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How to Be a DiNozzo

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Chapter 18 – Rebels – October 2056

"We got off easy with our five," Ziva remarked to Tony after the couple had discussion about teenaged-behavior with Tali and Chaim. Grandson Elijah was going through a rebellious phase according to his parents. The teen was staying out past curfew, going out and not telling his parents where, with whom, or when he'd be back, and then either turning his phone off or ignoring their calls and texts.

"True," he replied. "Tali was hardly ever a problem. We had a few issues with her when you first came back to us in 2016 and then in middle school."

"Yes, but that middle school incident that was what I consider her worst moment was partly our fault," Ziva reminisced. "We should have told her more about her first two and one half years than we did to that point. She was upset with us for a good reason."

Her husband grimaced, "That was rough; although when she started calling us by our first names that was kind of funny. But, we all survived and in the end we were stronger as a family…" He chuckled and remembered another of Tali's acts of rebellion. "Remember when she was angry at her seventh grade history teacher?"

Ziva laughed, "Oh, yes. She was actually quite creative about it as well. Writing every assignment backwards must have taken some concentration and effort. She had to have done the assignment and then written it backwards from a correctly completed paper."

"I had to leave the room when our daughter responded to the teacher that all she had to do was hold the paper up to a mirror to read it. I mean, the woman was dumbfounded and didn't believe Tali that it would work," Tony smirked. "I wanted to head-slap her…"

His wife grinned at the memory and changed the subject, "Now Anthony had to have known we were on to him when he was sneaking out of the house to spend the night with Katie. That entire summer before his freshman year at Ohio State if he spent three or four nights at home all night, that was a lot. I wonder if he still believes that we did not know what he was doing."

"He thought we didn't know; sneak out about 2200 and sneak back in about 0530 the next morning. I wonder if Tim and Dee knew at the time."

"I am sure they figured it out at some point, Tony. Of course, the drunken night with his cousin John has to be the worst Anthony rebelled. He paid for that one with the hang-over he had for three days," Ziva reminisced. "His funniest was the zip-ties on the toilet paper rolls at the middle school…" she grinned.

Tony looked at his wife in mock shock, "You thought that was funny? I seem to remember you giving me and Tim the stink eye for laughing and high-fiving." At her look, he grinned back, "Oh, I get it! You were being the responsible adult parent at the time… My bad."

He paused to reflect, "The twins… the protest and sit-in. I was the adult parent on that one, you gotta admit. You were almost as rebellious as them…"

"The reason for the protest was valid; the students' lunch period time was cut in half. Nobody should have to eat a meal in twenty minutes; nobody… Besides, you were the one who went bonkers when Riv and John had that love nest weekend. And you were the one who wanted to drive after Beth and Charles when they took off for that music festival in Hershey and were gone for almost twenty-four hours," she reminded him.

When he looked over at his wife, he could still see remnants of the fire in her eyes from helping the twins organize the protest outside the school cafeteria and then the sit-in a week later. "My rebel ninja," he kissed her cheek and smiled. "See? You did acquire the DiNozzo food genes by osmosis."

Ziva laughed, "I have been a DiNozzo for more than one half of my life, Tony. I think I have also acquired DiNozzo traits, yes?"

"Oh most definitely, and you have added to them," he kissed her lovingly. "Our children have acquired most of them too. LJ certainly got the Ninja skills…"

"He did have a way of just appearing seemingly out of nowhere!"

"Our littlest ninja was also a bit of a prankster," Ziva added. "That fence…" she laughed as she recalled what should have been punishment for her youngest.

"Oh, god, yes," Tony laughed. "How could we ever forget that one? He was told to paint the fence after he used the Sharpies to make the knots into pictures. So what did our boy do?"

"He painted 'artists need outlets too' and 'you squash me, you squash the arts' in big bold letters. Then he declared 'I PAINTED the fence as told'."

"You know, Ziva, all in all, we have some pretty awesome kids. They turned into cool adults too. I mean, if we can look back and laugh at the things they did as teens to rebel, it's gotta be good, right?" Tony grinned at his better half.

Ziva grinned back, "Pink hair with green tipped spikes and all… and that from our quiet rebel! I am so very glad they got to be kids and grow up with a real childhood; something neither of us had."

"Yeah, we both got what we wanted for them, didn't we?"

"A NORMAL childhood?"

"Uh-huh."