“Mom, tell him to stop keeping me awake at night!”
“Tell him to stop tying my shoelaces together!” Michelle sighed.
The youngest daughter of Danny Tanner, she’d been told many times that the closer children were in age, the more chance there might be of sibling rivalry. Not that there weren’t battles between sisters in her family. But, the difference in ages meant that the older one would theoretically be more of a leader, in her dad’s mind, and more able, over time, to help with the younger one. At least, that’s what he and Michelle’s mother, Pam, had decided long ago. But, Michelle had never known her mother. Pam had died in an accident when she was a baby. And, her Aunt Becky - who’d come from a large family - and others had advised her how wonderful it was to have kids closer together.
“If you just have two, they’ll be best friends like Nicky and Alex,” Becky said, referring to her twin boys. She decided this was one time they needed a reminder.
“Boys, I am not a referee! Come here.” She invited both to snuggle with her on the couch, and they did. “Now, listen. You are not the first kids to be bugged by each other. But, there’s something special and wonderful about each of you. And, you need to remember that.”
“I got a feeling we’re gonna hear a story,” the younger one said. At least her stories weren’t as rambling as their Grandpa Tanner’s or Aunt Stephanie’s. Michelle giggled, the same delighted giggle that reminded many of her late mother. “You’re a team, and that means learning to enjoy those little quirks.”
“Is this one about you and Aunt Stephanie?”
“No, actually, it’s about Aunt Stephanie and Aunt D.J.. I heard it a few times over the years, though. And, it shows what being a team is really all about.”
Once she said this, she began, and the boys’ minds drifted back to a time over twenty years before…
“That’s weird,” seven-year-old Stephanie Tanner said as she finished tossing and turning and stared at her digital clock again. “Isn’t it amazing, Deej? Hey, Deej, look!”
D.J. Tanner, twelve, finally awakened and turned toward her sister. “What is it, Steph?”
“The clock. It’s 2:00 in the morning. They’ve got a two o’clock in the morning, just like they do in the afternoon.”
D.J. sighed. It was going to be one of those nights - her younger sister was obviously much more awake than she.
“So, we get up at what, seven, eight o’clock?”
“Well, Dad has to be up by six to get ready and do his TV show. And, Michelle gets up and comes in here only a little later sometimes.” Michelle was three.
“Okay, let’s say six. That still means it’s six hours after midnight, right?” D.J. confirmed this, unsure of where Stephanie was going with it. “So, do we really eat supper at night?”
“No, Steph, night is when we‘re sleeping. Or at least when we‘re sleeping if we don‘t have a sister keeping us awake,” D.J. complained. “That’s what I thought. Mr. Bear thought the same thing.” Mr. Bear was her favorite stuffed toy, a gift from their mom when Michelle was born.
“I wonder if Harry can climb trees at night. On the playground, he was saying there was no way a girl could climb as well as a boy. I told him of course they can. I climb on things all the time, right, Deej?”
“Yeah, especially things you’re not supposed to get on.”
“Right now; my nerves,” D.J. quipped. Stephanie refused to take a hint.
“Good one, Deej. I guess I did climb a lot when I was little; I got timeout sometimes for it. But, now I only climb good stuff.” She pointed at the curtains above the large window in their room.
“Remember when I scaled that curtain? I went all the way up to the curtain rod and over to the other side!” She’d done that the first day she moved into D.J.’s room.
“Yeah, you used to do it all the time.”
“I like climbing trees, too. It’s kind of like being a bird. What kind of bird would you be, Deej?”
“Right now, I’d want to be a sleeping one.”
When Stephanie insisted on asking D.J. to name one, she quickly said, “Steph, I hope someday Michelle turns your life into a Bert and Ernie skit the way you do mine at times.”
“Yeah, they’re funny, aren’t they? So, name a bird.“
“Okay, a turkey.”
Stephanie‘s eyebrows shot up. “A turkey?!” Why would anyone want to be that?
“Right. If you had turkey in the room with you, you could be eating turkey right now, and your mouth would be full, and then you couldn’t talk.” D.J. smiled triumphantly as Stephanie paused for a few moments to ponder that one.
“Tell you what, Steph, I’ll go down and make you some warm milk, that’ll help you go to sleep.”
D.J. wasn’t the total mother of the house - their dad’s best friend Joey and brother-in-law Jesse had moved in to help raise the girls. Becky, Jesse‘s girlfriend, was over a lot, too. However, D.J. did little things for Michelle like staying home from a slumber party to care for her when she had chicken pox - and, as it turned out, she did things for Stephanie, too. She meditated on these things as she poured a glass of milk, covered it, and put it in the microwave.
However, Stephanie’s mind was on other matters as she slipped downstairs behind D.J.; confusing matters that kept children her age up at night at times.
“If we don’t go to bed till eight or nine o’clock, then midnight isn’t midnight, because it’s not the middle of the night.”
“Steph, the English language isn’t supposed to make sense.”
“I don’t know. But, look at words like only. The ‘n’ and ‘l’ should be reversed, right?”
The microwave beeped as Stephanie said, “I always wondered about that. I figured maybe the guy who made up that spelling just couldn’t see too well. But, back to the time…”
“Hey, everything okay?” Joey asked as he stepped up from the basement in his Batman pajamas. He was a professional comedian and a kid at heart.
“I was just asking D.J. why they call it midnight if right now is closer to the middle of the night.”
Joey thought for a moment. “Well, maybe back in the old days, the night watches on ships went from six till midnight and then from midnight to six in the morning.”
“Wow, Joey, I’m impressed,” D.J. said. “Usually you say something that has to do with cartoons.”
“Well, of course, I did get that idea from Popeye. You ever notice none of his fights happen at night? That’s because he’s usually on duty back on his ship.”
“Then when does he sleep?” Stephanie wondered. Joey had to think for a moment, as he realized he’d left a gaping hole in his theory.
“Well…Popeye is a cartoon, and therefore cartoon spinach gives him not only big muscles, it also lets him go without sleep.”
“Oh. Thanks, Joey. Thanks, D.J..” Stephanie began drinking the milk, then carried it upstairs.
“I’m going to miss that age when you can explain things so easily to her.”
Around nine that morning, the day after Thanksgiving, D.J., Jesse, and Joey walked into the living room. Danny was giving Michelle a bath, since she hadn‘t gotten one the day before, with all the festivities. D.J. sighed. Stephanie was yapping away on the phone with Harry about tree climbing.
“Steph, I need the phone to call Kimmy,“ D.J. insisted. Kimmy Gibbler was her best friend; though the rest of the family considered her annoying.
“In a minute, Deej.”
When D.J. kept insisting, Stephanie told Harry to hold on, and looked directly at her older sister.
“Just so you know, I’m involved in a very important philosophical debate with Harry.“ She had picked up the word after Danny explained that an argument between Jesse and Jesse’s dad had been over “philosophical differences” - Jesse thought music was more important, while his dad thought continuing the family business was. So, she knew “philosophical” meant the way people think.
She further told D.J., “When I win this argument, you’ll be glad I did.”
She turned back to the phone. “Don‘t listen to Mike, Harry. For his information; girls rule, and boys drool!”
D.J. turned to Jesse, hoping he‘d make Stephanie give her the phone.
“Hey, lighten up, Deej, that was a very important debate to me at that age, which ones ruled and which ones drooled.”
Joey pumped his fist. “That’s right; and you tell Harry I agree with you!”
Jesse stared at him.
“Hey, I’m helping raise her, I want to support her.”
“Is that so, Harry?! All right, that settles it. Tree climbing, in the park, one o’clock, my Uncle Jesse and Joey will be the judges.” She hung up and stomped away, before turning around.
“Harry thinks boys can climb better than girls; I’ll show him. I need to get some good climbing clothes on for later. And, Daddy will be taking Michelle to the doctor for a checkup.”
“Don’t you have something to ask us first?” Joey inquired.
Stephanie thought for a second, and agreed. She had been a little hasty, she was always very excitable, and after the past week, she was really anxious to prove she could climb the best.
“Sorry. Will you judge our tree climbing, please?”
“Sure, Steph,” Jesse agreed. “We’ll even go with you to the park.”
D.J. was about to pick up the phone, when Kimmy opened the Tanners’ front door instead.
“Deej, guess what? I brought along some reading material for when we babysit the Lezcano kids.”
Kimmy, thirteen and very weird, held up a picture.
“Kimmy, that’s just a picture of some athletes advertising underwear.”
“I know. I love to stare at it and drool.”
Stephanie walked by and glanced at the picture. “What’s that?”
“It’s a picture of some handsome men, squirt. I’m going to look at it while we babysit.”
“Oh. D.J. said she had a real babysitting challenge. But, if it was the guys in that picture you were going to babysit, you could almost do that yourself.”
Stephanie held up a finger. “Notice I said almost.”
Kimmy was notorious for being quite dumb; Stephanie in particular couldn’t stand her.
“Don’t I wish, squirt. Don’t I wish.”
“Kimmy and I might take David and Jenna to the park this afternoon.”
“Cool, I’ll be there, too, and so will Uncle Jesse and Joey. There’s some big trees there.”
“Well, if we don’t see you before, good luck,” D.J. said as she prepared to leave for the Lezcano home several blocks away.
“Yeah, squirt. Just one piece of advice. Never look down.”
“Kimmy, I’d enjoy looking down and seeing you the size of an ant; maybe you’d seem less annoying,” Stephanie said glibly.
After lunch, Stephanie merrily skipped ahead of Jesse and Joey as they went to the park. The San Francisco weather was still quite mild, allowing for good tree climbing with a light jacket and long sleeved shirt or a sweater.
Stephanie still liked hanging around boys sometimes; especially when she could brag to her older sister about having boys around her. But, as she neared her eighth birthday, she was at the age where boy-girl competition was beginning its largest ascent in her mind. She would sign up to play baseball soon after she turned nine so she could have something to discuss with a boy named Bret, as she began the long climb toward having boyfriends & finally getting married. But, right now, she was intent on proving that girls were indeed better than boys
“Hey, Stephanie,” Harry said with a smile. “Sorry to disappoint you, but your sister’s friend over there just proved Mike right.”
“She says she’s going to look at a picture of some men and drool.”
Stephanie shook her head and proclaimed, “Harry, you can’t judge all girls by what Kimmy does. For one thing, her feet smell worse than all the other girls put together. Now, where’s Walter?”
Stephanie glanced at the lowest branch of a tree, where Walter was swinging.
“My dad says it‘s important to warm up before a competition.” “Fine. Okay, here are the rules. My Uncle Jesse borrowed a stopwatch from his girlfriend Becky, and he’ll be judging our times. Joey will watch for how high we climb.”
“Right, and remember, no cheating by hopping on the back of a bird,” Joey joked.
Jesse continued by stating, “If any of you get in trouble, remember, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s whether you can make it down safely. So, that means don’t try to go any higher than you feel safe going.”
“Did you climb trees a lot?“ Walter asked as he got down from the branch.
“What, are you kidding?’ Jesse explained, “I was Dr. Dare on a motorcycle, but I’ve never been like that in trees. I could get leaves or twigs in my hair.” Jesse was obsessive about having perfect hair.
As the three picked out the best trees in a clump near the center of the park, Kimmy turned her attention to them.
“Who do you think will win, Deej?”
“Well, I don’t know. I remember Mom telling me once at that age she used to think God made Eve but that Adam evolved from a monkey, because of the way they act. Like Harry swinging from that tree, the wild noises…”
“True. And, you can’t ignore the banana smell.”
D.J. chuckled at the comment as their charges swung on the swings. While it would have made a good joke, she had to wonder if Kimmy’s odd comment was serious, knowing her so well.
“Still,” D.J. continued, “Steph’s always been climbing on things. I remember her being able to climb up on the kitchen counter when she was just two. And also…”
D.J. suddenly hollered, “Jenna, no!” as she raced toward the swingset. The five-year-old girl they were watching, who was tall for her age, looked ready to tumble off the sliding board as she was trying to walk up it. D.J. grabbed her before she did, but fell and twisted her ankle doing it.
“Deej, are you okay?” Joey asked.
D.J. gritted her teeth as tears of pain inched out. “I’m fine, Joey. I didn’t hear a snap or anything. Oooh.”
She stood on it gingerly. Now, she was sure it wasn‘t broken, but it did hurt.
“I‘ll just need to put some ice on it when we get home, I think. Kimmy, can you watch when they wander, I’m going to just stay here and entertain them for a while.”
“Sure thing, Deej.”
By this time, Jesse had called time, stopped the stopwatch, and rushed over with Joey to be by D.J.’s side. The men helped D.J. hop over to where she could sit on a tree trunk and keep her ankle elevated.
“You sure it’s okay, Deej?” Jesse asked. “I’m fine. It just smarts a lot right now, that’s all.”
Jesse and Joey both felt the ankle. From the way D.J. reacted to their touching it, they could tell it wasn’t broken.
“Yeah, you’re right. I remember this from coaching your soccer team last year, it looks like a classic sprain, that’s all. You sure you don’t want one of us to go get the car and come back and take you home?”
“No, Uncle Jesse, I promised to help Kimmy babysit, and I can still do that here.”
“Alright, that’s the spirit!” Jesse said enthusiastically.
Joey ran home to get some ice, since it was only a couple blocks away, while Jesse wrote down how fast the climbers had climbed their trees so far. By the time Joey returned, Stephanie, Harry, and Walter had climbed down, and everyone was by D.J.’s side but Kimmy. Kimmy had been for a while, but she had had to round up the babysitting charges again.
Once ice was applied to D.J.’s ankle, and a towel wrapped around it, Jesse suggested they resume the contest. As D.J. tried to cheer while keeping her ankle iced and elevated as best she could, Jesse and Joey studied the trio of climbers. With leaves off of almost all the trees now, it was quite easy to see them. Their skill was evident to the judges.
“Look at that, wow, Harry, you’re at the top,” Joey announced.
“Sure glad we didn’t go after that tree,” Stephanie said as she looked straight ahead at a tree perhaps thirty yards from them. While it had a tire attached to it for kids to swing on, it was not the best climbing tree for second graders as it was clearly higher with branches further apart.
“I couldn’t have gotten to the top of that one,” Harry said.
Walter admitted that he couldn’t have, either.
Kimmy looked up for a moment. “Maybe someday Jenna will; her dad says she a real climber, just like you.”
“Mom calls her a daredevil,” David remarked.
“Yeah, I can see; hey, maybe you kids oughta come down,” Joey remarked.
Jesse added, “Steph, you beat Walter out in speed, but it looks like you’re a little light on the height.”
“You might be right, Uncle Jesse,” Stephanie admitted. “I guess I’m more of an escape artist type.”
Indeed, her skills were such she could literally climb into a coat while it was still hanging in the closet, as she would do only a few months later at Becky’s. But, she had to admit she really didn’t have the height some boys did.
As they climbed around and then came down slowly, taking time to enjoy the scenery and the fun, Joey looked at Jesse.
“Sure is nice out here, huh?”
“Yeah, if you’re ridin’ a Harley through it.”
“Oh, come on, Jess, there’s such beauty out here. The birds are singing.” He aggravated Jesse by making a bird sound sending his hand flying right past Jesse’s eyes.
“The ducks are going south.” Turning to Daffy Duck, he said, “Yeah, cause it’s too far to take the bus,” deliberately spitting in Jesse’s face at the last “s” for comedy.
“And, of course, the rabbits are out hopping around.” He impersonated Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny going “Rabbit season”/“Duck season” back and forth several times.
“Oh, come on, Joey, knock it off,“ Jesse finally said, flailing a hand. “Look, I don’t mind if you get all crazy about nature, I can’t stand it, okay? The only thing I know about those pretty birds of yours is they love to do their business on my motorcycle.”
“And not only that, animals stink. They…what are you starin’ at?”
“Well, Jess…you know what you said about birds and your motorcycle?”
“Yeah, I mean, you look at all the cars in San Francisco, I swear the birds must find half of ‘em to do their business on. How is it that a creature that finds its way back to the same nest every year can’t find a decent bathroom?”
He suddenly noticed Joey still staring at his hair. “What are you lookin’ at my head for, I got a hair out of place?”
“Well, Jess…it’s a one in a billion shot, but…”
Joey just didn’t know how to tell Jesse what he’d seen; Jesse was obsessed with having perfect hair.
“What do you mean, one in a billion, they got my cycle mark-.” Jesse stopped in midsentence, suddenly realizing…
“Please, tell me it isn’t…” His mouth stood agape as he pleaded with his eyes. He thought he might have felt a little something, but Joey was always clowning, and…. Well, it couldn’t be, could it?
“Hey, hairboy,” Kimmy said. “Looks like some bird thought your name was John,” Kimmy remarked as she walked by.
“Aaaauuuggghh!!! My gorgeous, beautiful hair!”
Jesse reached up for a second, then realized that would feel worse. He stared daggers at her, then at Joey for laughing, as he considered what a bird had just done. His mouth and eyes incredibly wide, he was in shock for a second.
“This isn’t funny!”
“True, there’s one bright spot. It didn’t hit your motorcycle,” Joey said with a smirk. He just wished he had a chance to mess up Jesse’s hair when he couldn’t retaliate; that would have been priceless.
Fed up with Joey, Jesse looked nervously around him and said, “A hat, I need a hat! Come on, help me get this off of here, and then we need to get home so I can wash my hair.”
He didn’t want to touch it. Joey and the children, minus Jenna, tried to help Jesse as they walked over to D.J..
“Uncle Jesse, just remember, one of these days, we’ll all look back and laugh,” Stephanie reminded him.
“Yeah, if I live to be five hundred. Hey, be careful, will ya? You’re rubbing it in!”
“Uncle Jesse, we’re trying to get it out,” D.J. said as they used large leaves as mitts of sorts to try and get the stuff out of his hair.
“Yeah, well, hurry up, I spent a lot of time on it this morning,” Jesse groused. “Oh, it’s no use, I’m gonna have to spend two whole hours making sure I get it all out in the shower when we get home.”
As the others were all talking, Kimmy suddenly spouted, “Hey, have you seen Jenna?”
“What do you mean, she was playing Frisbee with you and David, wasn’t she?”
“Yeah, Deej, until about…well, it’s been a while It was sometime during the contest.”
“Well, why didn’t you…Oooh,” D.J. said, wincing mightily. When she’d tried to get up; she’d put all her weight on the bad ankle. “…say something?”
D.J. finished as Joey helped her stand so most of her weight was on her good ankle. She was so concerned she’d forgotten about the sprain.
“Well, I followed David since he wanted to look at some squirrels and stuff, then when I looked back I saw Jenna coming this way. So, I thought she was with you, and I started watching the kids climb back down, and of course your Uncle Hairboy and his accident.”
Jesse quickly took control of the situation. “Okay, look, let’s not panic, we’ve got plenty of people here who can help find her. We’ll split up in teams. Joey, you go with Kimmy, I’ll go with Steph, and try not to think of my hair, and the three boys will go together.” He figured Joey would be the least annoyed by Kimmy.
While he was saying this, though, and everyone else was talking, Stephanie thought she heard a cry coming from a tree. She ran toward it, and found Jenna in one of the tallest trees in the park.
“What are you doing up there?” she called.
“G-getting more s-scared.”
Stephanie got on the tire, grabbed the rope hanging from the bottom branch, and began to propel herself upward without thinking. When Jesse got there, she was already twelve feet up.
“Steph, what are you doin’, none of you wanted to touch this tree during the contest.”
“I know, Uncle Jesse,” she said as she reached for a higher branch. “But there’s someone up there, and I’m going to save her.”
She continued to look up toward the girl. “Hang, on, I’m coming!”
D.J. had just now noticed the little girl crying for help. “Oh, great, what are we going to tell her parents, that we lost their little girl up in a tree?”
“Hey, look on the bright side; she can’t get bitten by a stray dog now. Or even a stray bear,” Kimmy noted.
D.J. sighed, unable to find humor in Kimmy’s odd comments. She knew she shouldn’t blame herself for spraining her ankle, but she couldn’t help but think that normally, she would have been able to catch her before she started up that tree, or at least that she could climb that tree and get her. This was one of those times she wished Kimmy had a lot more sense.
“Aw, man,” Jesse grumbled.
Joey thought he understood. “Yeah, that’s quite a climb. I think Steph can make it, though.”
“Yeah, but will I? Her constant talking was what was gonna help me keep my mind off my hair.”
Kimmy appraised it and remarked, “It doesn’t look that bad. It just looks like some flying squirrel applied your mousse this morning.”
With his hands up like antlers, Joey impersonated Bullwinkle. “Hey, Rocky didn’t apply me to anything.”
“Yeah, I believe it; you probably didn’t even bother applying to Kindergarten,”
Jesse snapped. How could Joey make jokes at a time like this?
Moments later, Stephanie had reached Jenna. The five-year-old was still quite frightened.
“It’s okay, Jenna, put one arm around me.“ She did so, very hesitantly, holding on for dear life with the other.
“That’s good, don’t be scared, I‘m right here. Now the other. Attagirl, now we’ll just have a short cli-imb!” She glanced down for a moment, then shrieked slightly. “Ahhhh! Oh, no!"
“Hey, squirt, don’t look down!” Kimmy advised.
“If anyone was going to make me this scared,” Stephanie muttered, “ I thought it would be her. Instead I did it to myself.”
“We can call the fire department,” Joey said.
“No…it’s okay…I can do this.” Holding very tight, she wrapped an arm around Jenna; it was shaking slightly as she did so. Why had she climbed such a tall tree?
“Remember your courage hangy ball,” Joey called out, reminding Stephanie of something he’d told her at the dentist once, that a little thing hanging in her throat was the location of her courage.
“Yeah, of course.” She gingerly felt around for a branch lower than her, yet high enough for her to put a foot on without having to stretch too far.
“This isn’t working; I need two hands.”
“Yeah, that’s right, Jenna, you hold on to Stephanie real tight!” David called out. Stephanie said that wasn’t necessary to say.
“She’s already got me like a boa constrictor; I don’t think she could let go if she wanted.”
Stephanie slowly lowered herself to another branch, lifting Jenna up a little again, as she would do at each When Harry and Walter called out a suggestion, she moved over a little onto a branch at the same level. Looking down again, she was still a lot higher than she wanted to be.
“Just keep talking yourself through, Steph. Just like the little engine that could,” D.J. shouted from her tree trunk.
“Right. I think I can. I think I can.”
“I hope you can, I hope you can,” Jenna said, whimpering.
“Do you need our help, Stephanie?” Walter asked.
“Just help me from down there. Right now…it might confuse me too much with everyone up here,” she told them. Harry was impressed.
“I don’t care who won the contest just now. If you make this, Stephanie, I’m telling everyone you were the champion tree climber.”
“IF?! Harry, I’m way far up in a tree with a five-year-old trying to squeeze the life out of me; I would really like it if you said when!”
“Sorry, chief. When you make it,” Harry said sincerely.
Stephanie was glad Harry had said that, for a few feet later, she heard a twig snap off.
“What was that?”
“Steph, it’s okay, you got another branch over to the right there. That was just a little twig,” Jesse explained.
“Yeah, squirt, unless your bones snapped and you’re starting to get arthritis.”
“I might; I might be eighty by the time I come down.”
Stephanie moved toward the branch Jesse suggested, and moved a rung lower. She’d never been too afraid of climbing; there was a point at which she disliked going any further, though, and she was just now below that point. Her main skills were in climbing short distances, and smaller trees.
Still, as D.J. had said, she had to keep thinking positive. She could hear D.J. - and, a little bit, her mom encouraging her, saying “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” She continued to boost Jenna up slightly at each level as the others cheered her on from below. Now that she wasn’t looking down, she wasn’t trembling near as much. But, she couldn’t believe how long it was taking.
“Okay, Steph, you’re almost there,” she heard after what seemed like ages.
“I got Jenna,” Jesse announced.
“And I got you,” Joey said as he pulled her off the tree.
Stephanie felt her feet touching solid ground, then looked up where she and Jenna had been.
“I did it!” she shouted. “I really climbed all that! Did you guys see that?!”
“We sure did, come here,” D.J. called. When Stephanie ran over, D.J. gave her a huge bear hug.
“Deej, you’re squeezing me like Jenna did.” “Yeah, I know. I’m just so glad to have you around to help at times like this! Thanks!”
“Wow, what a feat,” Kimmy said as she turned to Jesse. “Made you forget completely about what that bird did to your hair, huh?”
Jesse continued to smile proudly at Stephanie for one more second, then turned to Kimmy and glared.
“Yeah, until just now when you reminded me!”
As the men helped D.J. onto her feet, and she hobbled - the swelling had gone down - and the others walked home, D.J. thanked Stephanie again.
“You bug me a lot sometimes. But, we make a pretty good team after all,” she said proudly.
Back in the present, Michelle concluded. “Now, see, they had their arguments after that. Aunt Stephanie’s probably told you how much she liked to snoop. But, they realized they could be a team. And, D.J. saw that there were benefits to having a younger sibling around. Stephanie really helped her there, didn’t she?”
“Yeah. Hey, let’s see which of us can climb the highest!” They ran out into the backyard.
A while later, Danny found her out in the backyard, watching the boys climb trees.
“Hey, Michelle. The boys are having fun, huh?”
“Yep. It’s all Jeff and I can do to keep them from fighting sometimes, but at times like this, I can see what Aunt Becky meant by their becoming best friends.”
She told Danny about the story she’d told them.
“It takes a while sometimes,” Danny remarked. “But, you two make great parents. The important thing is that you surround them with the same love we always surrounded you girls with.”
“I guess it’ll work out eventually, huh?”
“Sure. You tend to forget the battles you had growing up - well, except for the ones that make great stories. But, the love and fun times that you share, those are things that last forever.”