There’s no cute introduction tonight, just frustration and an apology. I am so sorry that I sniffed and frowned at Moms with kids who cry in stores. I really am.
Without further ado, here is my trip to get Logan clothing and shoes with Jude.
“Alphie get down from there!” I shouted as I held up Logan by his waist, trying to keep him from wiggling free and running after his older brother.
“Oh let him be, Red. It’s not like he’s going to get hurt. Besides, he’s having fun.”
I glanced sideways at Jude, who was enjoying this immensely. I handed her a wiggly Logan, upside down, and ran after Alphonse. Somewhere between his last visit to the shopping mall and this one, he’d decided that shopping was great fun and that he could get in to all kinds of mischief with his brother. As I neared the display that Alphonse had climbed, I looked up at him and grinned.
Alphonse decided this was a great game and immediately jumped in to my arms, laughing. I grinned at him and turned him upside down while carrying him over to where Jude was laughing while holding Logan.
“Oh shut up,” I said as I put Alphonse down and took his hand.
“I didn’t say a word.”
I grinned at her and we took off to check out with arms full of things for Logan. I had to juggle Alphonse’s hand while digging for my wallet and some how managed to pinch his fingers in the zippers. While he cried, Logan realized something was wrong and started crying too. I’d just about had it and was close to tears when the cashier handed me my card back and I signed the slip. Gathering up a sobbing Alphonse, then the bags of clothes, we made it out of the store.
“Okay Honey. I’m done laughing now. It’s time for a break. I say we go dump this stuff in the trunk and find some lunch.” Jude said as she took the bags from me and handed over Logan.
He was still in tears, clutching my neck tightly as I looked up at her. I nodded and cuddled both boys as best I could on our way back to the car. I handed over the keys and Jude stuffed everything in to the trunk, before handing them back to me and taking Alphonse in to her arms. Somewhere on the way back to the mall, they managed to clam down enough so that there were just quiet hiccups and soft sobs.
I was just about to suggest a kid-friendly restaurant when we passed by a wedding shop. I stopped dead and smiled over at Jude. She looked back at me, then at the wedding shop.
“Oh no. I’m not going in there with you.”
“My dress came in, I need to do the alterations. You need a dress for the wedding.” I said as I marched off toward the shop that I bought my dress from.
Alphonse realized where we were headed and started clapping and touching Jude’s face.
“What’s he doing, Red?”
“Saying you are pretty in his language.” I said over my shoulder.
“Aww, you little heart breaker.” Jude said and started tickling Alphonse.
I heard him giggle and Logan started to smile.
“We’re gonna go get Mommy her dress so you can see too. Can you behave for a little while longer?”
Logan nodded and I smiled down at him. I cuddled him close as we walked to the shop and swung in, laughing.
“Miss Oberly! I was so hoping you’d drop in to see us soon. Your dress just came in,” the clerk behind the counter said.
“I know. I got your email. Are you ready for me or do we need to wait?”
“If you wouldn’t mind waiting, we can get everything set up for you shortly.”
“Perfect. In the mean time, My future Mother-in-law needs a dress for the wedding. Can someone help us?”
The clerk beamed. “Absolutely.”
I turned and grinned at Jude. “Follow the clerk. I don’t have colors yet, so we’re going for cut.”
Jude sighed and handed over Alphonse and followed the clerk. The boys and I wandered the racks until we came up with dressed for Jude, which the clerks too back her. The boys and I were just settling in when Jude came out in the first dress, which was an emerald-green cocktail length a-line. It was sleeve-less with a beaded jacket. The boys clapped for her, but I shook my head.
“Not the right color. What about the blue one?”
“I don’t really like that one, but I do like that blue. I like this one and the peach.” Jude said.
“Let’s see the peach then.”
“All right, but I want to see you in that gown before we leave here today.”
I grinned. “You’ll see. I’m going to make your son cry when he sees me in that dress.”
“I have high hopes for this dress,” Jude said as she made her way back to the dressing room.
When Jude came back out in the peach dress, I knew that was her dress. It was a cocktail length dress with an a-line skirt that was tiered chiffon and a v-neck.
“That’s it. That’s your dress.” I said.
The boys started clapping and Jude smiled.
“Are you sure? The price tag.”
“Hang the price tag. I’m only getting married once and damn it, my mother-in-law is going to look just as hot.” I said.
Jude laughed. I grinned back at her.
“Go get dressed. They’re ready for me now.” I said.
Jude nodded and went to get dressed. As soon as she came out, I went in. It took a little while because they had to get measurements in a pair of heels for the dress and I didn’t have mine. As soon as they let me out of the dressing room, I made my way back to the front and showed Jude and both boys. I stepped out and heard more than one gasp. I looked up and found Murphy had joined us in the store.
“Found us again, eh grandmamma?” I said as I took a spin. “What do you think?”
“I saw Jude and came in. She told me what you’re doing. I’m almost tempted to have her go put that dress on so I can see the both of you.”
“Better yet,” I said and looked at the Clerk while pointing to Murphy. “Dress her. I’m going to need her there too.”
Murphy made all kinds of excuses as they took her back in to the dressing rooms. Jude came over to me and hugged me.
“You will make my boy cry, honey. I’m so proud.”
I laughed and hugged her back. “I love you son, of course I want to make him cry.”
Jude sniffled a bit and hugged her harder.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you found your dress.”
“Oh Jude, I didn’t know I was going shopping that day. In any case, you’re here now. Help me up on to the platform so they can hem me.”
Jude helped me up and while the seamstress was hemming my skirt, it took Murphy four dress changes before she found the right one. It was a mint green tea length chiffon dress with sleeves and a belted waist. I smiled down at her when she came up to me.
“Perfect,” I said and looked over at the cashier. “Add this one too. Don’t let her argue about paying for it.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” She said and hustled Murphy back to the room before she could protest.
I grinned down at Jude and stayed perfectly still while they finished the hem on my dress. Murphy was back then and Jude went and changed back in to the dress to show her while I changed out of my gown. As I was coming back out, I passed Jude and we hugged again.
“Enough crying, Mom. We need to get the boys lunch before they revolt.” I said.
Jude cried harder. “I’m so happy my boy found you. I get a daughter out of all of this and two great little boys.”
I started to cry and hugged her. “Go change. We’ll be outside waiting for you.”
I got a watery “okay” and Jude was off and changing in her dressing room. I paid for both dressed and made appointments for both women to come back and have any alterations done. Murphy was still there so I invited her to lunch with us. I’d filled her in on how we’d gotten the boys already, so she was asking about if they’d spoken yet.
“Not yet. I’m hopeful though. Ben says it usually takes a month or two.”
“How would he know?”
“He’s been in the archives for the last few days. He’s still recovering from the incident in the woods, so I’ve been making him go read up on what’s coming with the boys and next month with the satyrs.”
Murphy nodded. “Good sense, that. It’s going to be a mess for the next few months.”
I grinned. “That’s what Ben says.”
Jude came back then and we all trundled off to one of the nearest kid-friendly restaurants to have lunch. The boys managed to get most of the food in their mouths, which was hilarious to clean up when I found Alphonse had corn in his ear. Back at the car I shook my head.
“How does a kid get corn all the way up there?”
Jude laughed. “Get used to it. There’ll be more of that as they grow up.”
I grinned over at her. “I can’t wait. I love them so much.”
Jude hugged me and then went around to her side of the car and got in. Both boys were in the back, happily chattering away. I got in and we started our way home.
“I can’t wait to tease Ben about the dress.”
I laughed. “Alphie has been doing the same thing to Ben. Miles too. It’s been hilarious to watch. He’s so frustrated he’s already talking about dates for the wedding.”
“I know my boy. He’s going to try to sweet talk you in to an early wedding.”
“He can talk all he wants, I’m aiming for late April, early May.”
“Oh really now?”
“Yep. That’s when The Watch has the room that I want open. Plus, it’ll be kind of fitting. Getting married near or on the day we met.”
Jude patted my hand. “Great way to cap off your first year in Blueville.”
“I think so too.”
We spent the rest of the time home discussing what decorations to have and who to invite. As we pulled in to the driveway, the lights on the trees lit up and we were surrounded by Christmas.
It was good to be home.