“Sophie, could you help me with something in one of the conference rooms?”
Sophie had just graduated college a few days ago, and it was overwhelming, to say the least. She still didn’t have a job lined up, although she’d had a few promising interviews that she was waiting to hear back from.
For now, though, it was nice to have a little time back at home. Even if being home meant working at a hotel.
Sophie opened the conference room door, her mom following behind her.
“Surprise!” several voices called out.
Sophie gasped. Her whole family was there. All of her parents, Skye, Aunt Yvette, and Frank.
“You didn’t think we’d miss your graduation without making up for it, did you?” Kate asked.
“I—oh my gosh. You were on a mission!” Sophie said.
“It finished yesterday,” Kate said. “I may have lied about when it was supposed to end.”
Sophie hugged her mom. Kate hugged her back, squeezing her tightly.
When Sophie let go of Kate, she turned to Roger. “C’mere.”
Roger hugged her, saying, “I’m not actually one of the surprises. You definitely knew I was going to be here.”
“I haven’t seen you in months! And you weren’t supposed to be here for another, like, two hours.”
“I missed you too.”
After that, Sophie turned to her other dads.
“I saw you guys this weekend, what are you doing here?”
“We couldn’t miss the real graduation party,” John said.
“Plus, we were always planning to spend some time here this summer,” Bertie said. “It made sense to do it in time for your graduation and birthday.”
“Are you going to be here for a couple of weeks, then?” Sophie asked, thrilled. She leaned in to hug Bertie and John.
“We all are,” Kate said. “Well, Roger’s going to be driving back and forth a bit, but that definitely still counts, Roger.” Sophie could tell from the way that she emphasized his name that this was an ongoing debate.
Sophie had seen all of her parents over the past year, but she’d never spent so much time with all of them at once. They were busy people, not to mention that Roger couldn’t leave the Bridge, while Bertie and John had a multiple day road trip if they wanted to drive to the Bridge at all.
“You too, Aunt Yvette?” Sophie asked, going over to hug her great-aunt.
“I’m retired, I can do what I want,” Aunt Yvette said. “Don’t worry, I won’t cramp you kid’s style.”
Sophie wasn’t entirely sure if “you kids” was meant to refer to herself and Skye, or if it extended to all of their respective parental figures. Knowing Aunt Yvette, she absolutely meant to call several forty and fifty-year olds kids and had done it intentionally to annoy them.
It was good to be home.
Finally, Sophie turned towards her girlfriend and Frank.
“We’re just here for the weekend, but I’ll be back for your birthday,” Skye said.
Sophie was trying to find a job near their college, but she knew that they might have to be long distance for a year. To put it frankly, that sucked. She knew that her parents were managing long distance, and her mom at least seemed much happier than she’d been when she was single, but relationships were still so much easier when everyone got to see each other regularly.
“How’s the job going? Are you the queen of the interns?” Sophie asked.
“There’s like two other interns, so it’s not a big kingdom,” Skye said. “But I think they’re impressed that I’ve actually spent some time living on the Bridge.”
“Those summers have really paid off,” Frank bragged. “Living with me was practically career training.”
“Sure, dad,” Skye said with a fond eyeroll.
After she was done greeting Skye and Frank, Aunt Yvette came over and asked, “So, Sophie, how’s life after graduation?”
Sophie glanced around the room. Her parents were clustered together with Frank, talking about something.
Sophie had had a good childhood. Despite her occasional complaints about wanting a bigger family, her mom had done an excellent job on her own. But Sophie was glad that her mom didn’t have to do it on her own any longer. They had a bigger family now, like Sophie had always wanted.
She looked at her girlfriend, who she was excited to start a life with after Skye graduated.
“Good. Really, really good.”