“Love & Friendship”, Ch. 25: Valentine’s Day and Kaitlyn’s Sixth Birthday En Famille, 2/11/13 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #361 and Wattpad)
British actor Richard Armitage as Robert and American actress Diane Lane as Lydia, the 1940’s child actress Margaret O’Brien as Kaitlyn, Alfre Woodward as Social Worker Marla Washington, and others.] [(1ab) Story Logo]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Love & Friendship” is a romantic love story set amidst contemporary times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes or other sauciness (R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments. I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read those chapters. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s Recap: To their mutual joy, Robert and Lydia discover that she is pregnant when they visit a fertility specialist to see if they might become pregnant. And Robert and Lydia reaffirm to Kaitlyn that they still want to be her foster parents to her astonishment and happiness. Then they all find out at a foster care meeting that Kaitlyn may stay as their foster daughter and they may eventually adopt her. Their future as a family looks bright.
“Love & Friendship”, Ch. 25: Valentine’s Day and Kaitlyn’s Sixth Birthday En Famille
Since Kaitlyn is still considered their foster child by the courts—and Robert and Lydia want to maintain the continuity of her kid friendships—they plan to have Kaitlyn remain in the Foster Homes Center School through the end of the school year. So, on Monday, February 14th—Valentine’s Day and Kaitlyn’s sixth birthday—Robert and Lydia bring the treats to school for Kaitlyn’s classmates. Robert and Lydia have become regular fixtures at the school in dropping off and picking up Kaitlyn the last two weeks—as well as doing some teacher assisting volunteer stints. Since their first joint script film venture won’t start filming until the Spring in May—when Kaitlyn is almost out of school for the year—Robert and Lydia have flexible schedules as they work on pre-production details and meetings.
As Robert walks into the door carrying the jugs of apple juice and platter of homemade heart shaped cookies that Lydia made fresh and decorated with pink and red icing this morning, Lydia carries the lighter weight valentines’ cards, pink princess and prince decorations and cups and napkins, and games they’ll play for the short afternoon party they have planned. The teacher Mrs. Greene has the kids coloring while waiting quietly for their party to begin for the last half hour of their school day.
Kaitlyn: Spying her parents, Kaitlyn eagerly rushes over to them. “Mummy and Daddy!” Kaitlyn is agog with not only having parents, but with hosting the other kids to a party—something which she has also never been able to do before.
Mrs. Greene: “Welcome! We’re delighted that you’re able to join us today for our Valentine’s Day party that is also Kaitlyn’s birthday party. You can set everything down in our kitchenette area over here.” Each elementary school room has a kitchen and crafts area for just such events and activities.
Lydia: “Thank you. Robert, just set the platter of cookies down on the lower table over there where the kids will be able to reach it.” Of course, the kids—though still sitting in their seats as requested—look like they will pounce on the cookies as soon as they are released to do so.
Robert: “Here we go. Shall I pour the juice? It’s already cold, we had it in the fridge at home.”
Kaitlyn: “Mummy and Daddy, may I please choose which cookie I want first?”
Lydia: “Yes, of course. You’re the birthday girl. And, I seem to remember that you told us the boys ate a lot of the good food first. So, let’s do the polite thing and have the other girls pick their cookies out first, too. And then we’ll have the boys get their cookies.”
Robert: “Okay, boys, see me for your apple juice over here while the girls are getting their cookies. Then we’ll switch.”
The kids look over at the party area with anticipation, then they look back at their teacher.
Mrs. Greene: “Okay, everybody over here.” She says motioning to the kids.
And with that, the kids rush the cookies and apple juice. Robert thinks that it’s a good thing there are only twenty five kids in this class or they might have a stampede on their hands. Actually, they do have a kid stampede on their hands.
Kaitlyn: “Okay!” She says eyes gleaming looking over the cookie selection. She spies a pink princess decorated frosted sugar cookie on top and takes it for her own. “I’ll eat this one Mummy and Daddy. Thank you.” She smiles excitedly.
Then, the girls all pick out their frosted sugar cookies and head over to Robert for the apple juice while he sends the boys over to get their cookies. After everyone’s had their munchies, there is time for one game—pin the tail on the donkey using Velcro. Of course, not all of the kids have unerring navigation and they end up putting tails on some of their classmates—or the adults, to their amusement. But they all have fun and the kids all take home pink princess Valentine’s Day party favors consisting of temporary tattoos, a deck of cards, and post it note pads. In return, Robert and Lydia have the kids and Mrs. Greene sign a large pink princess birthday card for Kaitlyn to put up in her bedroom at home. Then the kids exchange their Valentine’s Day cards. All in all, it is a wonderful party and everyone is exhausted when they get home.
Though Kaitlyn has talked to them on the phone, she hasn’t yet had the chance to meet her foster grandparents—Robert’s parents–in the two weeks that she’s been living with Lydia and Robert. But tonight, as a special treat, Mum and Dad are taking the train down to London–and they will stay overnight in a plush hotel suite courtesy of Robert and Lydia, after Kaitlyn’s family birthday party. Kaitlyn is also allowed to have one overnight slumber party guest even though it’s a school night—her foster home friend Susie who will sleep on the roll away bed in Kaitlyn’s room. Happily, Mrs. Greene didn’t give the kids any homework tonight because it is Valentine’s Day and families might have special parties planned. So, Susie and her overnight bag ride home with the Kensington’s at the end of the school day. Then while Lydia and the girls—Kaitlyn and Susie—make dinner, Robert drives to the train station to pick up his Mum and Dad.
Lydia: “Okay girls, if you will set the table, I’ll keep stirring our spaghetti.”
Kaitlyn: “I’ll show you Susie.” Kaitlyn is an old pro at setting the table by now, Lydia thinks smilingly. Kaitlyn goes to the tableware drawer and pulls out the paper napkins and hands them to Susie.
Susie: “Mrs. K, how many people do we have coming tonight?”
Lydia: “Well let’s see.” Lydia says ticking the people off on her fingers. “There is Kaitlyn, and her Daddy and I, you, and Robert’s parents. So that makes six.”
Susie nods and puts a napkin down on the dining table at each of the six chairs’ places. Then Kaitlyn walks over with the forks and spoons—they don’t use knives unless they need to, less to wash up that way, and safer, too.
Kaitlyn: “Mummy, which plates are we using tonight? The pink princess ones?” Kaitlyn truly does have a one track mind.
Lydia: “Oh Kaitlyn Sweetie, we’ll save those paper plates for dessert.” Lydia says smilingly. “Let’s use the lighter weight tan plates for our spaghetti.” Then Lydia opens the oven to check on the garlic bread. But for some reason, the strong garlic smell makes her nauseous and sends Lydia running to the main floor guest bathroom nearby—with the girls trailing after her. Lydia makes it to the bathroom and barfs into the toilet. “Sorry girls, I guess garlic smells don’t agree with my tummy right now.”
Kaitlyn: “It’s okay Mummy. At least you made it to the toilet this time.” Kaitlyn says practically—thinking of the potted palm at the foster home.
Lydia: “Ha ha!” Lydia laughs. Kaitlyn has witnessed many a throw up episode by Lydia in the last two weeks.
Susie: “Are you sick Mrs. K?”
Kaitlyn: “No, Mummy is having a baby.” Kaitlyn smiles broadly.
Susie: “Tonight?” Susie looks over at Lydia worriedly.
Lydia: Laughing after flushing the toilet and then rinsing her mouth at the sink, she says. “No Susie dear, I’ve got about seven more months to go. I’m due in September.”
Just then, the grandparents arrive and seeing the kitchen empty, with the oven door partially open, Robert calls out in concern.
Robert: “Anybody home?”
Lydia: “In here.” She says from the guest bathroom. And then she and the girls troop out of the bathroom around the corner. “Hi Mum and Dad.”
Kaitlyn: “Hi Daddy! Mummy threw up, again.” Kaitlyn tilts her head and rolls her eyes.
Lydia looks at them, sheepishly shrugging shoulders. Then Lydia realizes that in all of their commotion with fostering and hoping to adopt Kaitlyn—and waiting until she was further along–they had forgotten to tell Robert’s parents that she is pregnant.
Mum: “Are you sick, Lydia Dear?”
Kaitlyn: “No, Mummy’s just …” Lydia gently puts her hand over Kaitlyn’s mouth.
Lydia: “Kaitlyn Sweetie, let Daddy tell them. Uh Robert, did you want to do the honors?”
Then introductions are given all around and dinner and merriment ensues for Kaitlyn’s birthday dinner and family party.
Robert: “Right. Mum and Dad, this is our little Kaitlyn …” Robert says lifting Kaitlyn up in his arms and twirling her around to Kaitlyn’s delight. “… and her school friend Susie.” He pats Susie’s head. “Kaitlyn this is my Mum and Dad, your grandparents.”
Of course Lydia, was thinking that Robert would tell his parents that sheis pregnant. So, Lydia looks hard at Robert trying to convey to him telepathically that he needs to do that.
Dad: “Well, don’t you look all sweetness in your pink princess outfit. I’m Grandpa.” He pats Kaitlyn’s head.
Kaitlyn: “Daddy, he rhymes, too.” She looks up at Robert quizzically.
Mum: “Yes, Kaitlyn Sweetie.” She says giving Kaitlyn a hug. “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. I’m Grandma.”
Then more of the garlic bread smells waft their way to Lydia and she runs for the bathroom again–just in time.
Robert: “I guess we chose the wrong meal for tonight. Ha ha ha!” He says laughing while closing the oven door and turning off the oven and the stove top.
Dad: “Oh, is Lydia allergic to garlic?”
Robert: “No, it’s just that certain smells seem to get to her at the moment.” Mum’s ears perk up. Lydia walks around the corner again, looking a little pale, but grateful that Robert shut the oven door which cuts down on the garlic smell. And she puts her arms around Robert’s waist and he puts his arm around Lydia’s shoulders. Robert and Lydia [(2) right] look at each other lovingly, then turn to face his parents. “ You see, we are …”
Kaitlyn: “… going to have a baby!” Kaitlyn claps her hands with glee not being able to contain herself from spilling the happy news. “I’m going to be a big sister!”
Susie: “That’s nice Kaitlyn.” Susie says matter of factly–having heard the news earlier this evening.
Of course, there are hugs and kisses and well wishes all around from Mum and Dad for Robert and Lydia and Little Kaitlyn. They go on to have a lovely dinner and birthday cake for Kaitlyn. Then, the girls—Kaitlyn and Susie—get into their jammies and go to sleep early in Kaitlyn’s room after a bedtime story by Lydia, since it is a school night.
Around 8:30pm, the adults gather and sit around the fireplace sipping their nite caps—with Robert having only coffee since he’ll be driving his folks to their nearby hotel. And, of course, Lydia also having just decaf coffee since she is pregnant.
Dad: “Well, this is quite exciting news! A new granddaughter in Kaitlyn, and a new baby on the way!”
Mum: “Yes, kids. This is wonderful!” She can’t help but be enthusiastic since these are her first grandchildren.
Robert: “I agree. I can’t wait! And if you couldn’t tell from Lydia’s morning sickness, she can’t wait, either.”
Lydia: “Yes, I seem to have the round the clock version of morning sickness, unfortunately.” Lydia laments.
Mum: “So, how far along are you?”
Lydia: “About two months. If all goes well, I’m due sometime in mid to late September.” Of course Lydia watches Robert’s Mum face, seeing the mental calculations going on and Lydia winces.
Robert: “Ha ha ha! Folks, it’s going to be close, but we conceived the baby sometime before our wedding.” Robert’s Mum gives her husband a knowing look as she nods her head.
Lydia: “Robert!” She says chiding him for admitting to his parents that they slept together before they were married—as if they didn’t know. “Folks, it’s not what you’re thinking. While at your home that first time, we didn’t …” Lydia starts to say, but stops herself as she blushes–remembering that Mum and Dad thought that her and Robert’s exercise sounds were lovemaking sounds.
Robert: Rocking his head back in laughter. “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Now Lydia my love, many a Kensington baby has been conceived under our roofs. But this baby got its start right here.” He says squeezing Lydia’s shoulders as he sits next to her on the couch. Of course, Robert’s parents look at each other and wonder if they should take his statement literally about the location of where the baby was conceived—the couch?
Lydia: “Are you sure about that?” Lydia asks him cheekily. “It might have been Paris, you know.”
Robert: “Hmmm. You might be right.” He nods his head and then nuzzles her neck.
Dad: “That’s my boy!” Dad’s are always proud about continuing the bloodline. “So, what are you having? A boy or a girl?”
Robert: “It’s too soon to tell.” Then Robert turns to Lydia and asks. “Lydia Darling, are we going to find out what sex the baby is ahead of time?”
Lydia: “Well, considering we have kid sleeping arrangements to work out, we probably should. But they won’t be able to tell us the sex of the baby until about the fourth or fifth month. I’ll be happy either way—with a slight preference for a boy since we already have a daughter. As long as our baby is healthy, that is all that matters.” She sighs.
Robert: “I agree.” He kisses Lydia warmly on her lips.
Mum: “Lydia Dear, are you concerned about your diabetes?”
Lydia: “That’s part of it, and my age.” She says offhandedly.
Dad: “What about your age?” He asks quizzically.
Then it dawns on Robert and Lydia that his parents also don’t know that Lydia is about nine years older than Robert.
Robert: He smiles broadly. “Well, I guess tonight is full of news. Lydia Darling, it’s your news to tell.”
Lydia: “Well first, let me say, thank you for the compliment. I guess I’ve held up well.” She says amusingly.
Robert: “Now Lydia Darling, you’re beautiful!” Then he says cheekily with a deadpan expression on his face. “And all the moisturizing helps.”
Lydia: Poking him gently in his ribs, she says. “Watch it mister, or I’ll put a bug in your ear—and not help you get it out this time.” He winces amusingly. “You see folks, I’m a little older than Robert.”
Robert: “She robbed the cradle in marrying me!” He says mischievously and Lydia looks embarrassed. “Oh now Lydia, you don’t look—or act—your age.”
Lydia: “Well god knows, you don’t act your age sometimes, Robert. And I’m not meaning that in a good way.” She now says cheekily with a deadpan voice and expression.
Robert: “Ha ha ha!”
Mum: “Oh, just tell us your age and get it over with.”
Lydia: “I’m almost nine years older than Robert. I’ll be forty nine when the baby is born.” Lydia scrunches up her eyes and waits for a response.
Dad: “Is that all? We’ve still got over twenty years on you, Lydia Dear.”
Mum: “Speak for yourself, Dad. I’m only going to be sixty six this year.”
Robert: “Like I said before, Lydia Dear, look over at Dad and that’s me in thirty years.”
Dad: “I take umbrage with that remark.” Dad says while somewhat prosperously filling out the club chair he’s sitting in.
Lydia: “Well, hopefully the kids—including Robert—will keep me young.” She says impishly.
Mum: “So how many kids are you hoping to have?” She asks interestedly.
Robert: “Let’s just work on these two in the pipeline and we’ll see what happens after that.” Lydia nods her head in agreement.
Later, Robert drives his parents to their hotel for the night. Then, he’ll pick them up for breakfast and a morning together before they take the afternoon train home.
To be continued with Chapter 26
1) The Love & Friendship” story logo is a composite of two images:
a) British Actor Richard Armitage in a December 2010 Promo portrait found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/2010Promo/album/20Dec2010-Perou-03.jpg; and
b) American Actress Diane Lane at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011 found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Diane_Lane_%28Berlin_Film_Festival_2011%29_2.jpg
2) Composite image of Robert and Lydia is of Richard Armitage and Diane Lane; http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/NYHobbitPromo/album/WaldorfAstoria-VeraAnderson-04.jpg and http://www.prevention.com/your-beauty/sites/default/files/yb/imagecache/slideshow_large/age-defying-beauty-diane-lane-410×290.jpg
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