School is underway and the last shreds of summer have slipped by as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the east coast. I meant to share this scene with the Titan kids over the last few months, but time flies!
Yesterday, I mentioned the story with Mia and the Titan kids in our Facebook group Team Titan and made a point to find time today to share.
So, here it is! I wrote this while with friends and family as we watched our Titan kids throw themselves down a slip n slide.
I hope you enjoy!
Mia and The Titan Kids
The sounds and squeals of children playing made Mia’s heart squeeze under the crystal blue sky. Sweat dampened her brow and tickled the hollow of her spine as she repositioned her sun hat and watched the gaggle of bathing-suit-clad kids jump, run, and get stuck on the Slip N Slide that took nearly an hour to set up.
The dang thing seemed so innocuous when she grabbed it from Target. The front of the massive box boasted a “safety” seal for the water-filled slide that resembled a giant waterbed. But the only thing that plastic pillow of water did was slow the little kids down while inspiring the older ones to dive-bomb and cannonball for a faster ride.
Lexi laughed and lifted the pitcher of homemade lemonade, tearing Mia’s watchful eye from the two girls shooting across the backyard. One on her butt. The other her stomach.
“Charge!” Ace lifted his fists in the air and ran toward the girls at the end pool of water. Noè and Jacián fell in step behind him, each with different shouts and onward gestures, as their brothers played chase with Violet. Mia decided that little one would be as much of a handful as her mother Sugar ever was. Good luck to Jared.
“Maybe I should’ve made an adult version too.” Sliced lemons and mint mixed with ice, clinked against the side of the pitcher. “Thanks.”
“Now she’s thinking.” Sugar lifted her lemonade in agreement but lifted a questioning eyebrow.
“Next summer.” Mia rubbed her pregnant belly, sipped the honey-sweetened lemonade, then pushed her sunglasses higher on her nose as a welcome summer breeze picked up.
The Savage boys had piled onto Asal and Clara. They splashed water as the girls’ shrieks rang out. But the second the water onslaught slowed, the girls’ let loose quick and brutal retaliation.
Caterina laughed. “They’ll learn eventually.”
“Eventually.” Lexi settled back on her lounger, smiling. “But no time soon.”
Her two boys jumped onto the Slip N Slide, pushing themselves down the slick plastic and breaking up the melee at the bottom as Violet toddled at the end, clapping her approval of the water-soaked tackle.
Mia repositioned her legs to feel the sun. Summer days like this one couldn’t be beaten. Unless their husbands were home. Then Colby would have the grill fired up, Rocco would have the kids oohing and ahhing as he bench-pressed them, and Roman and Cash would try to out-do their last ninja obstacle course they’d designed for the kids.
Ace ran to the top of the Slip N Slide again. Grass stuck to his back and legs, and water droplets dripped off his arms as he raised them into the air and flapped. “This,” he shouted. “Is called The Seagull—”
He bolted away from the plastic slide as two of the Black boys followed his lead. They ran in dizzying circles, flapping and cawing until they found their way back to the plastic slide and launched forward with flapping elbows and arms and legs kicking into the air, each shouting, “Seagull.”
Belly flops, all of them. One, two, then three, and they laid on tummies, laughing as Noè and Jacián piled on again.
“Ouch.” Caterina pulled her glasses off, eyeing the pile of splashing, laughing kids.
Clara jumped on top, but Asal stayed to the side.
“Smart move,” Sugar said—then Asal jumped in. “Or not.”
They laughed and shook their heads but turned at the sudden race of the dogs who’d been sleeping in the sun.
A whistle rang out, floating on another perfectly timed, soft summer breeze, and shielding her eyes from the sun, Mia saw the men stepping out onto the oversized deck.
“They’re home,” she whispered, and a chorus of squeals and cheers rang out as the kids realized their dads were home too.
The team hadn’t called like they usually did, and right now, Mia didn’t care. She couldn’t wait to wrap her arms around Colby. Waking up without him would never be normal, but some days she needed to feel him next to her.
As the men stepped to the edge of the deck, with the sun behind them, Titan became shadowed silhouettes. Broad shoulders. Mountainous bodies. Good men who loved their families.
They hustled down the steps, walking closer as they were swarmed with dripping kids.
Mia’s heart squeezed again, but this time, peaceful contentment mixed with her happiness.
They—she and Colby—were home.
Because she realized years before that it didn’t matter where they were as long as they were together.
Colby had their children wrapped in his arms, and his considerable strides and rugged smile came her way. Home was wherever they were, as long as they were together.
Everyone stood, but to Mia, it seemed like the world vanished. Just him and her and the ones they loved. His strong arms wrapped her to his chest, sandwiching her between giggling, wet kids, and he kissed the top of her head. “We’re home, doll.”
She didn’t think she could love him any more than she did right then. “Yes, we are.”