Summary: Written for the Michael Landon’s 2011 Birthday – Literary Exercise where we had to put all the words of the song “Be Patient with Me” somewhere in our story.
Rated: K (1,295 words)
Our Little Joe
Paul Martin dried his hands on a white towel as he walked toward the stairs. A smile lit his face as he thought of just the way he would tell Ben the news. But before he could reach the staircase that led down into the great room of the Ponderosa ranch house Ben was already at the top of them having heard the cry of his newborn.
Paul grasped his friends hand in both of his. “Can’t really believe it, Ben. I thought for sure you were bound to have a girl after two sons.”
“A son?” Ben pushed past Paul and hurried toward the room were his wife and new son were. He reached the door and paused running a hand through dark but greying hair. “Marie?” Ben pushed open the door and leaned in.
“Come see what we’ve done, Ben.” There was a contented smile on her face and the love brimming from her heart into her eyes. “Your son is perfect.” She held out a small bundle toward Ben as he walked toward the bed.
“I…” Ben found his voice choked with emotion as he took his little son into his arms. “He is perfect, my love.” Ben tenderly ran his finger down the curve of the baby’s cheek. His little lips moved and parted trembling slightly. His nose crinkled as he worked up a small, pitiful sounding cry.
“Don’t cry, little one.” Ben said softly as he rocked the baby gently as he had done with his other sons. His eyes looked down to where Marie rested against the pillows.
“I’ve never been more impressed with you, Mrs. Cartwright.” Ben winked at his wife. “You look so beautiful.”
Marie chuckled softly. “You are a liar, Ben.”
“No, I mean it. You’re positively glowing, my love.” Ben looked back to the baby as he raised a little fist and shook it at his father. “Oh dear,” he smiled back at Marie, “Looks like we may have a little rebel on our hands.”
“Pa?” Hoss’ young voice came from the other side of the door.
“Oh,” Ben took the little fist and kissed it. “We forgot about your brothers.”
“Come in, boys. “ Marie pulled her blankets up around her shoulders. “Don’t act shy.”
The door swung open and Hoss stepped into the room with Adam and Paul following close behind. “So can I hold him?” Hoss stretched his arms out and grinned. “Please, please?” The six year old begged.
“Of course you can.” Ben moved a chair close to the bed and motioned for Hoss to sit down.
Hoss reached up toward the bundle in his pa’s hands.
“Be patient, Hoss, be patient,” Ben smiled at his son’s enthusiasm. “Let me show you how.” Ben slowly lowered his precious cargo into Hoss’ arms.
“Like this?” Hoss’ eyes were wide as Ben left his brother completely in his care. “Can Adam hold him next?” Hoss looked over to where his brother stood quietly observing.
“If he wants to,” Marie looked over to her step son with a question in her eyes.
“This is my brother, right?” Hoss felt like he should make sure. “Mine and Adam’s?”
“That’s right.” Ben moved to shake Paul’s hand. “Thanks for coming, Doc.”
“No problem, Ben.” Paul said with a smiled. This would always be his favourite part of his job. “I’ll be back to check on my newest patient tomorrow. You know what to do until then, Marie?”
Marie nodded sleepily.
Adam noticed how tired his stepmother looked. “I think it’s time you give me a turn, Hoss.”
“Okay,” Hoss said reluctantly, “Then can I hold him again?”
“Of course you can. After he and your mother get some rest.” Ben mussed his son’s hair.
“I promise.” Ben took the baby from one son and handed him to the other.
“I’ll be going now, Ben.” Paul backed away from the family. “You don’t have to go with me, Ben. I know the way.”
“Thank you, Paul.” Marie waved, “Sorry if we got you out of bed.”
“Anything for a patient.” Doc Martin waved back then turned and left the room.
Marie glanced over to where Adam had crossed over to stand by the window with his new brother in his arms. He was whispering things into the baby’s ear. She strained to hear what he was saying but the words died out before they reached her.
Adam looked down at this new edition of the family. “You’re pretty small, little guy.” He gently kissed the top of his head. “Wonder what kind of man you will grow up to be.” He gazed out the window as if trying to glimpse the future. “Me and Hoss will do our best to show you what you ought to do. I’ll be there for you, brother.”
“Adam, I think the baby’s probably hungry then they need some sleep. We can visit them again later.”
“So when’s later?” Hoss tugged at his pa’s hand as Ben ushered him out of the room.
“I’ll let you know, Hoss,” Ben smiled. “Hop Sing’s got breakfast ready. Why don’t you go on down and eat.” Adam passed the baby back to Marie. “He’s perfect, Ma.”
Marie glowed, “What should we name him? This is your chance to voice your input.”
“How about Benjamin Jr?” Ben sat on the edge of the bed.
“I always liked Joseph.” Adam said softly.
“Joseph,” Both mother and father said as one.
“What do you say little one?” Marie kissed her baby’s head, “Shall we call you Joseph?”
“I think he said yes,” Ben placed his arm around his wife’s shoulders as Adam quietly left the room.
Marie lay her head against Ben’s strong shoulder and sighed, “He will grow to be a brave boy, strong and true.”
“Of course he will,” Ben buried his face in his wife’s hair.
“How much do you love me, Ben?” Marie moved to look into his eyes.
“Ever so much,” Ben kissed her forehead.
“Oh? How much?” Marie smiled playfully.
Ben continued to kiss Marie’s face. “How would you like me to show you?”
“By faithfully taking care of this son, loving him and showing him what is right. Being a true example of a good man; so he will grown up to be like you.”
Ben looked at his wife a serious look taking hold of his face. “That’s a big job.”
“I have every faith in you.” Marie touched his face. “You already are that and much more to our other sons. I have no doubt that you will be the best father our little Joseph could ever have.”
“Joe,” Ben whispered looking down at the little miracle in his mother’s arms. “Our Little Joe.”
Thank you for reading. Here is the song if you would like to read it.
Be patient with me; I’ve never been in love like this.
If I act a little shy, oh my, be patient with me.
Can’t really believe, your lips are mine to kiss
So I tremble and then, oh dear, be patient with me.
Be tender, be kind I beg of you; show me things I ought to do.
Don’t turn down a heart that’s young, but oh so true.
Please give me this chance, I promise you faithfully
I’ll be ever so true, be patient with me.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
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