it. It was my dress. I looked back at her and she nodded.
“Yes, this is the one. I can see it in your face.”
I smiled and looked over the gown. It was plain ivory, drop waist that was an a-line cut and a full tulle skirt. The top was pleated to the waist, that dropped in to a scrollwork pattern that reflected on the skirt. I was in love with the dress. I had to show them. I grinned at the lady and walked out to Miles and Alphonse.
I rounded the corner and relished the look on Miles’s face. His mouth opened and closed like a fish. Alphonse slid off his chair and walked over to me. He reached up and I bent down. He touched my face, which I’d started to realize was his way of saying beautiful.
I smiled down at him and kissed his forehead. “I think so too.”
I looked over my shoulder at the woman behind me. “I’ll need a veil and the accessories that go with this dress. It’s mine.”
The woman nodded and hurried off to gather up the matching items. Miles came over to me and hugged me hard.
“I never thought I’d see you in your dress. I always thought that you’d get married where I couldn’t go.” He whispered.
“I could never get married without you, Sheep.” I said as I hugged him back. “You’re the only family from back there that I’d want standing with me.”
I felt a tugging on the dress and Alphonse motioned that he wanted up. I scooped him up and kissed him. He hugged me hard. I had a hard time putting him down when the attendant came back over with my veil. I dipped down while she pinned it on. I stood up and put the earrings in that she handed me. When I was done I turned to Miles and Alphonse. Alphonse started to clap again.
“I think so too, Alphie.” Miles said. “That’s it. Man, Ben is going to be so mad when you tell him you found the dress before you guys set a date.”
I laughed and motioned for the attendant to follow me back in to the dressing room. She helped me get out of the gown and while I was pulling on my clothes, they bagged everything. I came out of the dressing room and went to the register so that I could pay for the dress and the alterations. It was just a little bit big and a little too long. After paying for everything, I realized that I did not have shoes.
“I need shoes.”
“What? Now?” Miles said.
“I need shoes, for the dress.” I said.
“You have ages to find them.”
“Nope. We’re finding them today. Come on.”
I marched us back in to the store and asked where the best place to buy shoes was located. They steered us to a smaller shoe store Miles and I had managed to over look.
“Shoes.” I said as I walked inside with Alphonse, who was looking a little worried.
We poked through the shoe racks until I found them at the very back of the store, forgotten in a pile. My shoes were a pair of white satin pumps with almost the same kind of scroll work on the backs, going down the heels.
“What do you think?” I asked Miles as I tried them on.
“I think it’s damn fortunate that we’re here today. Those shoes are fifty percent off.”
“Well I’m not going to question it. They’re here, they will be mine.” I said as I turned to Alphonse. “Well?”
“Good. They’re mine.” I took them off and placed them back in to the box.
I was pulling my shoes on and gathering up my things when I heard the door open and a familiar voice run through the shop.
“I’m telling you, I saw her through the window! She was trying on dresses! Wedding dresses!”
I laughed. “Hello, Grandmama.”
Grandmama Murphy’s head whipped around and spotted all of us standing there.
“My baby!” She said as she rushed forward and hugged me. “Was it really you in that dress?”
“Yes, Grandmama.” I said with a smile.
“You’ll make that boy cry.” She said.
“Good. I don’t want to be the only one crying when I get married.”
Grandmama Murphy laughed and hugged me again. Then she spotted Alphonse.
“and just who is this?” She asked.
“This is Alphonse, you’re great-grandson.”
Grandmama Murphy looked from me to Alphonse and smiled broadly. “Well-A-Day! I’ll be. I didn’t know you and Ben were adopting!”
“We didn’t either until we saw Alphonse. He’s ours.” I said as I looked down at Alphonse. “Alphie, this is your Great-Grandma Murphy.”
Alphonse smiled up at Grandmama Murphy and lifted his hand.
“He wants you to bend over.”
Grandmama Murphy bent over and Alphonse touched her face. I smiled.
“He says you’re beautiful.”
“Well I think he’s pretty too.” She said as she stood up. “Dinner this week so you can explain. I’ll be over. For now, I’m off to go brag my babies are getting serious.”
I laughed and kissed her cheek. “I love you Grandmama.”
Miles handed me back my box and while I paid he was kissing and hugging grandmamma Murphy goodbye.
“Well, I think it’s time we went home.” I said to Miles when he got back.
“I think so too. I’m actually tired of shopping.” Miles said.
I gasped. “You?!”
Miles laughed. “Shut up.”
We made our way back home in record time and were just hauling in the bags when Ben got home. I smiled up at him and kissed him hello after dumping my bags on the table.
“What’s all this?” He asked when we broke apart and scooped Alphonse up.
“We went shopping for Alphie’s clothes and a few other things.” I said with a smile.
Ben didn’t notice. He was staring intently at Alphonse, who was smiling.
“You bought your dress, but he won’t let me see what it looks like.” Ben said with a little pout.
I laughed. “That’s right. I made him promise not to tell.”
“I like the shoes though.” He said as he kissed me again.
I kissed him back. “Now we just need a date and my ring.”
“Still insisting on that?”
“Yes I am.”
“That’s good because I have it with me.” Ben said as he set Alphonse down on the table and pulled a box out of his pocket, opening it up and taking a ring out. Set in to the white gold band was a flower that held a pearl. I gasped.
“Oh Ben.” I said.
“I take it it’s perfect?”
I nodded with tears in my eyes. I looked up at him. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” He said as he slipped the ring on to my left hand.
I kissed him hard and broke apart laughing when Alphonse clapped.
It was perfect.