LIFE'S LESSONS: MOVING
by Tracy

Edinburgh,
September 10, 1779

Richard Kennedy had the children's nurse bring them into the parlor, "Sit down, children. I have an announcement. I have become Lord Kennedy and a member of parliament."

"Does this mean we are going to move into that castle?" Stephen asked.

"It's a manor." Richard told them.

Archie looked up at his nurse, "What mobe mean?"

"It's when ye leave the place that ye're livin' in," Dorothy explained, "t' live somewhere else."

"I not wan' a leabe!" Little Archie slid off the couch and ran out of the parlor in tears.

"Archie!" Dorothy hurried out the door after him, with Elizabeth and Richard quickly following.

For a toddler, that boy certainly could run!

Dorothy finally caught Archie at the bottom of the stairs. Out of breath, she sat down on the steps, pulling the little one onto her lap, "Archie, are ye going t' tell me why ye don't want t' move?"

"I libe hewe." Little Archie looked up at her, still crying, "I not wan' a leabe."

"Ye know," Dorothy said softly, "I had t' leave my home t' come live here."

" 'ou did?" Tears slowly tracked down Archie's cherub cheeks, "But 'ou not sad."

"No. I was not." Dorothy said, "Because I found somethin' I loved even more then my home."

"What 'ou find?" Archie asked puzzled, with tears still in his beautiful blue eyes.

"I found ye, lamb!" Dorothy squeezed him, lovingly, "I found a family I love more then my home."

" 'ou did?" Archie asked.

"Aye, laddie." She kissed his forehead, "Movin' is not as bad as it sounds."

"Archie?" Richard came to the hall.

"Papa!" Archie looked up at him, "Nuwse Dowfy lobe us mowe den hew home!"

"She does?" Richard smiled at the young woman, who smiled back. Then he looked back at his son, "And we love her too."

" 'es, we do!" Archie stood on Dorothy's leg, put his little arms around his nurse's neck and kissed her cheek. Dorothy smiled and embraced the toddler in return, kissing the top of his head.

"Son," Richard reached down and picked up his son, "I know you do not want to leave your home. But Papa has to move to London. And I do not want to move there without all of you."

" 'ou be sad?" Archie cocked his little head.

"Yes, I would." Richard said, "But there are a lot of things to do in London."

"Father," Constance looked up at him, "could we go to the opera?"

"And the theatre?" Maria asked excitedly.

"Yes, we could." Richard said, "You children will not be bored." Richard looked into the beautiful blue eyes, "I do not want to leave without you, Archie."

" 'cause 'ou lobe me?" Archie asked.

"I do love you, son." Richard embraced Archie, "More then anything in this world."

"I lobe 'ou, Papa." Little Archie hugged his father as tightly as he could.

Breaking off the embrace, Richard kissed Archie's forehead, then kissed each of his cheeks, his nose, and chin, then tickled beneath his chin.

Archie giggled, then lay his head on his father's shoulder.

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September 11, 1779

Elizabeth rocked Archie to sleep, then put the lamps out and went into her bed chambers. "The children are looking forward to moving." She smiled at her husband as she sat down on the bed.

"I know." Richard took his wife's hand and kissed it, "I heard the children talking about it in the nursery. They seemed to have made Archie excited about it as well." He pulled Elizabeth into his arms and kissed her.

Suddenly, Archie began screaming, "Papa! Papa!"

Richard and Elizabeth jumped, releasing each other. Richard got to his feet first, hurrying into Archie's room. Dorothy reached Archie's crib before Richard did. "I will get him." Richard ordered, and reached down to pick his frightened son up.

When he touched the child, Archie screamed in his sleep, "Papa, don' 'et it huwt me!"

"Hush, my little laddie." Richard picked him up, "Hush. I have you."

"Papa, it was twying t' take my head!" Archie cried, wrapping his little arms around his father's neck, trembling.

"Who was trying to take your head, Archie?" Richard sat down in the rocking chair and began rocking.

"Da ghost, Papa!" Archie sobbed, "I don' want t' mobe t' 'ondon!"

"Why?" Richard held his son tightly.

" 'cause da ghost a get me!" Little Archie lay his head on his father chest, trying to bury himself in his father's embrace.

"No, laddie," Richard said, "there are no ghosts."

Sobbing, Archie moved off his father's chest to look up at him, "Den dewe's no Tower a 'ondon?"

Richard frowned, "There is a Tower of London, son."

"Dewe awe ghosts," Archie little lip quivered, "and d'ey gon' a take my head when I go a s'eep!" He buried his faced again, crying.

"No, they will not." Richard tried to calm his son.

" 'es, d'ey will!" Archie insisted, " 'teben say d'ey will!"

"Oh, Stephen they will." Richard was going to make Stephen a very sorry child tomorrow morning, "Listen to me, son. The ghosts are not going to come and take your head. Stephen was just trying to frighten you."

"He did!" Little Archie sobbed.

"Come with me, laddie." Richard stood, "You are going to sleep with us tonight." Richard kissed his little son's soft cheek and carried him into their room. Laying down on the bed, Richard put his arms around Archie.

"Ho'd me tight, Papa." Archie sobbed, squeezing against him.

"You are safe, son." Richard kissed his son's forehead, "I will not let anything hurt you."

Elizabeth lay down and put her arm over Archie and Richard, who put his arm around her as well, "I will hold both of you."

" 'ou not 'et da ghost get me?" Archie looked at his father, his beautiful blue eyes still so frightened.

"I will not let anything hurt you, my sweet little Archie." Richard kissed Archie's head again.

" 'cause I'm 'ou 'ittle 'addie?"

"Yes, son. You are my precious little laddie." Richard smiled, "Now calm down and go to sleep. I will not let anything happen to you."

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London,
September 24, 1778

 

The children became excited as the caught sight of Kennedy manor, except for little Archie, who squeezed against his father, trembling. Richard wrapped his arms around his toddler, "You are safe, Archie. I will not let anything happen to you."

When the coach came to a stop, Richard put Archie onto Dorothy's lap, and stepped out to greet his mother and the forty servants that had been awaiting his arrival. Elizabeth stepped out, followed by the children and Dorothy.

"Welcome to Kennedy Manor, M'lord!" The head servant said.

"Thank you." Richard said, "You are?"

"Watson, sir." The man said.

"I would like a list of all the servants and their positions by tomorrow morning, Watson." Richard said.

"Yes, M'lord." The servant bowed his head.

Richard did not want to dismiss the staff that had worked for his father because of how long they had worked here. But he wanted trusted members of his staff here with him. So decided he would bring his most trusted servants here with him, and send some of these servants to Edinburgh.

"I have had the servants clean your rooms, Richard." Catherine said.

"Thank you, mother." Richard kissed her cheek.

"Watson," Catherine ordered, "take Lord Kennedy's belongings to the master bedchamber."

"You do not have you move from your chambers, Mother." Richard said.

"You are Lord Kennedy," Catherine said, "and master of the manor. Not I."

"Mother," Richard insisted, "those are your chambers."

"Not now." Catherine told him, "You are Lord Kennedy. I have moved my belongings to the bed chambers you had when you were here."

"My bed chambers?" Richard raised his brow.

"Yes." Catherine said, "Dinner will be served at 8:00."

Remembering how things were when he was a child, Richard realized that his mother was trying to keep things the way his father had it when he was Lord, "Very well, mother." He turned the children and their nurse, "Dorothy, please take the children out to the garden while the servants bring in our belongings."

"Yes, sir." Dorothy smiled.

"You will address him as my lord, miss." Catherine told her.

"Of course, ma'am." Dorothy curtsied, then bowed her head to Richard, "M'lord."

"I will send a servant to let you know when to bring them in." Richard said.

"Yes, M'lord." Dorothy gave him a quick curtsy and usered the children toward the garden.

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As Richard was washing, Elizabeth stormed into their new bed chambers, "Your mother has the children on the top floor, where we cannot hear them!"

"What?" Richard raised his head.

"She put our children as far away as she could!" Elizabeth was furious, "Even Archie! I will not have this! Archie is to have chambers next to ours, with a doorway to ours! I will not have my children tucked away as if they are unwanted!"

Richard sighed and kissed his wife's forehead, "I will have the servants move the children to this floor, closer to our chambers."

"I want Archie next to us, Richard!" Elizabeth demanded.

"As do I, my dear." Richard kissed her once more and said softly, "He is my babe as well. So calm yourself, and I will see to it." Then left their chambers.

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"What are you doing?" Catherine demanded of the servants.

"Lord Kennedy has ordered that his children be moved to this floor, closer to his bed chambers." One of the young men answered.

Catherine shook her head, "O'Malley, take those things back to where they were. The fourth floor is where the children belong."

Blinking nervously, the young man shook his head, slightly, "But Lord Kennedy said...."

"These are the rules of Kennedy Manor!" Catherine ordered, "And the rules will stand or you will be dismissed!"

"Aye, M'lady." The young man bowed his head as did the other men and they hurried to obey.

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Richard and Elizabeth dressed for dinner, and walked out into the hall.

Catherine smiled, "Shall we go?"

"As soon as the children are ready." Elizabeth said.

"The children will not be joining us." Catherine said, "They have their own place to eat."

"The children have always joined us for dinner." Elizabeth told her.

"That was before Richard became Lord Kennedy, Elizabeth." Catherine said.

"I am not changing the way my family is because he became lord." Elizabeth stated. "And if my children are to be tucked away as if they are something to be ashamed of, I will take them and return to Scotland!"

"No!" Richard shook his head.

"I will not let my children be treated like outcasts!" Elizabeth told him.

"Nor will I." Richard said sternly and turned to Catherine, "Mother, we have had our meals with our children since Henry was old enough to eat, and we are not going to change that. I am trying to raise my children to be young ladies and gentlemen."

"You are a lord now, Richard." Catherine said, "There are proper ways to do things, and having your children in the way is not one of them."

"Well, if my children are in the way," Elizabeth turned on Catherine, "I will get them out of the way!" She turned to Richard, "I am taking the children home."

As she turned away, Richard caught her arm, "Elizabeth, I want you and my children here. I am not going to change our lives because I am a lord."

"Richard...." Catherine started.

"I am not Lord Archibald Kennedy, Mother!" Richard interrupted, "I am Lord Richard Kennedy! I will run this manor as I see fit! And I want my children in my life, Mother. I want Archie's bed chambers next to mine, and I want Henry, Constance, Stephen, and Maria close to us as well. It does not matter how my father did things. I am not my father, and I am going to run my household the way I choose."

Catherine did not hide her displeasure, "Well, at least, see that they are dressed for dinner."

Elizabeth was almost at her wtis end with this woman, "No, Catherine. They are going to come to dinner naked."

Richard barely managed to stifle his laugh, but realized by the sarcasm that his wife was becoming furious. He put his arm around her small shoulders, "It is all right, dear. The children will join us for dinner, and we will make Kennedy Manor our home."

Catherine made a face as she heard the children coming down the hall.

"Where have you children been?" Richard asked.

"Upstairs in our chambers, Father." Henry frowned.

"Upstairs?" Richard frowned, "They have not finished moving you into your new chambers on this floor?"

"They started to," Henry told him, "but then returned everything."

"Why?" Richard became angry.

"I do not know, Father." Henry shrugged, puzzled.

Richard smiled at his son, "Of course, you do not, son. Where are the servants? I gave them orders to move the children's' belongings to the rooms I stated. Why did they take them back?"

"Because they had orders to, M'lord." Dorothy told him.

"Mother, did you tell those men to take the children's' belongings back up there?" Richard demanded.

"Richard," Catherine started, "you need to act like a proper lord. And children of proper lords know their place."

"My children know their place, Mother." Richard told her, "And their place is in my company or the nursery." He looked at out of the servants, standing in the hall, "Tell those men, Lord Kennedy wants his children's' belongings moved into the chambers he have chosen, or they will be discharged without pay."

"Yes, M'lord." The man bowed his head and hurried down the hall.

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They family bowed they heads and Richard prayed, "Heavenly Father, please bless the gifts we are about to receive and those in this home. Amen."

Elizabeth and the children echoed the Amen, and the servants began serving the meal. They found it a bit awkward serving children - specially little Archie.

When they put the plate in front of the toddler, Archie frowned, "What dis?"

"It is a French dish," Catherine said, "my cook spent a year in France learning how to prepare food the French way."

Archie scrunched his little face, shaking his head slowly, "I not eat dat."

"You have to eat your dinner, angel." Elizabeth scooped the food up on his spoon and put it in his mouth.

Archie little face scrunched even more and he spit it out, with a whine.

"That is why children should not eat with us." Catherine said.

"Archie," Elizabeth took his little chin in her hand, "you do not spit."

"But it na'ty!" Archie protested, "I not eat it."

"You need to eat, son." Richard told him.

"No!" Archie pouted.

"What did you say?" Richard raised his brow.

Archie lowered his head, frightened, and sobbed softly, "I not eat dat."

"You will eat," Catherine said, "Or Samuel will take you to the pantry."

Richard frowned at her, "Do not threaten my son, Mother!"

"A trip to the pantry never hurt you." Catherine commented.

"It made me hate Samuel." Richard said, "Besides, Archie is too young for a trip to the pantry."

Becoming more frightened, Archie began to cry aloud and reached for his mother.

Elizabeth picked her son up, "Richard, this food is not for children. Could the servants find something for them to eat."

"I am certain they can." Richard stood.

"They have the menu for this week." Catherine said.

"Well," Richard shrugged, "we will just change the menu."

"Richard," Catherine frowned, "I choose those foods for you."

"Then we will eat what you had planned," Richard said, "and Elizabeth can have a menu made for the children."

Elizabeth made a face that Richard did not miss.

"Tomorrow, Elizabeth," Richard announced, "I want you to make the menu for next week," He looked back at his mother, "and all the menus from now on."

"I beg your pardon?" Catherine cocked her head.

With a heavy sigh, Richard called the servants into the dining room, and announced loudly, "Elizabeth is now the lady of the manor. She will be in charge of the house and all household concerns, including the menu. You will follow her orders only. Is that understood?"

"Yes, M'lord." The servants answered.

"Good." Richard took a deep breath and looked down at his wife, "Tell them what to make for the children."

Elizabeth gave him that beautiful, silent smile of hers, then began giving instructions.

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After dinner, Richard and Elizabeth took their children to the second floor, to their new chambers. Then took Archie to his new chambers for his bath.

"Dis ouw new home, Mama?" Little Archie looked up at her as she bathed him.

"Yes, it is angel."

"An' 'ou an' Papa 'till gon' a wock me a s'eep?"

Elizabeth looked down into the little blue eyes looking worriedly up at her, "I am going to bathe you every night, and your father is going to dry and dress you every night. And we will are going to take turns rocking you to sleep. This is not going to change how we treat you, Archie. Your father and I love you, and nothing will change that."

"Are you ready for me?" Richard asked.

"Yes, dear." Elizabeth picked her son up and handed him to his father, who had a towel open and waiting.

Wrapping the towel around his wet son, Richard pulled his toddler to his chest and kissed his head, "I love you, my little laddie!"

"I lobe 'ou, Papa!" Archie snuggled against his father.

Richard carried his son to their room and put him down on their bed. Then began drying Archie, who giggled the whole time. Richard dressed his son and carried him to the rocking chair. "They are going to put a door in here that will open to our chambers tomorrow, Archie."

"I gon' a be a'one?" Archie looked up at his father, frightened.

"No." Richard said, "You are going to sleep with us tonight. Tomorrow, they are going to cut an opening in the will lead to the next room where Nurse Dorothy will be and one that will lead to our room."

"T'ank 'ou, Papa." Archie hugged his father's neck tightly and kissed Richard's cheek.

Smiling, Richard returned both gestures, "You are welcome, son. But now, you need to go to sleep."

" 'es, Papa." Little Archie said as he snuggled against his father's neck, putting his thumb in his mouth.

"Good night, son." Richard began to hum as he rocked his son to sleep.

When he was certain that Archie was sound asleep, Richard stood and carried his toddler over to their bed to lay him down. Smiling, Richard stroked his little son's soft cheek, watching him sleep. Little Archie was so precious. And try as he might, Richard just could not stop himself from allowing this child to be his favorite.

 

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