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"Are you?" joked Mike.

"Sometimes, I wonder," confessed Adam, as he and his nephew moved out into the backyard. "Being a parent is a big responsibility."

"You'll do fine," Mike smiled confidently. "You've been like a father to me and Chad, and I know the both of us wouldn't be the people we are today, without your influence in our lives."

"Speaking of fathers," wondered Adam, "where's Thomas? I don't see him here. After the party, I thought he was taking Chad for the weekend."

With a heavy sigh, Mike kicked at the grass with his shoe. "There's been a change of plans. Dad said a business trip came up at the last moment, so he couldn't come."

"I see." Adam looked over the redesigned landscape of his former backyard. "Did he take his new wife along?"

"I don't think so," shrugged Mike. "To be honest, I think Dad's up to his old ways again. Nothing's changed. You know," he mused, "if it hadn't been for you and Aunt Charlie, and Grandpa and Grandma Clark's marriage, I would have thought that all marriages were supposed to look like Dad and Mom's."

"Don't give me too much credit," Adam cautioned with a wary smile. "I'm just getting started, myself."

"You and Aunt Charlie have a good marriage," insisted Mike. "I remember that whenever Sandra and I have a disagreement, and it reminds me that it's possible to work out our differences."

"Do you and Sandra have a lot of differences?" inquired Adam. He never would have asked such a private thing of anyone else, but Mike was like a son to him, and it seemed natural to ask such personal questions.

"Not very many." Mike looked back at the house. "Sandra thinks we should tell Mom what we're planning, though."

"You'll eventually have to," reminded Adam. "When kids start showing up at your house and never go home, your Mom is going to start asking questions!"

"I just hate to open this can of worms with her," sighed Mike. "Don't get me wrong, I love Mom, but she and Sandra don't always see eye to eye, and I know Mom isn't ready to give up on me and Sandra having a baby yet."

Adam patted Mike on the back. "I know my sister is opinionated, but she's not unreasonable. When you decide to tell her, just be sure to give her some time to adjust to the news. She'll eventually accept your decision, and when she does, I think she'll love the idea of being grandma to a lot of kids!"

Mike laughed just as Chad came through the doorway carrying a plate with a slice of his brother's birthday cake.

"Went back for seconds?" Adam chuckled to his youngest nephew.

"Sandra can sure cook!" complimented Chad. "This cake ain't half bad!"

Mike smiled as Chad loaded his fork with more cake. "I'll tell her you approve."

"Uncle Adam?" asked the twelve year old. "Mom said you and Aunt Charlie are pregnant."

"Your Aunt Charlie is the pregnant one!" laughed Adam.

"Is the baby going to get sick, like Aunt Charlie?" asked the boy.

All at once, Adam stopped laughing. "Where did you hear that?"
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