All I Want For Christmas Is. . .

By Audrey W.


*Note: this is not a Christmas story



Roy held Jennifer’s hand while Chris walked behind and Johnny beside them. The two men had agreed to take the children to the zoo on their day off, to give Joanne a much-needed break. Gage was reluctant to go along, but the hopeful expressions in the kid’s faces when Roy suggested he join them, made it too difficult to say “No.”


Now the dark-haired man was glad his partner had invited him along. It was turning out to be a lot of fun watching the children’s excitement over the animals. . .and seeing various young women around the zoo who were wearing hot pants and tank tops was an added bonus Johnny just couldn’t help but notice.


As they neared a concession stand, Roy stopped. He turned to face Johnny and Chris.

“Does anybody want a snack while we’re here?”


“Yes! Yes! Oh goody!” squealed Jennifer.


Chris was already on his way over to the snack stand.


“I guess they do,” Johnny said grinning.


The two men and Jenny followed behind Christopher.


“Chris! Your not s’pose to run off from Daddy!” Jenny yelled, scolding her brother.


“It’s okay,” Roy assured her. “He’s within sight, so he’s all right.”


“Yeah but. . .”


“Hey, look at all the things on the menu!” Johnny said, trying to assist Roy in squelching the argument that was about to ensue. Gage remembered DeSoto telling him that Jennifer was getting into a bossy stage at the age of four, and her seven-year-old brother would upset her when he sassed in return. Keeping both kid’s minds on other things would help.


“So, what do you want, Jennifer?” Roy asked.


“Hey, what about me?” Chris whined.


Jennifer placed her hands on her tiny hips. “Ladies first!”


“Here, Chris. I’ll get yours while your dad gets Jenny’s,” Johnny offered.


“Oh boy!”


Jennifer tried not to show that she was jealous of Chris getting treated by Johnny. The little girl quickly turned her attention to her father.


“I want an ice cream cone, Daddy.”


“What kind?”




“Okay.” Roy heard Chris listing everything on the menu for Gage to buy. “Just get him a cherry snow cone. He’ll be fine.”


Johnny nodded, and ordered for himself and Chris.


Once everyone was set with his or her treats, the foursome continued towards the Feline section. It wasn’t long before both Roy and Johnny were done with their ice cream cones. Jennifer ‘s was dripping, so Roy licked some of it off to help the girl out.


Johnny glanced over his shoulder at Chris and stopped walking. He nudged Roy and motioned with his head towards the young boy. Both men watched as Chris would stare curiously at the snow cone, then suck some of the flavoring off, only to stare at the ice again.


“What’s the matter, son?” Roy asked.


“I can’t eat my snow cone.”


“Why not?”


Chris smiled, his teeth firmly together to reveal a wide gap where his two upper front teeth were missing.


“I lost my other tooth last night, remember?”


Johnny tried not to laugh. The poor kid was just finding out what things could and couldn’t be done without front center teeth. The paramedic kind of felt bad he’d bought the snow cone, but then he’d only done what Roy suggested. . .


Roy patted his son on the left shoulder. “Back to the snack stand for an ice cream cone?”


Chris nodded and smiled. “Yeah. Thanks, Dad.”


The small group headed back for the concession stand. Johnny ribbed his partner and snickered.


“So what are you gonna give the poor kid at dinner? Corn on the cob?”


The expression on DeSoto’s face told Gage it was exactly what they had planned to have. The dark-haired paramedic snorted. “You gotta be kiddin’ me . . .”


Roy just shook his head. He figured Johnny would never understand the little things that popped up in parenting until the day he had a child of his own.




My husband and I took our daughter to the zoo and bought her a snow cone, never giving thought that you need your two front teeth to eat the hardened ice. She struggled, not saying a word. Then she finally said, “I can’t eat this.”  lol