When Mom Meets Dad

When Mom Meets Dad by Karen Rose Smith

Book: When Mom Meets Dad by Karen Rose Smith Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Rose Smith
some money," he joked.
    Amanda laughed.  "They'll get their money's worth here, Alex.  I really investigated the camp before I chose it for Heather.  I called parents who'd sent their children.  I spoke to the sister of one of my students who'd been a counselor here."
    "I should have known better than to judge it on price or a first impression.  And the truth is, I don't want Kristy growing up to be a snob.  It's just that I felt safe with her at Mountain View, whether it was the best thing for her or not."
    "She can be safe here, too," Amanda assured him.
    "If it were up to me, I would keep her in a gilded cage all her life.  But I know that's irrational.  And I know she'll never learn to fly if I do.  It's just hard to keep perspective sometimes."
    "More than sometimes," Amanda agreed.
    At that moment, he felt closer to Amanda than when he had kissed her.  Well, almost.  And before he thought about it very long, he found himself saying, "I got a call from my parents last night.  They'd just gotten home.  Mom's having a picnic tomorrow evening.  How would you and Heather like to come along?"
    Looking uncertain, Amanda asked, "Are you sure your parents won't mind?"
    "They'd love it.  Mom likes to feed a crowd, and Dad likes to show off as the greatest barbequer on earth."
    "Can I bring anything?"
    "Just yourself."  Then he added, "And Heather."
    The door to the office swung open, and Kristy called to him, "Hey, Dad, are you comin'?"
    "Coming," he called back, then mounted the wooden steps with Amanda, much too pleased she had accepted his invitation, hoping his parents wouldn't read too much into it.
    After all, it was only a picnic.
    ***
    Alex's parents lived in a beautiful stone older home in a pretty section of town.  Tall maples and elms lined the streets, and pink and blue hydrangea bloomed in profusion along many of the houses.  It was a neighborhood that had been developed in the fifties and had seen renovation as well as change.  It gave Amanda a solid feeling.  Alex had come from this middle class background.  It was much different from hers.
    Growing up, she'd lived in an apartment with her mother in a poor section of town.  Her father had left before she was old enough to remember him very well.  Like Jeff, he'd never looked back.  He hadn't cared that he had a daughter.  The school guidance counselor had helped Amanda find every scholarship and grant available for her to attend college.  When Amanda's mother died her sophomore year, she'd taken an apartment in the small college town and worked two jobs, determined to make a success of her life.  And when she'd met Jeff, she'd thought she'd have the family she'd always dreamed of.  But Jeff's idea of family and hers had been very different.  She'd wanted a husband who made his family a priority, but Jeff had found almost everything else more important.  Yet he'd still wanted to dictate her every move--and Heather's.
    Amanda was curious about Alex's parents and how he'd been raised.  As his parents welcomed her on the covered patio of their home, she knew her curiosity was about to be satisfied.
    After Amanda introduced her daughter to Doris and Ed Woodsides, Kristy took Heather into the house to show her the room where she stayed when she slept overnight.
    As Amanda gave Doris a box of imported chocolates that she'd brought as a hostess gift, Doris winked at her son.  "This young lady has good taste."
    "Yes, she does," Alex agreed with a smile at Amanda.
    Ed waved in the direction of the grill.  "Let's you and I get these hamburgers grilled, boy.  Doris, bring out all that stuff you've got in the refrigerator.  Give us twenty minutes and we'll be ready."
    It seemed Alex had gotten his take-charge attitude from his father.  Amanda followed Doris into the kitchen, and they chatted easily.  She found Alex's mother very comfortable to talk to.  As Amanda helped Doris fix a vegetable plate, the older woman asked, "Are you and Alex

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