"My pleasure, Hornbull. It only needed a bit of glue!" Edward was just helping another relieved parent and happy little boy, when he heard the familiar giggle of his own son. It always made his day.
"Hello daddy!" Pumpkin chimed happily. "Hello my boy, had a fun day?" Edward inquired as he hugged his son.
"Thank you for picking up Pumpkin from Nursery School, did he behave?" Edward turned his attention to PC Bobby Roberts, as single dads they often help each other out when it comes to their boys. "As always, and I think we had a fun time too!" Bobby assured Edward.
"The two rascals were waiting for me outside the school, luckily Delia was keeping an eye on them."
"Then we quickly went to check for any messages or distress signals, at the police box. Obviously there was nothing."
"At that point I was starving, and decided to grab a quick bite at the Hamburger Restaurant, and they demanded some french fries. Luckily, they forgot about the milkshake!"
Edward had a good laugh, and thank Bobby for the time he took to bring Pumpkin to him. While talking they decided to have a quick barbeque that evening. It was afterall Friday evening and Edward will be babysitting his brother's children. Elmar was taking Mae out for their anniversary.
Later that afternoon, after struggling to get Hugie bathed and fed, Bobby rode out to the Log Cabin of the Mulberries. Hughie loved riding on his dad's bicycle with him.
Edward too, was getting ready for the evening. Luckily Candy and her best friend, Freya, who was visiting for the evening, helped by bathing Pumpkin and his niece Cookie. He could quickly bake a bread for dinner and put out the dinner plates.
"Daddy," it was Pumpkin, looking extremely serious, "why don't I have a mommy? Did she really throw me away? Will she one day come for me again?"
Edward was shocked, not only by the harshness of the questions, but mostly by what must have been going through this little boy's head for the past few months. Yes, they still have sessions with Velvette Slydale, the social worker, but obviously he needed some confirmation from Edward. Edward took a deep breath and turned to his boy...
"My dearest little Pumpkin, I know that you feel confused, especially because most of your friends, have daddies AND mommies. But sometimes a daddy is enough. I'm sure your mommy loves you and I'm sure that she misses you a lot, but your mommy is a very ill woman, and she can't take care of you. That is why she send me to you, and I will do my best to take care of you forever and forever." Edward explained lovingly. The puzzled look on Pumpkin's face subsided "I love you, daddy! You are the best!" and with that Pumpkin jumped of the chair and quickly climbed the pole to the attic room. Edward was still in shock, but it looked as if Pumpkin was happy with the answer he got, for now anyway.
The crushing sound of bike wheels on dirt could be heard, and Edward went outside to welcome his guests.
It was a lovely evening outside. Bobby enjoyed the ride out of the village, and obviously Hughie did too, as he started to complain when they came to a halt.
However, as soon as he realised they were visiting his best friend, Pumpkin, he was satisfied.
The two adults enjoyed catching up outside work, and Edward shared the little situation that happened earlier with Bobby. "I think you handled it perfectly, Edward. The two boys must have been talking as Hughie asked me exactly the same questions last night. Unfortunately, I couldn't answer the question about his Mother, as I don't know where she is, but I managed to satisfy his curiosity too. For now that is."
After a hearty meal, everyone gathered around the fire. Edward decided to make his special 'campfire-hot-chocolate'. It was delicious and the children enjoyed it immensely.
Soon it was time to head back home. As arranged with her parents, Freya rode with Bobby into the village.
To Edward's relieve, the children was so tired that they went to bed without complaining, even Pumpkin was happy to sleep in the camping cot, and he could have a quiet moment on the couch, reliving his day.
Luckily Elmar and Mae didn't arrive to late, and he and Pumpkin could head home to their Treehouse. "Did the children behave?" Mae wanted to know immediately. "They are never any trouble, and this time not even Pumpkin and Cookie had any fights over any toys." Edward assured Mae. "And did you enjoy the barbeque with Bobby?" Elmar asked. "Yes, sure little brother, he is a great friend. But not to worry, you are still my favorite!" Edward teased!