My name is Mitchell Ackerman, and I love my boys. I do. I just have no idea what to do with them.
See, their mom passed away when the younger one – that’s Hudson – was less than a year old. Lincoln was three. I’m not saying I think kids can raise themselves, but do they all actually need a ton of hands-on attention all the time?
That might be a rhetorical question.
You tell me if it is, because evidence on Ackerman Farm not quite four years later indicates that my logic was lacking. My brother’s wife left him shortly after Lindsay passed away, and Treyan moved into the farmhouse basement. He had his daughter part-time, so we swapped childcare around Trey’s full-time job. It was working. Kind of.
But then Treyan went and fell in love, and now he’s getting married soon. (The falling in love part is in his and Brittany’s story, A Wide and Pleasant Place, if you want to know.) But meanwhile, I’m not looking for romance again. Lindsay was it for me. Besides, it doesn’t seem fair to bring a woman into our lives.
Okay, only a desperate woman would give me a second look while these two boys swing around like banshees. Lincoln is his teacher’s problem at school now, and yes, I hear about his behavior at parent-teacher meetings, but I don’t know how to fix him. How to fix his little brother. How to fix myself.
I’m busy. I run a market garden. I work in the greenhouse until I can plant seedlings out in the fields. Then there’s all the plant nurturing and watering and weeding and eventually picking.
There’s probably a metaphor in there somewhere for raising kids, but I don’t know what it is.
So, you folks look like you might be experienced at parenting. Give a single dad some help here. What should I do to regain control of my wild, disobedient sons? Don’t say I need to spend less time working. That’s not an option if we want to keep a roof over our heads.
And don’t suggest a nanny, because I can’t afford one. To say nothing of no woman in her right mind wanting to spend any time with my hoodlums.
So, suggestions, please? I’m serious. I need help in the worst way.
Oh, you want to know about my story? I’m pretty sure this is going to end badly, but here’s what my author is thinking. You can preorder now for an early May delivery to your Kindle.
Arleigh O’Neill gambles on starting her own flower farm with a tight budget on leased land… and loses when the river overflows its banks, demolishing the rented greenhouse, drowning her fields, and destroying her mobile home. She needs a fresh start, but no one in Galena Landing seems to be hiring.
Widowed farmer Mitchell Ackerman is at wit’s end with his two rambunctious sons, but his brother’s suggestion he hire Arleigh to nanny the boys is a nonstarter. He can’t afford to pay anyone, and besides, she annoys him with her hippie-flower-painted van and independent attitude. When, after a particularly bad parenting day. Arleigh drives a bargain to care for them in exchange for greenhouse space, Mitchell is in no position to argue.
Arleigh thinks he’s arrogant. Mitchell thinks she’s frivolous. What will it take to get them to see into each other’s hearts and grasp a green and vibrant hope?
Preorder A Green and Vibrant Hope!