St. Daddy's Day!
by Patricia
Catie jumped out of her bed with more enthusiasm than four 8 year olds put
together.  Throwing on her robe as she ran, Catie headed for the kitchen
area of the apartment.
       
Her joy bubbling over, the little blond was hard pressed at being quiet.
       
She took a tray and a carafe and two mugs from the cupboard.  As carefully
as possible, Catie dispensed coffee into the carafe and mugs.  Then she
took a container of various chopped fruits from the refrigerator and,
popping the top off, placed it on the tray.
       
Hearing footsteps behind her, Catie whirled around quickly, trying to hide
the contents on the counter.
       
"What're you doing?"  Four year old Victor wiped the sleep from his eyes.
       
Catie's panic subsided and she placed a finger to her lips.  "Sh-h-h!  It's a
surprise for Mommy and Daddy!"  Catie turned back to her work.
       
This information had Victor wide awake and curious.  "What's the surprise
for?" he nearly yelled.
       
"Airlock it!"  Catie glared at him.  "Do you wanna wake them up?  Be quiet
or else you'll have to go back to bed."  Catie went back to her work of
placing biscuits in the toaster.
       
Victor eagerly pulled a chair up close to the counter and climbed up.  He
leaned close to Catie and spoke in a loud whisper.  "What's the surprise
for?"
       
Catie rolled her eyes.  `It's times like this,' she thought, `that little brothers
are annoying.'  "You'll see!"  She said aloud deciding to tease him.  "Do you
wanna help?"
       
Victor nodded enthusiastically.
       
"Get the jam out of the refrigerator, please."  Catie pulled the hot biscuits
from the toaster as her brother jumped down to do as she asked.
       
Victor handed her the jam and climbed back up into the chair.
       
Catie spread the jam on the biscuits, making quite a mess.  "Do you know
what today is, Victor?"  He shook his head as he watched her.  "Today is a
special day.  Today is a super alpha special day for Daddy.  Everybody
has to be nice to him today.  Do you know why?"
       
Victor shook his head again as he watched his sister take a small plate out
of the cupboard and place the biscuits on it.  He was getting very hungry as
he watched her.  Victor reached out and scooped some jam off the counter
with his fingers and popped them in his mouth.
       
"There!"  Catie took a half a step back and admired her work.  "That's
perfect!"
       
Lifting the tray carefully and unsteadily, Catie made her way slowly to her
parent's bedroom with Victor close behind.  "Victor," she whispered, "open
the door for me please."
       
Her brother did as he was told and the door slid back quietly.
       
Oblivious to their children, John and Helena Koenig slept peacefully, curled
together under the covers.
       
Like tiny mice, the children crept slowly around their father's side of the
bed.  Catie placed the tray on his side table and grabbed Victor's hand.  
She pulled him around to the foot of the bed and whispered in his ear.
       
Victor grinned broadly and nodded his agreement.
       
Helena began to stir as Catie counted softly.  "1...2...3," then the two spoke
loudly in unison, "Happy Birthday, Daddy!"
       
John and Helena almost sat straight up.  They looked at their children in
shock for a moment and then smiled as they clamored up onto the bed and
into their laps.
       
"What's all this?"  Helena asked.
       
Catie hugged her father tightly.  "It's Daddy's birthday today!"  She said.  
Victor copied his sister.
       
"Well so it is!  Thank you, children."  John hugged them back.  "What
smells so good?"  He sniffed the air.
       
Catie climbed down and carefully lifted the tray.  She handed it over to her
parents, spilling a bit of the coffee.  "I made you breakfast!"  She declared.
       
"I helped!"  Victor piped in.
       
"Only a little."  Catie announced.
       
Helena put her arm around her son.  "A little is good when you're little."
       
"Father?"  Catie climbed back up on the bed.  "Do you know what really
alpha stellar thing we're doing all day in the level G rec-room?"
       
John fained innocence.  "What?"
       
"We're having a huge St. Patrick's Day party all day for all shifts."  Catie
said as if she were announcing a bulletin.  "For us it will be like two parties
in one.  It's St. Paddy's Day and it's Daddy's birthday!"  Catie clapped
excitedly.
       
Victor climbed into his mother's lap.  His voice shook with excitement.  
"Mommy, can I go to the St. Daddy's Day Party, too?"
       
They all laughed heartily and Helena hugged her son tightly.  "Of course
you can!"
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