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Home of Stef and Lena Adams-Foster
7:45am, Wednesday, January 24th
Stef Foster, already dressed in her police uniform, stood in the kitchen, at the stovetop, stirring a large pot of oatmeal. The kitchen was intermittently crowded as her five children bustled in and out, grabbing lunches and packing backpacks. They teased each other, too, shouting and mocking one another, laughing and squealing. Stef shook her head and chuckled at the mayhem.
“Hey you guys, time to eat,” she said, setting the large pot of hot oatmeal in the middle of the kitchen table. “Your mom needs to get on the road. Traffic’s gonna be a mess, so let’s hurry it up.”
Twelve-year-old Jude was the first at the table. He was always hungry and ready to eat. He dove into the oatmeal, piling spoonful after spoonful into his bowl.
“We got brown sugar?” he asked. But before Stef could answer, he spotted the sugar bowl and began to pile heaps of brown sugar into his oatmeal.
“Whoa, whoa,” Lena Foster, Stef’s wife, said as she entered the kitchen. “Jude, we’ve talked about this.” She pulled the sugar bowl away from the boy and went to the counter where Stef was filling a thermos of coffee. “What do you think? Should I take highway 30 or just poke along on Beacon Street?” She hugged her wife and kissed her neck.
“Take the 30,” Stef said. “Snowplows will’ve cleared it first.”
About then, four other teenagers entered the kitchen and began to grab at the toast piled high on a plate as well as to bicker as to who’d used most of the raisins. A glass of milk was toppled and one of the girls, Mariana, shrieked and slugged her brother, Jesús.
“You need to watch it, you clumsy idiot!” she taunted him.
“Hey!” Stef shouted. “No name calling.” She glared at the teens, and they smirked while they began to chow down.
Lena chuckled. “They’re chomping at the bit. Cabin fever, I think. It’ll do them good to get back to school today and maybe run some of that energy off in gym.” She chuckled again and wearily brushed her curly hair from her face.
“They wore you out yesterday, didn’t they?” Stef asked.