Baker Tritten Press
“Our plans for summer vacation have changed this year,” Anthony Parker announced to his family over the dinner table.
Brad and Charlie Parker, identical eleven-year-old twins, looked up from their soggy veggie burgers and stared at their father in horror. Their mother, Jeanette, smiled at her husband as she cut her own dinner into bite-sized pieces. Zoey, the twins’ eight-year-old sister, didn’t even look up from her mushy, ketchup-covered French fries.
Brad and Charlie looked at each other, their hazel green eyes clouded with worry, and silently communicated their mutual dread at a change in summer vacation plans. Every summer since the twins were born the Parker family spent a week in Oklahoma with Anthony’s parents, Wade and Anna Parker. For the twins a week on Grandpa and Grandma Parker’s ranch was the closest thing to heaven they could imagine.
“What about Grandpa and Grandma Parker?” Brad asked.
“What about swimming in the pond?” Charlie chimed in.
“And fishing in the creek,” added Brad.
“Catching frogs too!” cried Charlie.
Their dad tried to speak, but Brad and Charlie continued to talk, their voices rising shrilly with every word.
“Grandpa needs our help checking the cattle. He even lets us steer his pick-up through the pasture when Grandma isn’t there,” Charlie blurted.
Looks of surprise were exchanged by their parents, but before either could respond Brad jumped in.
“We want to see our cousins and go horseback riding with them,” Brad told his parents.
Dad held up his hands. “Boys, be quiet for a. . . .”
But Brad said to their father, “Please, we want to go to Oklahoma. Please, Dad, please, please, please. . . . ”
“Just close your mouths and listen for one minute,” he snapped in irritation. “We’re going to Hawaii for two weeks.”
“Hawaii!” Charlie shouted.“Two weeks!” yelled Brad.
“We don’t want to go to stupid old Hawaii,” complained Charlie. “We want to see Grandpa and Grandma.”
“The three of us aren’t going to Hawaii,” Zoey spoke for the first time since dinner began.
Brad and Charlie looked at their little sister as she swirled her fries around in the ketchup and made smiley-faces with her peas and carrots.
“See,” Charlie exclaimed in triumph, “Zoey doesn’t want to go to Hawaii either!”“I didn‘t say that,” Zoey said to her brother. “I said we aren’t going to Hawaii. Only Mommy and Daddy are going.”
Her parents looked at Zoey in surprise. Charlie snarled at his sister, but Brad looked at his parents with hope blooming in his heart.
“Is Zoey right?” Brad asked excitedly. “Are you guys really going to Hawaii without us?”
Their mother watched Zoey with a puzzled look on her face, but Dad answered Brad, “Yes, your Mom and I are going to Hawaii, and you three will be staying with Grandpa and Grandma Parker for two weeks this summer.”
Brad and Charlie shouted with joy and gave each other high fives. Their mom was still watching Zoey with a frown on her face.
“Honey, how did you know that you and your brothers aren’t going to Hawaii with Daddy and me?” Mother asked. “We never told you that.”
Zoey looked at her mother and smiled, “God told me.”
There it was.