Jon froze by the door. This didn’t sound like it was going to take a short answer to make her happy, Jon thought.
“Sure baby girl.” Jon started back to the chair beside her.
“If things were different, would you have fought to stay with Mom?” She asked him quietly.
He sat there a few seconds, letting her question sink in. In his mind went back to the day Dorothea had told him that it was over. Her lawyer had served the divorce papers to drive the nail in. He knew that she had been seeing Graham for months or even years while he was on tour, granted he hadn’t been celibate all that time either. He had tried to make a go of it, the family trips to St Barts, and whatever else that made her happy, it failed.
“Steph, there were times before the divorce, that I’ve tried.” Jon started, and sifted in the chair. “I took that year off, we did St Barts and Europe. We tried to make it work.”
“But,” Stephanie shifted in her seat. She remember the trips, but also the yelling, when they thought they weren’t being heard. Graham had showed up in St Barts.
“No but’s we just had to end it before it destroyed you and your brothers. I could take the blame but it was mutual. She had Graham for several years, as long as I closed my eyes, and when your mom was happy and she kept the fighting to a minimum.” Jon explained. “I knew it was going on, when I called her on it, even followed her to his apartment. All she could tell me was that it was my fault for touring so much. She said it felt like I couldn’t wait to get away from her. We just couldn’t make it work.”
Stephanie thought hard on what he said, her mother had said just about the same thing when she asked her.
“You and Lexie seem to be able to work things out.” Stephanie more made a statement than asked a question.
“Yeah, she has her writing and her book tours, and I have the band and concert touring.” Jon thought about what he had just said to her. They did have a good marriage, they both did something they loved to do. Lexie’s new editor was a dream, which made it more harmonious, not like how it had been with her former editor.
There was a knock on the door and Lexie stepped in.
“I’m not in the mood to cook tonight, I was thinking about pizza and salads.” Lexie suggested.
“Pizza would be great.” Stephanie said getting out of the chair and going to give Lexie a hug, before heading out of the office.
“I don’t think you’ll get any arguments from the boys.” He held out his hand to her. When she took it, he pulled her on to his lap. “Have I thanked you for handling everything here till I got home?” He let her cuddle in his arms. “I do, you’re one strong woman, Lexie.”
“It’s all smoke and mirrors Jonny, I was so afraid of what I would find when I got to the hospital, or that she would not open up to me and let me take care of this.” Lexie sighed and put her head on his shoulder.
“I think she’s finally had her eyes opened and maybe grew up just a little.” Jon told her as he took her hand in his and raised it to his lips.
“I hope so, I don’t want to see her ruin her life. She has a long way to go to get to that place she needs to be in.” Lexie said softly as watched Jon fight to keep his eyes open. “Why don’t you go on up to bed and rest till the boys get home, and I’ll wake you up for dinner.” She got off his lap and drew him up from the chair. Standing at the bottom of the stairs, she watched him slowly make his way up to bed.
She went into his office and made the calls she needed to make then went up to the nursery to spend time with the trio.
Dinner with the family was a zoo, the boys were excited that their dad was home. Everyone was talking at the same time. Stephanie went back up to her room, while the rest of the family did homework with Lexie and Jon looking online and through flyers on Seaforth. They made arrangements to go for a visit in a few days, giving Jon time to rest.
Sometime around midnight, Lexie went down to the kitchen to get a snack. She and Jon finally celebrated his homecoming till they were both satisfied. Jon was snoring when she left the room. She remembered that she had hidden a pint of Chunky Monkey in the back of the freezer, behind the Brussels sprouts bag.
After getting a spoon she sat down at the bar and took off the lid. Ahhh! Nothing like a Gastric Orgasm to follow a few actual ones! Taking her first spoonful she heard footsteps on the stairs. She looked up from her ice cream just as Stephanie walked into the kitchen.
Stephanie was shocked to see Lexie down in the kitchen, she thought she’d still be in bed with her dad. The ice cream in front of her meant that she would be down there for a while.
“Grab a spoon, it’s good that the boys don’t like frozen Brussels Sprouts, or it would be gone.” Lexie said as she ate another spoonful. “I haven’t eaten off this side.” Pointing her spoon to the still full side of the container.
Stephanie went and pulled out a drawer and got a spoon and went over to the bar and sat down beside Lexie. Lexie turned around so Stephanie could spoon out the untouched spot.
“Thanks, I thought you would still be in the bed with Dad being home?” Stephanie dipped her head a little and stuck a spoon of creamy banana ice cream in her mouth.
“I left him snoring his head off. I guess I need to get used to wearing earplugs.” Lexie laughed and when Stephanie started to relaxe.
“Yeah he snores like that when he comes back from London, the weather does him in.” Stephanie took another spoonful.
“Good to know,” She put the spoon down in the lid and sat back and watched her bought and paid for daughter. She had to stop thinking like that, but Stephanie never made her feel motherly.
“I want to thank you.” Stephanie said putting the spoon down.
“Thank me for what?” Lexie asked shocked with this turn of events.
“For being there when I needed you. For going to the hearing today, I know I haven’t been very nice to you lately, and I’m sorry for that.” Stephanie looked up at her mom, and she was her mom, legally.
“I know it was a shock when I married your dad and later adopted the four of you. And I know that, you and I never really got off on the right footing, but I would never turn my back on any of my kids. As hard as it is to believe, I would not be the mother I am to the trio, if you four had not trained me to be a good mother.” Lexie told Stephanie noticing that what she had just said, was the truth.
Stephanie took another bite of the ice cream and thought about what Lexie had said to her. Putting the spoon back down as she reached for a napkin.
“I sort of thought mom and dad would get back together, but now I can see he really loves you, and I know you love him.” Stephanie told her.
“Yes I do, I love him very much, just as I love all seven of my children.” Lexie wanted to reach out to Stephanie, but she was afraid she’d pull away.
Just when she was about to give into the temptation, the overhead light came on.
“That’s where you are.” Jon said as he rubbed sleep out of his eyes.
His hair was sleep rumpled and his sweatpants hung low on his hips, and Lexie couldn’t love him more than she did right now.
“You caught us Dad, Lexie hide some ice cream and we’re having a girl’s confession session, sort of like my roommate and I used to do.” Stephanie got up and put her spoon in the sink. “Thanks Mamma Lexie, Night Dad.” She kissed her dads cheek and headed up the stairs.
Jon turned and watched Stephanie head back upstairs, then turned and looked at Lexie. He started to say something but Lexie stopped him.
“Baby steps Rockstar, Baby Steps.” Lexie said as she felt tears burn the back of her eyes.