Actress Jeri Fields had to put her movie off a lot longer than she had expected. When her dad passed away, she was pregnant with her sixth child, a daughter she named Micki, after her father.
“We didn’t care if we’d have a boy or a girl. Phillip and I knew we’d name the baby after Daddy.”
“Daddy would have enjoyed the tribute. Little Micki ended up sleeping in his old room, too, which we had redone as a nursery.
Little Micki was nothing like Daddy. She has the sunniest disposition, and although she has the same blue eyes as Daddy, she didn’t inherit the Fields red hair.”
Jeri’s children continued to grow up. The little Micki became a toddler around the same time as her sisters grew into lovely teenaged girls.
“We had their birthday party at the city pool. It was a venue we knew could house all of children and teens who were friends with all of our children. And when the girls became teenagers, this was the first time that you could really see discernable differences between them.”
Candice Fields takes after her mother and her grandmother, Penelope Junkett. Glenna Fields, on the other hand, favors Jeri’s grandmother, Kara Fields.
“The girls still looked a lot alike, though. They kept their hair the same, but were starting to wear different clothing for the first time in their lives.”
“Candi and I got bored with looking the same all the time. We did it when we were young because it was fun to trick people into thinking I was her and she was me. But that trick got old. We were ready for a change.”
Jeri didn’t let her dream of having her movie made die. While she was home with her children, she kept in shape and continued to publish her screenplay.
“Obviously Virginia couldn’t play the part she originally was going to play. She was getting too old. For that matter, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to play the part I was originally going to play. Instead, I’d play the mother’s role, and I’d find some young girl to play the daughter. But the change in roles required a few changes in the original story.”
Virginia Fields was still willing to produce her niece’s movie. She knew she would no longer be able to be a part of it especially when Jeri discovered that she was again pregnant.
“Virginia was very understanding. I felt sort of foolish for finding myself pregnant, but I was excited, too. Still, I felt bad that the movie would be put off yet again. However, I did have good news about the musical score my dad had been working on. I’d found it in his things after he died. Virginia and I were thrilled that Daddy would still get the credit for the music.”
Both Phillip and Jeri were excited about the new baby, despite the fact that their oldest son was almost a man.
“Phillip was great. He wasn’t afraid of having a large family. In fact, both of us shared the dream to have at least 10 children. We had thought to adopt most of our children, but we were just as happy to have natural children.”
“I’d always wanted a large family. I didn’t have brothers and sisters. I grew up going from foster home to foster home, never really having a permanent family. So I was happy to be having another child. I wanted a whole house full!”
“The next of our children to become teenagers was Ben. We had a small party at our house for him because I wasn’t feeling up to a larger affair. The early months of this pregnancy were harder than some of the others.”
Benjamin Fields grew to look a lot like his father.
“Everyone thought Ben looked like Phillip, and he did with his hair coloring, but I thought he looked more like Daddy. Looking at Ben was like seeing a young Mickey Fields.”
Jeri was lucky that Ben’s interests weren’t in drinking and partying as her father’s had been.
“I think Ben was too lazy to go out and party with his friends. It might also be that he just preferred the company of his brothers and father. But there was one pursuit of Mickey’s that he did like to do. He absolutely loved to paint.”
Ben and his brothers may not have taken after Mickey’s bad habits, but Jeri soon discovered that they had Mickey’s way with girls.
“Felicia was Aaron’s girlfriend. Jamie had several girls that were his friends, but was starting to get interested in a girl named Terry Kwan.”
“Ben wasted no time in inviting a girl over to our house, too. She had been his best friend as a child. Her name was Erika Macknight.”
Erika was from the poorer part of Twinbrook, but this didn’t bother Jeri.
“She lived with her grandfather. I am not sure what happened to her parents. But I liked the girl. I liked each of the girls my boys liked. I was more than happy to have each of them come to our home.”
“Jeri was already looking ahead at becoming a grandmother, but I’d sat down with each of the boys and talked to them about being safe. The paparazzi stayed away from Aaron when they realized he was doing nothing news worthy with Felicia. I didn’t want the boys to get any negative attention. I also didn’t want them having to go through what Jeri did having a baby while still in high school.”
Pretty soon Jeri and Phillip would have another son to think about. They welcomed their youngest child, Nick, into the world after nearly 48 hours of labor.
“It was a difficult birth. After Nick, we were told that Jeri should not have any more natural children. The doctors worried that she was getting too old to carry another baby safely.”
“Phillip was fantastic at this time. He knew that I was upset that I couldn’t have any more children. He reminded me that we could always adopt. I knew this was true, but I couldn’t help but feel like I had lost something important about myself.”
Bringing Nick home, Jeri and Phillip were faced with the fact that they were outgrowing their home. They had no room to put his crib except in their bedroom.
“All three of the other boys shared a room and the twins also shared. Only Micki had her room free and us. We knew we’d need a larger place.”
For a few years, the Fields stayed in their own home, but when Jeri returned to work, they decided to move across town. The house they settled into was a sprawling modern manse, called The Cliff House.
“I felt the house lacked color, but I liked the modern lines of the place. I knew we could decorate it and paint it later.”
“What I liked about our new home was that it was close to my ancestors’ home, which was currently occupied by my 2nd cousin Gwen Fields and her husband, a vampire named Royce, and their son, John Paul.”
Jeri’s entire family enjoyed their new home.
“The move was the right decision for us. The house was larger and suited my family a lot more than the smaller cottage style house my dad and I moved into when we came back to Twinbrook.”
“It was AWESOME! It had the hugest back yard with a pool and hot tub. I couldn’t wait to invite the girls over for a party.”
“We all loved the new pool in the back yard. It was the first thing the kids wanted to do when we moved in. Phillip and I enjoyed the pool as well. It was nice to relax outside and watch them play together in the water.”
“The kids also enjoyed their new rooms. They still had to share, but this time only two to a room. Aaron and Jamie shared and the twins, of course, and Benjamin agreed to share his room with little Nick.
Micki’s crib was in our room, but we had plans to add another room when we repainted the outside of the house.”
“I was very happy with the finished look of our new home. It was still boxy, but changing the color scheme to more earthy colors and changing the cement and white stucco to wood accents really made it look more inviting.
In fact, after we remodeled, the Twinbrook Social magazine wanted to do a feature on the improvements we made.”
“Oh, the house wasn’t as perfect as I make it out to be…the appliances left something to be desired. I missed all of the upgrades and improvements that Phillip had made in our old house.”
“Luckily I’d been training the boys on how to repair and upgrade everything. Instead of doing the work myself, I supervised while they did it. Even though we were pretty well off and we had a measure of fame, I didn’t think we should live like we were incapable of doing things ourselves. It didn’t hurt the boys to get their hands dirty fixing a toilet and develop calluses using a wrench.”
“The first party we had at our new home was unsurprisingly a birthday party. First Micki became a lovely little girl.”
“And then we invited a large party of teens over for a pool party to celebrate Aaron’s birthday. He spent most of his time with Felicia, though.”
While the children were playing, Jeri and her aunt talked about her movie.
“It was time for us to really start working on the film. Virginia was insistent. She let me know that she had already scouted out filming locations in Champs Les Sims.”
Going to France would become a family affair. Aaron, who grew into a blond version of his grandfather Mickey, had given his girlfriend Felicia a promise ring and planned to marry her as soon as she graduated.
“It was no surprise that Aaron and Felicia weren’t going to wait to get married. Anyone could see how much they both loved each other when he looked at her and when she looked at him.
I told him they should get married in France when we go. I could take the whole family.”