Evan exchanged a glance with Marin, before turning back to their son. "Is someone bein' a bully at school, Cal?" he asked his son.
Caleb shrugged, as he went back to his coloring. "Not no more."
To be fair, they knew that, even if Caleb had thrown a punch, he hadn't been caught, or they would have been informed. Marin rolled her eyes over a faint smile, promising herself she would talk to Cal about this another time. In her lap, Jack lolled, cuddling his stuffed horse as he watched his siblings at their disparate tasks.
Evan frowned, secretly proud of his son for standing up to a bully, but also worried the boy didn't become a bully himself. "I was thinkin'," he started, looking around at his small family, "since Maggie is goin' to school for theater, maybe we should go to a show sometime."
"Really?" Maggie lit up hopefully at this suggestion, her expression echoed in the hopeful smile that brightened Marin's face as well.
"Sure, why not?" Evan replied, beaming at his family, pleased to see the hopeful smiles on their faces. "What do you think we'd like to see?" he asked, the question directed at Maggie, as she was the most likely among them to know something what shows were coming up.
"They're doin' The Wizard of Oz soon," Maggie said, rummaging through her mind for the hints Rob had given her. "And at Christmas, they're doing How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
Evan furrowed his brows. He'd heard of both Oz and the Grinch, but only because Maggie had read both those books. "The Grinch?" he echoed, unable to imagine just how that might be adapted for the stage.
"It's a musical on stage," Marin offered. "The Shanachie are very good at putting on shows like that. But the Wizard of Oz would be a good one as well."
"Which one would you like to see, Caleb?" Evan asked, attempting to draw the boy into their conversation.
Caleb shrugged. "We can't we see both?" he asked, never taking his eyes off his drawing.
Marin glanced at Evan, not entirely sure how to answer that one. It wasn't as though they couldn't afford it, but it felt strange to go to the theater regularly when, for both of them, anything even slightly similar had been a rare treat.
Maggie grinned at their faces. "How's it gonna be special, Cal, if you go see everything?"
Caleb lifted his head from his drawing, wrinkling his nose as he seemed to think that over. "Can we see the Grinch then?" he asked hopefully. "That's a funny one."
"That sounds like a very good idea," Marin agreed, reaching over to stroke his hair out of his face fondly. "We can make it our Christmas treat."
"Okay, Mama," Caleb beamed a smile back at his mother, happy she'd agreed with him. "Is that okay with you, Mags?" Evan asked, wanting to make sure they were all in agreement before he asked her to buy some tickets.
Maggie grinned, nodding. She already had an invitation to go and see The Nutcracker with Rob and his family, too. "Sure," she agreed. "Can we invite someone to come along with us?"
Marin bit down on her smile, knowing exactly who Maggie would invite. Caleb was a wild card there, though.
"She wants to invite Rob," Caleb interjected. "'Cause they're all googly eyed around each other."
Evan coughed to hide a chuckle at his son's remark.
"I did say we, Cal," Maggie pointed out, her eyes sparkling teasingly. "Or do you want me to pick someone to come and be your guest on the night? What about that Nina girl you gave all your cookies to last year?"
"Girls are gross," Caleb replied, without missing a beat. "'Cept you an' Ma an' Jodie," he was quick to add, just in case. He made no mention of Nina, but whether it was because he didn't like her anymore or was just trying to keep it a secret was hard to say.
"Who would you like to invite, darling?" Marin said quickly, cutting off whatever it was Maggie might have been about to say. The teenager loved to tease her little brother, but sometimes she went too far, and at this time of night, that was a temper tantrum no one wanted.
Caleb kept coloring, his crayon making a scratching sound on the paper, even as he shrugged. "Dunno, but I like Rob. I don't mind if he goes." He glanced up again as another thought came to mind. "Can Jack go, too?" he asked, curiously. It was no secret he adored his baby brother. Then again, he adored his big sister, too, except when she was teasing him.
"Jack's a little bit too young to go to a theater yet," Marin told him gently. "But maybe we can bring something close to a theater to the house sometime soon, so you guys can watch some things together."
Caleb furrowed his brows, unsure what his mother meant by that.
"Close to a theater?" Evan asked, curiously. He'd remained silent throughout the exchange, but now Marin's comment had piqued his curiosity.
Marin grinned over at her husband. "Oh, that purchase we made a couple of days ago," she said, hoping to remind him without telling the children outright. "Not quite theater, but definitely something close."
"Oh," Evan murmured, mirroring the look on Caleb's face. He still wasn't sure how he felt about that purchase, but he was slowly getting more comfortable with modern amenities. "It's a surprise," he added, for Maggie and Caleb's sake.
"Sounds like it's a good one, too," Maggie said cheerfully, glancing over at Jack lolling on Marin's lap. "Want me to put him to bed?" she offered.
"A surprise?" Caleb echoed, looking surprised. It wasn't even Christmas or anyone's birthday yet.
Evan reached over to ruffle his son's blond hair. "Yep," he replied simply, the hint of a smirk on his face. "I can take him," he said, regarding Jack. "Unless you really want to."