As the door closed behind the doctor and his
foster son, Buck turned back to where the other little boy sat. He watched
for a few minutes as Vin worked in his normally meticulous way at the picture
he was drawing. From time to time the little boy would glance up at the door
then go back to drawing. "He should be here about any time."
"Huh?" The seven-year-old asked and then said,
"Oh, I know. Unca' 'Siah's gonna bring 'im here. Is Unca' 'Siah gonna go
to dinner with us?"
"Imagine so, he'll need to drive Chris back home."
"Good." Little Tanner said, slightly distracted
once more as he returned to his drawing.
"So, that's for Dr. Will?" The little blond head
bobbed up and down. "It looks pretty interesting."
"It's a picture 'a me an' Peso an' Ringo. JD's
gonna - oops!" He clapped a hand over his mouth. Then, a little smile peeking
around his fingers, he said, "I 'most told y' an' it's s'posed t' be a secret."
Grinning, the brunet said, "That's okay, you
caught yourself. Sometimes it's hard to keep secrets, isn't it?"
Barely stifling a giggle the little boy said,
"Yeah." Just then the door to the playroom opened, and Chris moved past the
threshold. Vin smiled, calling out, "Dad!"
With a smile, Larabee said, "Hey, Cowboy! Were
you worried we wouldn't get here?"
"Nah, I knew you'd be here."
The blond looked over the child's head and locked
eyes with his friend. When the big brunet winked, he said, "Good, glad you
"So, how has your week been?" Will Lowery asked
after he and JD had settled into their customary chairs.
"'Kay. We ain't had too many arg'ments or nothin'
and Vin ain't been gettin' mad at me too much, just a little bit are we s'posed
to not argue at all?"
"No, JD," Lowery said with a smile. He was happy
to see the little chatterbox returning. "Everyone gets angry once in a while.
It's okay if you have an argument from time to time. That's part of being
in a family."
"Oh, okay that's good 'cause I don't think we
can not have arg'ments sometimes."
Will chuckled. "I don't think you can, either,
JD. Most people can't. So, would you like to choose a picture for the board?"
The therapist retrieved the folder of emotion
pictures and handed them over to the five-year-old. He watched as the child
sorted through the folder for a few moments before settling on one. Holding
it out, he said, "This one."
"Would you like to put it on the board?"
"'Kay." Accepting the thumbtack, he placed the
final picture on the little corkboard while the doctor held it for him.
"So, can you tell me a name for this feeling?"
"You seem pretty certain about that."
"Yep." Little Dunne nodded. "Happy."
"Can you tell me more about being happy?"
"Sure. I been happy 'most all week 'cause me
an' Vin ain't been arguin' an' we've all been talkin' 'bout good things at
the pow-wow an' Da talked to Mr. B. and Mrs. R. 'bout Freddy an' he ain't
been so mean this week an' me an' Da went to Denver all by ourselves on Friday
an' Vin stayed home with Chris. Then Da took Vin on Saturday an' I stayed
Lowery was extremely pleased to hear that the
little family's dynamics were changing in a positive way. He hoped to hear
more about how things had gone, especially while the typical adult - child
combination had been changed. "How did that go?"
"It was fun. When me an' Da went to Denver we
spended the whole night at Unca' 'Siah's an' we went to the pizza place for
dinner then we went to the movies then we 'tended we was campin' out at Unca'
'Siah's in his livin' room and' we had root beer an' s'mores an' Unca' 'Siah
telled stories. We sitted on the floor an' we 'tended there was a campfire
by havin' a big candle with a bunch 'a them little strings
"Yeah. Wickses an' we turned off all the lights
'cept the one in the bafroom an' the stories wasn't too scary 'cause Unca'
'Siah says his heart's old and he can't take scary stories then when it was
real dark me an' Da an' even Unca' 'Siah sleeped in our sleepin' bags but
Unca' 'Siah went an' sleeped in his bed part of the time an' Da sleeped on
the couch part of the time 'cause they said I gots young bones an' can sleep
on hard floors."
"Sounds like you enjoyed your night out then."
"Yeah, but I ain't done. When we waked up we
went to this little res'rant an' had break'ast an' I ate a lot 'cause I'm
a growin' boy an' Da said I'm growin' both ways then we went home. Now I'm
Lowery smiled. "Well, how did things go staying
home with Chris the next day?"
"It was fun, too, but we couldn't go no place
just in the yard but Chris throwed the ball an' helped me learn to hit it
with the bat 'stead of duckin' an bein' scared an' we played some vid'o games
an I winned an' we ate popcorn an' watched two movies Shrek an' Spirit an'
we had root beer an' we had a contest to see who could burp the loudest and
Chris is real loud but he said we can't do that in public but Shrek an' the
Princess did it, too, an' they was in public but Chris said there wasn't
no one else there but Duncan so that makes it diff'rent then I got to sleep
on the couch an' have the TV on all night 'cause it was too quiet with Vin
not there an' in the morning I fed the dogs an' helped Chris fix break'ast
an' we fed the horses an' then I watched some TV and played with Ringo an'
Elvis an' then Da an' Vin came home."
"Sounds as if you had a busy weekend."
After a brief pause the therapist said, "Do you
have any problems you'd like to discuss today?"
The little boy frowned, his eyes squinting nearly
closed as he considered the question. Finally he shook his head and said,
"I can't think of none." Then, sitting back in his chair and crossing the
chubby little legs that stuck straight out on the chair he said, "Do you
gots any problems you wanna 'scuss, Dr. Will?"
With a grin the doctor said, "Not at the moment
but thank you for asking."
"Well, before we finish up then, I'd like to
see how you're feeling about your emotions
your feelings. Are you doing
okay talking about them with your father?"
"Yeah, me an' Vin picks out a picture on our
chart when we come home from school. Sometimes I can't 'cide what picture
to put the little frame thing on, so I talk to Chris 'bout it or I talk 'bout
it when we pow-wows."
"And does that help?"
"Talkin' 'bout it?"
"It works good. I thought at first I was s'posed
to pick a diff'rent face every time, but Chris said no that I could pick
the same picture lots of times if I wanted an' I was worried 'cause sometimes
I picked the same one as Vin but Chris said that was okay, long as we don't
copy is it okay?"
Taking a few seconds to realize that he had been
asked a question the therapist said, "Uh
oh, that you have the same
"Sure, that's fine. Like Chris said, as long
as you don't copy."
"Last week you were feeling pretty confused and
frustrated because you weren't certain about what was going on. How are you
feeling about that this week?"
"Well, sometimes I still get a little f'ustated,
but Da says 'what's goin' on Li'l Bit' an' I say 'I don't know what's happ'nin'
an' he says 'well let's talk 'bout it' an we do an' he helps me know what's
happ'nin an I ain't f'ustated no more."
The doctor hid a smile as the child's voice changed
during his description of the conversation. His voice went high to indicate
his own words, and then very low to indicate those of his father. "It sounds
like you're feeling pretty comfortable with things right now, that you and
your father can handle the feel bad thoughts when they come up. Is that the
way you see it?"
"Well I'm very glad to hear that, JD. So, do
you want to discuss anything else?"
"Well, then, would you like to go back into the
"Yep, then you can talk to Vin, right?"