John Francis - Chapter 162

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 7:59 AM
Standing up, Dot said she was going to finish lunch preparations and Amanda again asked if she could help. Knowing Carol was in there didn’t give Dot more than a seconds pause.

“Sure, I’d love to have your company. Come on, this crowd is gonna be hungry in a few minutes!”

They moved into the kitchen. Dot directed Amanda to the dishes and silverware as they entered. Carol was washing some dishes at the sink and turned at hearing Dot’s voice. She gave a small smile and then went back to washing. Amanda gave raised eyes to Dot, and then moved to get the dishes and silverware.

After the table was set, she moved into the living room to get some stray glasses to bring in to be washed. She was returning when she heard Carol and Dot talking.

“Dorothea, I am being as pleasant to that woman as I can. She’s living in my son’s home, living off his money, bringing bad press to him, and lord only knows what else.”

“Carol, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong about her.”

“How can you say that to me? I’m his mother and only want what’s best for my son. He picked her up who knows where and she’s now living with him? And she’s around my grandchildren? Don’t you care who’s around the children, Dot?” Carol’s voice was argumentative as she tried to persuade Dot to be on her side.

Dot’s voice was a bit harsh as she answered her ex-mother-in-law. “Carol, I’m not going to have this argument with you again. I happen to like her and I’m not the least worried about MY children being around her.” Softening her tone a little, she tried another tack. “You’re alienating Jon over this, Carol, I’ve heard it in his voice. I don’t think he’s going to give her up and I think you’re making a mistake in trying to get him to choose between you and her.”

Carol sounded shocked as she replied, “What are you saying? My son would NEVER choose some woman over his mother! You’re wrong, Dot, my son loves me.”

Shaking her head softly as she had been over this numerous times with Jon’s mother, Dot didn’t reply. She knew she couldn’t get through to her, only Jon would have a chance to make her understand how he felt about this.

Amanda made her footsteps louder as she approached the kitchen, calling out to Dot that she had found some glasses in the living room that probably needed washing. She brought them in and put them in the dishwasher as Carol moved away from the sink. Flashing a quick look at Dot, she mouthed ‘thank you’ and continued to help with lunch preparations. Carol went to call the gang in for lunch and Dot and Amanda started putting food on the table.

“You heard, right?” Dot whispered.

“Yeah, but it’s okay. It’s better to know what’s going on than not to know.” Amanda whispered back.

The kitchen filled with the sounds of laughter and running feet as four mildly sweaty kids and two extremely sweaty men entered. Jon was carrying Romeo and Jake had finagled a piggy-back ride from Eric. Dot shooed them all into various bathrooms to wash up and the women all laughed at the grimaces from six faces at being told to wash their hands before eating. Sitting down to lunch, the kids were talking excitedly about the football game and how they had beat the two older guys. Jon and Eric took the slight exaggerations good-naturedly and assured the kids that they wanted a rematch.

The kids finished eating quickly and were excused to wander off to various other activities. The five adults ate a bit more leisurely and Jon asked some questions about the upcoming wedding and where Dot and Eric would go on their honeymoon. Carol and her husband were coming to stay with the kids at the house for a week while their mother was gone.

“Mom, Amanda and I will be glad to take the kids some of the time. I have a busy schedule as usual, but there will be plenty of free afternoons and mornings.” Jon offered, knowing the four kids could be a bit much.

“Oh, I don’t think that will be necessary, Jon, your father and I will have the nanny here and I’m sure we’ll manage.” Carol replied.

“Well, I’m sure you will, but I’m still going to take the kids over to my house for visits whenever I can, mom.” Jon answered evenly.

“Really, Jon, I think too much change is not good for the kids. Their mother getting re-married is one thing, they know Eric. I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring a stranger around during this time.”

“If you’re referring to Amanda, she’s not a stranger and she and the kids get along great.” Jon’s voice was losing its even tone now.

“Jon, I’m going to have to insist that you respect my wishes in this matter. I have your children’s best interests in mind.” Carol’s voice was rising a little now as she also heard the tone in her son’s voice.

“Mom, what you’re going to do is respect MY wishes with regard to MY children. I will see them whenever I want to and Amanda will be a part of that if she chooses to.” Jon’s voice lowered now as his anger was growing.

Dot, Eric, and Amanda watched this ping-pong debate, none daring to interfere at this moment.

“It’s obvious that Amanda is not used to children, not choosing to have any, and I don’t think she’ll have much of an idea of how to take care of a four year old.” The entire table heard Amanda’s gasp at Carol’s last statement and with tears filling her eyes she quickly excused herself.

Jon turned to his ex-wife and looked at her. “Dot, please?” Asking her to follow Amanda while he dealt with his mother.

Turning to his mother, barely hearing Eric excuse himself, his eyes were cold and hard. He had had enough.

“Listen to me and listen to me carefully. You will NEVER again talk about Amanda as if she isn’t sitting right there listening to every word you say. You have no idea of how you just hurt her with the ignorance of your last statement.”

Carol interrupted Jon. “Are you calling me ignorant? I am still your mother, young man!” She took a breath to continue, but Jon held up his hand.

“I am not a ‘young man’ mom, I’m almost 47 years old. These are MY children we’re talking about and the only ones who have any say so over them are Dot and me. So you and I are going to get a few things very clear. You will not speak badly about Amanda to my kids because I will be asking them what you say. You will immediately stop treating her like she doesn’t deserve to be in your presence, let alone in my life, and you will start being pleasant to her.”

“She’s turning you against me, Jon, that’s what it is…” Carol began, trying a sympathy ploy as her demands seemed to be being ignored. “You’ve never talked to me like this before…”

“That’s because you’ve never been so rude to someone I love before.” Jon stated baldly. His mother’s face reflected her shock at his choice of words.

“Amanda has never said a bad word about you, even though you’ve given her plenty of words to use. I told you before, but I guess it didn’t sink in. Amanda is going to be a part of my life, the biggest part second only to the kids, and if you can’t accept that then you will be a very small part.”

“You can’t mean that!” Carol’s voice was strident as her anger reared.

“Yeah, I damn well do mean it! Don’t ask me to choose who will have a bigger role in my life, mom, you won’t like the answer.” Jon’s voice indicated clearly that to him the subject was closed.


Dot followed Amanda into the living room where she sat on the couch. She sat beside her and took Amanda’s hand. “I’m sorry.” Wiping her eyes, Amanda shook her head sideways. “It’s not your fault, but thanks.” Her voice lowered, “I would’ve had kids if I could have. I love children. I wasn’t able to.” Dot winced at the pain in Amanda’s voice as she made her quiet statement.

Giving herself a small shake, Amanda looked at Dot. “It’s okay, really, she didn’t know. I was just surprised at…”

Dot finished for her, “…how damn mean she was being?” Nodding, Amanda agreed.

Eric walked in then and the two women changed the subject.

Visibly trying to lighten the mood, Amanda smiled as well as she could and asked, “So, what should I wear to this wonderful wedding?”


  1. Anonymous Says:

    Oh my gosh, talk about insensitive! I hope she doesn't make a scene at the wedding. Dot deserves a great day, especially as she is being so supportive of Amanda.

    Thanks to you and Opester for giving me something to do on this Tropical Stormy day!!


  2. Anonymous Says:

    Amanda has to be a saint... there's no way I could be so kind.

  3. Sunstreaked Says:

    LOL! Amanda isn't a saint, but it IS his mother. I sorta picture her between the two, hoping "mom" will come around, trying not to cause more friction, but certainly not happy about it. She's also gotta learn the dynamics between Jon/Mom/Dot etc. as she's new to all these long lifetime relationships. Anyway, that's sorta what I was thinking when I wrote this.

  4. Shelly Says:

    God bless Amanda w/Jon's mom.

    I would have torn that woman to shreds!!! LOL

    Thank god Jon said something to her about the way she was acting. Hopefully she'll stop all of this and be the mother she needs him to be right now.

  5. Cathy Says:

    Another great chapter! I still want to slap Carol but with any luck this will smarten her up. I love Dot.

  6. Oh Poor Amanda! I'[m in tears for her! Good for Jon standing up to his Mom! I'm just wondering when good ole Dad steps in!

  7. Yippee!! Jon grew a pair! It's about freakin time.

  8. Opester Says:

    Gotta agree here with Willow-it's about freakin' time! Jon's mother is stubborn, but we all know who is more stubborn and Carol had better get with the progam...and fast! I do wish Amanda would stand up for herself as it's clear she would have Jon's support and sometmes you do need to fight fire with fire-it seems sarcasm is the only language that Carol understands!

  9. jovikitn65 Says:

    There is no way I could just sit there and let his mom talk about like I don't exist. Damn woman pisses me off!! Jon you better make sure she understands every word you said.

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