The next morning, two excited boys came bouncing onto my bed. We enjoyed our first Christmas morning hug and tickle time before the boys begged to go downstairs and open their gifts. I told them to go and get the gifts they bought and bring them downstairs.
Billy and Davey were stunned at all the gifts that were already under the tree. They set the gifts they bought and immediately began finding the gifts that were for each of them. It took about an hour for them to open all their gifts as well as watch me open the gifts they bought for me. I honestly think the boys enjoyed watching each other open the gifts they bought more than opening their own gifts.
There was a mountain of wrapping paper all over the living room. The boys were so happy. They had a hard time figuring out which toy to play with since they loved all their toys. I suggested that the boys start taking their toys up to their rooms and finding places for them while I made breakfast.
The Christmas dinner at the lodge was planned for 3 pm so I decided on a light breakfast with cereal, toast and juice.
The boys loaded the gifts they bought for Betty, John, TJ and Tommy into the camper. They also brought a few of their own new toys to show their friends.
As we walked into the lodge, we were astounded to see all the decorations and gifts under the big tree in the lounge. The boys put their gifts under the tree and then took off into the kitchen to see if they could get a treat from Betty.
"How was your first Christmas morning with your boys?" John asked as he hugged me.
"It was more than I could have ever dreamed of. Watching them open up their gifts was totally heartwarming for me."
"I'm so glad, Doug. You certainly deserved it after all you have done this year."
Both boys flew out of the kitchen with Betty right behind them with a wooden spoon in her hand. They ran behind the couch I was sitting on.
"You two sneaky rascals stay out of the kitchen until I call you," Betty said trying to sound stern as the boys kept giggling.
The boys sat on either side of me and told John how they tried to each sneak a Christmas cookie when Betty caught them.
"She chased me out of the kitchen, just before you came in, for doing the exact same thing." John chuckled.
"I guess I can not try that now that you 3 were unsuccessful," I laughed.
Just then, Tommy, TJ and their parents can through the front door.
Their boys tried to run to the kitchen when Billy and Davey yelled "NO!"
The boys came running out of the kitchen faster than they went in.
"We tried to warn you two," Davey said in between laughing.
"Grandma chased you out too?" TJ asked.
"Yep," Billy giggled.
TJ and Tommy grabbed the gifts they brought and set them under the tree.
Brenda went into the kitchen to help Betty.
About an hour later, the women came out carrying two trays of warm drinks for us.
"Dinner will be ready in about an hour so we have time to open the gifts under the tree," Betty said with a warm smile.
John played Santa and handed out the gifts for each of us.
Betty and John really went overboard with their gifts for all 4 boys and spared no expenses. Each boy received 4 great gifts from John and 4 from Betty. Of course John's gifts were more playful and Betty's were more educational. Both came from their caring grandparent style hearts.
All the boys exchanged the gifts they bought for each other and for John and Betty.
Betty went all out for our first Christmas dinner. Along with the turkey, stuffing and potatoes, she had all the boys favourite vegetables and their favourite desserts.
Everyone was more than stuffed when dinner was over.
"These are from Diane. She bought them last summer and wanted me to give them to each of you at the end of Christmas day. The CD's are DVD video messages she made for each of you. She wanted you to know that she is still with you on this day and watching over each of you every day. The gift boxes are special gifts she picked out for each of you." Betty said through teary eyes.
None of us could form any words because we were all choked up. We each hugged Betty and John and thanked them for bringing Diane back to us in this way for Christmas.
John helped us pack up our gifts and put them in the camper. The boys held onto Diane's gifts on the way back to the cabin.
"You boys can go into the cabin and we can bring in the other gifts tomorrow. If you want to go straight to your room and open Mommy's gifts in private, it's ok with me."
"Thank you, Daddy." Davey and Billy each said.
The boys went straight up to their rooms with their gifts.
I went into the den. I made myself a drink and say in the big chair with Diane's gifts on my lap. I decided to wait until the boys were asleep before opening her gift and watching the DVD from her. I didn't want the boys to see me crying.
"Daddy" I looked up and saw Billy standing at the door in just the bottom of his PJ's on.
"Hey Little Man, come here and give me a hug." He ran onto my lap and wrapped his arms around my neck.
"I watched Mommy's DVD. I miss her so much."
He began to sob on my shoulder. I just held him and rubbed his back.
"I miss her too Billy. You know that she is watching over us and you can go out on your balcony and talk with her anytime. If you are really quiet, you can hear her talking to you too."
"Thanks Daddy, I'm going to go out to the balcony and thank Mommy for her gifts."
"OK Buddy but put on some warm clothes over your ticklish bare skin," I said as I poked his belly and side.
He giggled and wiggled off my lap and left the den.
I went to check on Davey. His bedroom door was partly open, and I heard him sobbing. When I went into his room, he was lying on his belly, in his PJ bottoms, and whimpering into his pillow. I sat gently on the edge of his bed and began to rub his bare back. He rolled over and wrapped his arms around my neck.
"It's ok Buddy, let all those tears come out."
"I miss her and my first Mommy so much."
"I know Davey. I miss Diane too. I wish I got to know your first Mommy too. You know you can talk to them anytime you want. I know you have done it in the past and they have talked back to you."
"I know." He whimpered.
"How about I help you put on some warm clothes and you go out on your balcony and talk with your Mommies?"
"I would like you to help me get dressed and go out to say 'thank you' for her gifts."
I left Davey's room and went to check on Billy. I found him asleep on his bed still in his warm clothes. I gently undress him and tucked him into bed. He barely woke up. I rubbed his bare back until he fell into a sound sleep.
Davey was standing outside the door when I left Billy's room.
"Here Daddy, this is the special gift I wanted to get you when we were at the Edmonton mall."
We went up to his bedroom. Davey sat on my lap as I opened it. I was stunned when it turned out to be a gold pocket watch. I opened it up and there was a picture of Billy and Davey under the cover.
"Read the back Daddy."
I turned it over, and it said: "To the Best Daddy in the World."
My eyes began to leak. I wrapped my arms around him.
"Thank you so much, Davey. I love you and Billy so much."
"We both love you too Daddy."
We continue to hug each other for a few minutes.
"Daddy, can I sleep with you tonight?" he said in a faint and tired voice.
"I would love it if you slept next to me tonight." I picked him up and carried him up to my bedroom. I helped him get undressed and tucked him into bed. I got undressed, climbed into bed and gently pulled Davey close to me. He used my shoulder as a pillow and I wrapped my arms around him. I rubbed his back until he was sound asleep.
I have a sneaky suspicion that the next chapter is going to require copious amounts of Kleenex® and or hankies, or even both. Why, you may ask? Well. if I told that would ruin the surprise. I learned that in Mr. Str8mayb's Advance Cliffhanger Class.