“Tom, your Mum’s going now. Come down and say goodbye. And you too please Jack, then I’ve got a little surprise for you both.”
The two young boys thundered down the stairs, excited to hear what Lesley had planned. Tom ran straight across to his Mum, and threw his arms around her. He didn’t stay away from home very often, and always missed his mum whenever he did. Jack watched on, but didn’t say anything, he always felt the same whenever he was separated from his Mum, and knew it wasn’t a nice feeling. That last hug was always needed.
“You be good for Lesley now Tom, don’t be getting into any mischief ok love.”
Both women laughed, there’d be plenty of mischief over the weekend no doubt, although they were both good boys really so there was no need to worry. Rather two 7 year old boys than a house full of pre-teen girls Lesley thought to herself. Poor old Lisa! Rather her than me.
As Debbie set off in her car, waving through the window as she backed out of the driveway and turned into the street, Tom made an exaggerated point of chasing after her and waving madly. One she’d disappeared from view, he sidled back up forlornly to the front door where Lesley and Jack were still waiting, head bowed to the floor and fighting to stop himself from crying. He really wanted to spend the weekend with Jack, of course, but always hated the saying goodbye bit that came first.
“Come on then you pair, back inside, I’ve got something to tell you, and then we’re going to be really busy getting ourselves ready to go.”
Both boys eyes lit up, and without further prompting they dashed indoors and sat expectantly on the sofa, bouncing around in excitement. Lesley followed them through, took a seat facing them and then smiled.
“Well, I thought that it was too nice a day to spend cooped up here in the house, when we could be out having fun. What do you say, how does a trip to the new Dinosaur theme park sound?”
Poor Lesley was too slow to cover her ears, the whoops and cheers causing her eardrums to pulsate painfully, and the clatter from two hyperactive boys physically bouncing up and down as if on pogo sticks didn’t help either. Ouch, if they were like this now, what would they be like by the time they got there?
“Wow, ok, calm it down a little please chaps, before you break something. I take it that’s a yes then? Haha. Come on, settle down and we can start to make some plans.”
Nodding eagerly and thanking Lesley, still at the tops of their voices but at least without the added bouncing, the pair took their seats again on the sofa and looked on expectantly and impatiently. Why did they need to make plans? They just wanted to get there.
“Can we go now mum? We can plan on the way! Please, please, please?”
“Steady on Jack, we will be going soon. But there are a couple of things we need to get ready first. Ok, I want you two to go upstairs and find a change of clothes each please and bring them down. I’ve heard there are some big water rides, and whilst it’s warm I don’t want you ending up sick if you’re stuck in soaking clothes all day. Just another t-shirt and shorts will do. Whilst you’re doing that, I’m going to make us a quick packed lunch to take. Go on, 5 minutes and then we should be ready.”
As the boys raced each other out of the room, Lesley called Tom back quietly.
“Tom, love, pop back over here a second please.” She hadn’t wanted to shout and embarrass him in front of Jack.
As Tom stood there, her suspicions were confirmed, the bouncing had clearly been more than excitement, and he could barely keep still.
“When you get upstairs, pop to the loo please love, before you leave a puddle on the floor.” It wasn’t said unkindly, more matter-of-fact, partly because she really didn’t want to have to scrub the carpet, and also because she knew the poor lad would have been humiliated if he left it too long and didn’t make it.it.
Tom nodded a little sheepishly, and then realising that he didn’t need to hide it anymore, he grabbed between his legs with both hands and hobbled out of the room and up the stairs to relieve himself.
Within 10 minutes, Lesley had prepared a light sandwich lunch and filled a bag with crisps and snacks, and Jack and Tom had reappeared armed with not only the requested change of clothes. But also a joke book each to keep them entertained in the car. Lesley groaned when she saw this, and made a mental note to turn the radio up! With that, they were on their way.4
Audio Version of Chapter