I FELT THE heaviness of new robes again upon my shoulders, as I looked at Aunt Ruth staring me in the eyes with a wide smile. A tall platform with steps had been provided for me to stand on to reach her level as I was sworn in.
Earlier that day I had taken my constitutional oath on live television at The President’s House. It was important, and a big part of the oaths of office, but this one here in the highest courtroom of the land was a much bigger moment for me because of her. She was nearing her eighty-first birthday, having had a huge bash for her eightieth, and said she planned on serving on the court for at least another two terms.
“Please repeat after me,” she said. “I, state your name.”
“I, Cameron Frank Sylvester.”
“Do solemnly swear that I will administer justice…”
She led me through each phrase until I uttered, “under the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
“Congratulations,” she told me with a smile. She gave me a big hug before I hopped down to hug my kids.
Beth was taller than me but shorter than the rest of them. She was the first to reach me though and hugged me, “Congratulations Daddy,” she told me with a smile. She was fourteen and had passed me in height a year ago during her growth spurt, and I had been so relieved that she was no longer just inches away from freedom! With our help, she was at the top of her class in grades, and did pretty well in competitive dance and cheer as well!
Jason stood two inches taller than her and hugged me too, “Awesome Dad!” He told me. At ten-and-a-half years old he was the youngest, and it wasn’t fair that he towered over me so far!
His brother Lance was right next to him and was a little more circumspect with the handshake he gave me. I forced his giant frame that was only eighteen inches shorter than his mom into a hug though. At thirteen I knew he still had plenty of room to grow! I had a feeling he was going to be close to Addy’s height when all was said and done.
My beautiful little girl Laura was next, at eleven-and-a-half years old, she was taller than Beth already, but not quite her brother’s height. The doctors figured that she’d top about nine feet at most when she was done growing, something that made her frown until she put her arm on her big sisters’ shoulder and reminded herself, at least she wasn’t the shortest!
Addy was there next, and our embrace was one that passionately shared our love as we shared a chaste kiss and broke apart. A photographer was on hand to memorialize the moment, and we stood for numerous pictures as a family before going out to eat.
“I’m so proud of you Cameron,” Aunt Ruth said as we walked together.
“Thank you, Aunt Ruth, this would never have happened without you!” I told her.
She laughed, “I’m sure it would have. You’ve always been tenacious and if I hadn’t stepped forward surely your David and Kendra would have found a way.”
I shrugged, “I’m pretty sure you’re the only one that stopped things.”
We had told Beth her history when she turned twelve. She had been really upset about us ‘lying’ to her at first, until I showed her the plaque that she had made me. She’d fingered it as if it triggered a long-lost memory.
“I really loved you, didn’t I?” She asked.
I nodded, “And I, you.”
“And I was completely lost?”
“Completely… Well, you’ve seen those Littles on the news lately…?”
She shuddered, “Yeah…”
It had taken a few weeks of processing, but she had come to me one night and hugged me tightly, “Thank you Daddy for giving me a second chance.”
Not wanting to lie to our kids, eventually, we had told all of them. Fortunately, we had great kids, and not a single one made fun of Beth for it. She was always their loving ‘big’ sister, and would always be that to them no matter her past.
It was why in some ways I couldn’t help but admit my disappointment that she wanted to return to Emerson to go to school when she graduated high school. “Why there?” I asked her, “It’s in Ames?”
“Ames is better now, you’ve said it yourself Dad,” she told me.
“It’s still Ames…”
“I promise I won’t end up in diapers like you,” she smiled.
“And you…?” I reminded her.
“I was shorter then, right?”
I sighed, but nodded, “Yes you were…”
With that, I gave her my blessing and before I knew it, we were soon helping to move her into the same dorm Addy had lived in when we met. As we hugged a final time after saying our goodbyes, she pushed a small wrapped present into my hands. “Open it, but not until after you leave,” she told me.
We soon left her to partake in orientation, and I found myself staring at the wrapped box. Lance, Laura, and Jason were sitting in the back glued to their devices, so I felt like it was okay to open it without them taking too much notice.
I felt my heart stop as I viewed a similar piece of slate to that which she had given me as an adult decades ago.
More Than Inches
As a Little girl, I knew that Daddy
was the one I could always depend on.
No girl knows how dependent on Daddy
she is until she grows to an adult.
Growing up we find ourselves to be like,
the miniature versions of our parents.
Until we learn, while we may look alike,
paths must be different in appearance.
Once upon a time, it was inches that
sent our paths askew. Inches, just inches,
were something that seemed to just be a fact.
But dreams are made of much more than inches!
Daddy taught me that dreams are beautiful,
hopeful, and the way to a better life.
Dreams in inches are really very beautiful,
because Daddy loved enough to give life!
Growing up with a dream to be better.
Inches, just inches, no longer askew.
May this be a token and a tether,
For a daughter’s love, of hope, and a dream.
“You okay Daddy?” Laura asked me.
“Sure am, Laura, couldn’t be better,” I said with a smile, even as I wiped the tears from my eyes as discreetly as possible.
Thank you for joining me on this journey of Cameron's story! Please leave me a comment with your thoughts on the work!
More than anything thank you for reading!!!
It'll be awhile before you hear from me about something new again. I have something I've begun outlining and creating characters for, but having not even written a page yet it'll be a while before I give readers something to look at. Feel free to check out my other works though!
Exchanged (Exchanged Book 1)
Little Hope (Exchanged Book 2)
Alterations (Exchanged Book 3)
Seems Too Good
Emerald Princess (Whateley Tale)
NxK · Feb 13, 2022Complete loss of words on how to describe how I'm feeling. I'm both so happy about this ending and sad that it's over now. Time to re-read/read any and everything of yours as I truly enjoyed this and your other stories. As a reader I'd love to see how these last few chapters connect to future stories. Cameron and company hopefully will be see again. Thank YOU for writing such a wonderful story.
SCGuy19 · Feb 13, 2022This story had a beautiful ending. I'm glad to see Cameron's journey come to a joyous ending and that He and his family are safe and living happy lives. I was more than happy and thrilled that Aubrey and Danica Got what they deserved. Even though I feel Danica's punishment could have been a little lighter and not as severe because her mother was the worst offender of the two in my opinion. I look forward to your Future writings and I'm going to read your other ones as well. You're an amazing and wonderful writer.