Julie was happy to get the photo album from Betty at Christmas. It was an album of pictures of her dad. She'd never known this world.
Of course, he looked so happy to be with his colleagues at picnics and summer outings. It made her a little teary-eyed.
She'd gone alone to her ex-husband's family gathering on Christmas eve. She knew they expected her. She reported about her teaching position. It was going well. But she made no mention of Irwin. It was best they would think of her as being alone. Since, she'd chosen to be alone.
Of course, Teddy wasn't there. He was working, making overtime. She guessed he lived with them. She didn't ask questions.
She'd brought along Christmas cookies and a basket of teas that she knew Teddy's mother liked. Yes, Teddy's mother would be like a mother to her, always.
Julie felt bad not wanting to share her future plans with Shondra. Still, she spent an hour with them and went right back home to Irwin.
"They are like my adoptive parents." Julie explained to Irwin later. She showed him the photo album that Betty gave her. "I feel like I never really knew my Dad." Perhaps, that wasn't quite true. She did want to remember him the way she had, as a child. She was so proud of him, but he'd had another family, evidently. And it hurt. It did, but she didn't want to be so childish.
Now that she had someone like Irwin in her life, a best friend and maybe more, she wasn't sure she could handle it with Teddy's parents.
"I'm not sure I want to see them, anymore." She felt they'd hidden her away and she'd married Teddy because..well, it felt like the right thing to do, but it evidently wasn't. "Besides, I..I know Teddy has a son." She winced, wondering if he was close to the child. "And and I know, I should have tried to be more open minded, about being a part of his life..but, but they didn't want me, too."
Oddly, thinking of that little boy left her in tears. And she didn't know why?
"I didn't mean to be so selfish." She told Irwin she wanted to be a better person. Of course, Irwin told her she was the best, already.