Buck and JD looked up from where they were playing
with the race track as Vin and the therapist entered the playroom. Buck was
relieved to see that both boys seemed to have made it through their individual
sessions without tears. He hoped that was a good sign, and that things were
on the upswing. At the same time he was afraid to ask the doctor, for fear
that the answer would be no. The big man wasn't certain how many more upheavals
their household could take.
Not that it mattered in the long run; they'd
find a way to make it through.
"Hey Brother," JD called out with a giggle.
"Hey Brother," Vin called back.
Nodding toward the art table, the doctor said,
"Shall we?" As they moved across the room he noticed Buck retrieving a small
notepad and pen from his pocket. "Came prepared this week, I see."
Wilmington chuckled. "Well, Chris said he was
gettin' tired of tryin' to read my chicken scratches in crayon and marker.
Said it was hard enough readin' 'em in ink."
They settled in at the table, the two boys choosing
chairs together. Lowery was happy to see that they were holding onto their
closeness during the changes they were undergoing. As the boys continued
to grow as individuals they would need that close relationship more than
"Looks like you two were having fun," Will said
with a smile.
"Yeah, we was playin' race cars only Da wanted
to use a truck so his was a race truck an' we was havin' a lot of crashes,"
"Well as long as it's only with the pretend cars
and trucks," Lowery said, winking at the little brunet. "Now then, I thought
I'd give you boys your homework assignment and see if we need to talk about
"How'd everything go, Doc?" Buck nodded toward
the two boys.
"Well let's see, JD would you like to tell your
Da what we talked about in my office?"
At the thought of having to discuss his feelings,
JD's face grew somber. But, to his credit, he simply nodded. "We talked 'bout
"Yeah, f'ustated. 'Cause I didn't know what kind
of feelin' it was. I was sort 'a sad an' sort 'a mad but I wasn't sure why.
So we talked an' figured it out."
"What were you frustrated about, son?" Buck asked,
concern written over his face.
Heaving a sigh the little boy said, "I was f'ustated
b'cause it felt like I was bein'
"Left out?" Lowery prompted when the five-year-old
struggled with his explanation.
"Yeah, left out. But when me and Dr. Will talked
'bout it he said it was 'cause ever'body's havin' tough times now 'cause
'a Chris havin' a broked leg. It ain't nobody's fault, so if I help do more
chores me an' you an' Vin an' Chris could have more time to have fun."
Leaning a cheek on his fist, Wilmington said,
"So you've been feelin' like I've been ignoring you since I've been extra
"Yeah. An' I felt like you and Chris was payin'
more 'tention to Vin, but me an' Dr. Will figured it out that it's cause
Vin vol'nteers to help with th' chores an' he gets his chores done quicker.
So I'm gonna try an' 'member to help out more an' do my chores faster so
we can have more time to have fun."
The big brunet grinned broadly. "Hey, I think
that's a good idea, Little Bit. Because you know I'd sure rather be playin'
with you than muckin' out the stalls."
JD giggled at the 'yuck' face his Da made. Then
he added, "But sometimes I still might not wanna help. But I won't be f'ustrated,
'cause if I don't help you won't get done as quick."
"Well all right then," blue eyes twinkling, Buck
tried to keep a straight face.
The therapist noticed that Vin was frowning,
and commented on it. The little boy shrugged his shoulders at first, but
then said, "JD was you mad at me ag'in?"
Heaving another sigh the five-year-old said,
"I thought I was at first, but then I thought I wasn't, 'cause you didn't
do nothin' to me. That's why I didn't say nothin' 'cause I wasn't sure what
kind 'a feeling I was having."
"Well, you could 'a said somethin' at the pow-wow
an' we could 'a figgered it out," Vin replied.
"Junior's right, Little Bit. That's part of why
we have the pow-wow; so we can make sure that everyone's doin' okay," Buck
The little brunet's head dropped. In a faint
voice he said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do anythin' wrong."
"JD, look at me," the boy's foster father said
gently. When the tear-filled hazel eyes finally managed to meet his, he said,
"you didn't do anything wrong, Little Bit. I just want you to know that I
want to help you out when you get confused. Okay?"
"Yeah, me too," Vin echoed, putting a comforting
hand on the younger boy's shoulder.
With a wan smile, the five-year-old said, "'Kay."
Lowery watched the interaction with a growing
sense of admiration. At one point he may have had his doubts that this match
of fathers and sons would work. While he never doubted the dedication of
the two men, he had once doubted their abilities to raise two boys who had
been so damaged by life. But no more. He could see the success of this match
more clearly than he ever had.
He would save that observation for the last session
that would be coming up in a couple of weeks. He was certain that Chris Larabee
would attend that session as well, and he felt that all four members of the
family should be there to hear it. So all he said was, "That was excellent
guys, good problem solving."
As all three of them smiled, Lowery said, "Okay,
Vin, could you tell Buck and JD what we talked about?"
"'Kay," the little blond said. "Well, we talked
'bout bein' brave, and then I read my essay 'bout what I wanna be when I
grow up. That's 'bout all."
"What did you talk about when you talked about
being brave?" Buck wanted to know.
"Well, last week I told Dr. Will that Chris wouldn't
'a been scared if he'd 'a lived in th' warehouse like me an' JD did. An'
Dr. Will said yeah he would 'a , 'cause anyone would 'a been. So I asked
Chris th' other night
'member when me an' him went outside?"
Buck nodded, he remembered it well. While Vin
had returned from their walk with a smile, he could tell that his old friend's
expression was forced. That night the blond had once more expressed his anger
toward the forces that had left their sons in such dire straits for so many
months. He pulled himself out of his thoughts as the little boy continued.
"Well, when I asked Chris he said he'd 'a been
angry if he lived there now, but that if he lived there when he was seven
like me, he'd 'a been real scared, just like I was."
JD frowned as he turned to his friend. "You wasn't
Blue eyes growing wider, the older child said,
"Yeah I was. I was scared all th' time."
"Nu-uh," the little brunet denied the thought
that his friend; his protector and champion, had been afraid during that
"You don't believe that Vin was afraid when the
two of you lived in the warehouse, JD?" The doctor asked.
"No, 'cause he wasn't," the little brunet said
with an air of finality.
"JD, I gotta tell you th' rest an' then maybe
you'll see why I was scared." The older boy said. Then he related the discussion
he had had with Chris that night in the yard. When he finished, he said,
"Now y' see? If you thought I was brave, it was 'cause I was scared."
The smaller boy continued to wear an expression
of confusion. He still didn't believe that Vin had been afraid, no matter
what he said. And he didn't think Chris would have been scared either. Chris
and his Da and their uncles were the bravest men in the world. None of it
made any sense.
Sensing that the younger boy needed time to process
this new reality Lowery said, "This is a big thing to think about, isn't
The little brunet shrugged his shoulders. He
wasn't certain what there was to think about. They were wrong. Vin hadn't
been scared, Chris wouldn't have been scared, and his Da certainly wouldn't
have been scared.
"How about we give you some time to think about
it, would that be okay?"
"I guess," JD replied quietly.
Giving Buck a compassionate smile, the therapist
said, "Maybe that's something you could all discuss during some of the pow-wows
this week. You know, you've all had a lot of changes during the past several
months. I think that we'll make this your only homework between now and our
next meeting. When you sit down to talk together, you can each share something
about how your life has changed since you became a family."
"Anything in particular, doc?" Buck asked.
"Whatever you want to share, " Will replied.
"Maybe sharing how your lives have changed will help you all learn a little
more about one another."
"Dr. Will?" Vin said softly.
"Do I gotta write anything this week?"
"Nope." Lowery smiled.
Slumping back the little boy let loose a sigh
of relief. "That's good."
The therapist chuckled then turned to the younger
of the boys. "JD, are you all right?"
Shrugging, the little brunet said, "Yeah."
Casting a pointed gaze toward the tall agent,
Will said, "As always, call me any time. And I've got some openings this
coming week, if we need to schedule an additional appointment. Otherwise,
I guess I'll see you all next week."
Squaring his shoulders, Wilmington said, "Will
do, Doc. Will do."
Next appointment: March
Back to Visits With
Dr. Will (Index)