@stars-my-darling Thanks so much for this prompt! I know, at face value it seems angsty, but my brain cannot handle more sadness at this moment so I tried to make it funny and it pretty much turned into pure crack! Once again, thank you for the prompt!
Stay safe and take care, everyone!
Amy is trying really hard not to laugh. She’s biting the inside of her cheek, she’s pursing her lips.
But her husband of fifteen years is not making it easy.
Her husband, now in his fifties, lying with his head in her lap, is currently sulking like a teenager (she would know, she has one, and two impending) as he bemoans the behavior of their eldest child.
(Sometimes Amy had the fleeting thought that maybe Jake was her eldest child.)
“How could he?” Jake moans. “What has my life come to?”
“I know, baby, I know.” Amy murmurs, running her hands through his curls, in a move she knows is always soothing to him.
He groans, and Amy realises it is time to stop comforting him and start intervening, if she wants to make him feel better. Also, it is almost dinner time and she’s getting hungry. Jake has made spaghetti and meatballs for tonight- it was supposed to be a big night, the first weekend after their eldest son turned thirteen, but as was evident from Jake’s reaction, the night had been a bust. He’d planned it for ages, but the universe had once again conspired against him, ruining his lovingly and carefully crafted arrangements.
“Honey, I know you’re hurting right now-”
“Damn right I am! And he’ll know it!” Clearing his throat, he yells loud enough to be heard by Mac in his room. “HE IS GROUNDED TILL HE TURNS EIGHTEEN!”
Amy winces. Jake is not taking this well. In most likelihood, Mac wouldn’t have even have heard his father’s words, as the teenager usually has covering his ears. Amy wonders sometimes if he wears them 24x7 just to have an excuse to ignore her orders to ’just do your chores, Mac, c'mon…’
“Grounded for five years? Jake-”
“It’s not nearly enough, is it?” He pouts.
Okay, now Amy really has to try to bite back a grin.
Jake, with flecks of grey woven into his brown curls, glasses now a permanent fixture on his face (ever since the contacts began drying his eyes out too much), combined with the growing stubble on his face makes him look, well, not old, but definitely distinguished, sophisticated, mature. Now imagine this picture of a very handsome, very seasoned man, whining on his wife’s shoulder.
Yeah. So now you can understand Amy’s dilemma.
“Babe, I-” She hesitates, not wanting to make light of her husband’s desolation. “Do we need to ground him for this?”
“For breaking his only father’s heart with his disgusting behaviour? I think so!”
“- I think you’re being too harsh. He’s just a kid. Remember all of the stupid things we used to do when we were their age?”
Jake scoffed. "I don’t know about you, but I was a dream child to parent. I made my own food, and I pretended to believe my dad when he said he couldn’t come to my birthday because he had an important flight-”
Amy raises her eyebrows. “Yeah but you also got your nose pierced without telling your mom and didn’t take care of it and almost lost an eye, you tried to sneak out of your window in the middle of the night, you forgot to return your library books -”
Jake ignores her. “We raised him right! We are good parents!”
“Yes, I agree, but-”
“Fourteen years! Fourteen years I waited for this moment! Only to be openly mocked by my own child-”
“Mocked? Jake, this might be slightly-”
“Don’t you dare say I am overreacting!”
“I am not saying that!” And she isn’t. Considering Jake’s overall personality, she isn’t really surprised by this…meltdown. No matter how funny it is. “I’m just saying that he is growing up to be his own person, with his own ideas and dreams and tastes. And these might clash with ours, sometimes, but -”
“My child! I cannot believe it! My own child!”
“I’ll talk to him,” Amy says, delicately. Saying anything else would just result in further lamenting, she knows.
“They grow up so quickly,” Jake says, bitterly. “I remember when he was four years old and he loved listening to all the stories I told him.”
Amy smiles. Watching their children grow up right in front of their eyes has been one of the most amazing experiences of her life, but she would be lying if she said she didn’t miss their tiny selves, following her around, talking in lisps and actually wanting to hold her hand.
“They said parenting teenagers is hard, but I never knew it would mean this amount of heartbreak.”
Amy tried very, very hard to not roll her eyes. How would Jake react once the underage drinking and late night partying started?
They were interrupted by eleven year old Emily, who had her mother’s face and her father’s sass. “Mom? Dad? I’m hungryyyyyyy!”
Amy throws her an apologetic smile. “Yeah, honey, just a minu-”
But Jake is already on his way to the kitchen, banging pots and pans as he reheats their dinner, muttering under his breath. Amy catches the words “namesake”, “ruined”, and “how did this happen”.
“What’s up with him?” Emily asks, bouncing up to Amy to take her father’s place on her mother’s lap.(All of Jake and Jake’s spawn agreed that their was no comfier place.) Amy gives her a disapproving look for talking about her father like that, but the pigtailed girl is wiser beyond her age, not to mention as cheeky as her older brother (currently designated as his father’s heartbreaker) is docile.
Amy sighs, cuddling her daughter. (She would take all the cuddles she could before puberty took them away from her) “Oh, you know. Today was supposed to be the best day of his life, the day he watched Die Hard with Mac for the first time, and Mac fell in love with it, and they talked about nothing else for the rest of eternity.”
He’s been planning it since the day McClane was born. Obviously, Jake has recounted the story to all his kids, millions of times, but Amy had put her down at them actually watching it in its uncensored form till they turned thirteen, atleast. (“Violence! Language!” Amy said. “Cinematic brilliance! Bruce Willis! Christmas!!” Jake had tried to counter.)
Emily gives her a confused look. “Yeah, so?”
“Mac didn’t really like the movie.”
“…poor daddy.” Emily throws a sympathetic glance in the direction of the kitchen.
“I know, honey. You better like the movie though. I don’t think his sweet little heart could stand rejection from two of his kids.”