Charlie and the kids get an invitation.
"Mommy?" A small voice sliced through the rare moments of blissful silence and my slumber. My tired eyes opened to my little angel's face mere inches from my own.
"Yes, Pumpkin?" I asked through a yawn.
"Are we going to the angel house today?"
"Going to what?" She shook her head and grinned.
"Angel house. With Aunt Deni and Uncle Bruce."
I sat straight up and looked over at the clock. In proper Connelly family fashion, we were going to be late.
"OK, I need you to go and put on a pretty dress and I'll be in to help." She nodded and scurried off to her room. I rolled out of bed and rushed to my closet. In seconds, I was clad in a white blouse and a simple black skirt. I hopped through the hallway, attempting to put on heels and walk at the same time with earrings stuck between my lips.
My fist collided loudly with the mahogany door leading to my son's room.
"C'mon Jere, wake up." I yelled while trying to thread the stud into the hole of my earlobe. A muffled grunt was his only response. "We're going to be late!" Much to my surprise, the door swung open to reveal my rebellious teen in a wrinkled tee and boxers with penguins on them.
"I'm not going." His voice was low and groggy. I sighed.
"This isn't a debate. We're supposed to meet Aunt Deni and Uncle Bruce at church in ten minutes. Throw on something presentable and let's go." He frowned, crossing his arms over his chest.
"But church is so dumb. It's all bible this, bible that. Give us money. Bible, bible, bible. Money. Bible. Money, money. Little boys, yum." /I can't take seven more years of teenager drama-rama /
"I don't think you're Father McNulty's type. You. Dressed. Now. Nothing too wrinkled." I huffed and headed toward Jocelyn's room. She was in the middle of a fight to tug a pink, frilly number over her head. The dress appeared to be winning.
"I got it." I gently pulled the garment over her head and into place. She sighed and pushed unruly curls out of her face.
"Thank you." She breathed out. I grabbed her shiny white patent leather Mary Janes and slipped them onto her nylon covered feet. Once we were all dressed, I pushed my gleeful daughter and grumbling son out the front door.
Melodic voices blended perfectly with the majestic music of the organ, played by an hunched over elderly woman. The walls of the church were painted to depict the saints while a large golden crucifix loomed over the priest at his decadently decorated podium.
"Please be seated." His deep voice was barely audible over the speaker system. The collective sound of contact with the wooden pews echoed through the room. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Jocelyn fidgeting with her powder white tights.
"Stop fussing." I whispered, pulling her closer to me.
"They're itchy. And I'm bored." She whined in a hushed voice. I placed my finger over my mouth, ending all conversation. But I couldn't deny the boredom factor. This priest was putting me to sleep.
I looked over at my older sister, who seemed just as enthused as Jocelyn. Church wasn't exactly her thing either. Her husband, however, was deeply religious and deeply devoted to Sunday and Wednesday mass.
Once the service was over, we filed out of the church and onto the parking lot.
"So how did you like mass today, Jeremy?" Bruce, a tall doughy man asked in his gruff voice. The teen shrugged.
"Father McNulty was totally checking me out." The man's face immediately displayed horror.
"He's kidding, Bruce." I threw my arm around my son's shoulders and squeezed as hard as I could. "Jere's such a little joker." The man's face softened, but still harbored his disapproval. My sister just smiled, looking down at the ground with her long straight hair falling over her face. The couple kissed goodbye and parted ways, Bruce was heading to work while Deni would join us for our traditional brunch at The Madison.
"How was your date?" She asked as soon as we were situated in my deep blue Monte Carlo.
"Aside from commentary from the Peanut Gallery," I shot a look at Jeremy via the rear view mirror. "It was fun."
"Do you guys like him?" She question while twisting in her seat to get a better view of the judges.
"No!" They said at the same time. Guess who said what.
"What's wrong with him, Jere?" My sister continued to push the issue.
"Carpet Face." Was all he muttered. Deni looked over at me with an arched eyebrow.
"They're sideburns." I clued her in. "And stop calling him Carpet Face."
"I can't help it. Dude's got bushes from the Mesozoic Era growing on his face." I frowned.
"Knock it off, Jeremy." I warned as I pulled the car into the parking lot of the quaint little diner.
The sound of dished clinking and clanking filled the air along with the strong aroma of comfort food. We were quickly seated and handed menus.
"Do you think he's The One?" Deni asked, peeping over her menu at me. I watched as Jeremy's fingers gripped his menu tighter.
"I've only been on two dates with the guy. I'm not rushing anything." She shrugged.
"Well, you must be serious about him. Otherwise you never would have introduced him to the kids." It was my turn to lift my shoulders casually as I scanned the omelet section.
"They're a huge part of my life. They are my life. If he wants to be involved in my life, he's got to meet them." I heard my son snicker, but I decided to be benevolent and ignore it.
"Mommy, your purse is buzzing." Jocelyn giggled as my handbag shook. I cocked an eyebrow and quickly rifled through the pocketbook to find the source of this 'buzzing.' My cell phone was the culprit, hissing due to the volume being on silent.
Incoming Call: Patrick
The screen lit up with his name in bold letters. I excused myself and headed outside.
"Hello?" I answered at the California heat greeted me.
"Hey you. Whatcha up to?" I smirked and leaned against the cold brick wall of the building.
"Brunching with the critters and my sister."
"How was church?" I sighed, blowing a piece of dark hair out of my face.
"Boring. But I doubt we'll be invited back after Jeremy told my bible thumping brother-in-law about the priest's eye for 13 year old boys." His airy laugh reverberated through the phone.
"Nice. What are you guys doing after brunching?" I shrugged and watched as an elderly couple waddled by.
"Nothing much. Why?"
"Well, I thought maybe you and the critters could come over and go swimming or something." My grin grew into a smile.
"Really? Maybe we'll stop over. Say one o'clockish?" We agreed and said our goodbyes before I heading inside to alert the critters of our afternoon plans.
PS-REVIEW! Oh and if you can tell me where the title of this chapter comes from (preferably without Google) I'll throw in a cameo or something.