When Lance’s teen birthday came around, he decided that it was time the Pruetts had a comedian in the family. So far, the family had someone who attempted every career path except comedy. Lance is just full of firsts! He was soo excited about his future, he couldn’t wait to get started. One Saturday he woke up very early–like around 7:00–to chat with his father. He knew it was highly irregular for him to be up so early on a Saturday, and what he was about to ask was going to require trust on his parents’ part. He stood in the doorway for a few minutes trying to figure out how to ask his question.
Brandon saw that he was struggling with something and decided to help him out.
“What is it, son?”
“Ummm…I know I just had my birthday, and you probably still think I’m a kid, but I want to go to the park today and I thought it would be nice if I took all the kids with me.”
“Hmmm…well, I don’t have a problem with it. But make sure you ask Giancarlo about the girls. What are you doing at the park?”
“Networking! I’m gonna be famous, dad. People need to know me.”
Brandon had no doubt that anything his son set his mind to he could do…although he thought his methods were a bit strange.
“Ok. Well…don’t talk to too many strangers. And keep an eye on the kids!”
That was easier than I thought, he thought. He was so excited he immediately ran upstairs to get permission from Giancarlo. He was just finishing up a song he started writing yesterday.
“G…is ok if I take the girls to the park?”
“Did you just call me G?”
“Oh…yeah, I guess I did. Anyway, can I please?”
“Sure, L. No, that won’t do at all. Just keep an eye on them, please.”
“I sure will!”
Lance was burning with excitement as he waited for the other kids to get up, eat, and get dressed. But, within two hours, they were all ready to go. When they got there, Lance made some rules.
“Ok…so, before you guys run off…just remember no talking to strangers unless they are other children. No running off! Stay where I can see you. Ok! Go on now,” he shooed them toward the playground.
Lance immediately got to work. He went to every person in the park and said, “Hi! My name is Lance, and I’m going to be very famous.” Some people received it well, and some didn’t. But he felt great about doing it.
The children were making progress of their own. There was no way they could have known this, but three of the children they had met were their own cousins! Theresa and Mack Pruett (Mackinzie’s twins) and Quinton Call (Tre Willard’s son) came to play after a few hours.
They invited the other child to join the fun as well. Not only were the children having a family reunion of sorts, but Lance was too. It seemed like half the people in the park were related to him some kind of way. He had spend his entire life at the Pruett Estate and only left to go to school. He visited the park once or twice before. He had no idea that his family was soo large. Inwardly, he hoped that he could help make the relationships among the family strong seeing as how he was going to be “in charge” (as he so eloquently put it) soon. First he ran into Taylor, Kolby’s new bride.
Then there was Tre and Rusty, Cory’s twins.
Then Kolby joined him and Taylor, and they enjoyed a few of his jokes that he had recently thought up.
Then Skylar, who did not know any of them, joined the conversation for a good laugh. But luckily Serena was also in the park and introduced them.
He briefly saw Mackinzie off in the distance as well. I think I just met every single living Pruett today, he thought. The sun was setting and he thought that he should corral the children and head home. They all arrived home in good spirits and plum tuckered out.
That evening, there were two birthdays: Amira’s adult birthday and Giancarlo’s elder birthday. Unfortunately, Brandon was never good at remembering his wife’s birthday and let it slip by–again!
But, downstairs, in Bianca-like fashion, she was planning a surprise party for her husband. As soon as the children came inside, she put them to work and had them washing dishes and straightening up. All of her previous surprises went on without a hitch…except this one.
“Ummm…what are you doing downstairs,” Bianca asked.
“Ehhhh…I live here? What do you have there?”
“It’s supposed to be a cake for ! I was hoping you would stay upstairs a few more minutes. Oh well.”
“What is it with you and your surprise parties?”
“They’re the best!”
“[sigh] My wife. The Creator must really love me!”
Bianca rallied everyone to let them know it was ok to come out and they celebrated Giancarlo’s youth and cheered on his final stage.
He jumped up and spun in the air and landed on his with with a crick in his back. Welcome to the achy years, I guess, he thought.
Once he stretched it out, he noticed that he didn’t really feel any different. He was still mobile, vibrant, and…
“I’m still sexy! Oh yeah!”
Everyone came and got a piece of cake, and for once, everyone was all in the same room. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
When everyone was done partying and eating cake and heading in their own directions, Giancarlo made a request.
He sheepishly said to Bianca, “So ummm…I’m old…and uhhh…I don’t know how much time I have left–“
“You have plenty of time left. Don’t even,” she interrupted.
“But listen,” he said trying not to break character. “I’m old, and I could die at any moment! I only have one wish for my birthday.”
“What’s that, babe,” she asked flatly seeing that this was an act.
“I want you…upstairs…behind closed doors…under the sheets…red hearts and the whole nine!”
“I see. So…are you going to be using this dying old man sob story for the rest of your life?”
“Yes…if it works!”
“You know you don’t need a story,” she whispered in his ear.
“Whaaaat? You hear that, folks? My wife is easy!”
“Shut up,” she said and punched him in the shoulder. “Get upstairs now!”