How to Be a DiNozzo

Shorts of the DiNozzo kids being kids…

Chapter 1 – Active - October 2024

The kids had a four and one half day weekend; early release, teacher workdays, and the Columbus Day holiday gave them a mini-vacation from school. Delilah was TDY to Chicago and the NCIS MCRT was deep into a case, so Ziva offered to have all of the cousins stay over at the DiNozzo house. After rainy weather for almost three days, the sun had finally broken through the clouds on Monday morning. She sent the nine kids and two dogs outside to play and run off some energy.

After getting a load of laundry started and sending Tony off to the superstore with a grocery list, Ziva looked forward to some quiet time in the family room with a book. She could hear the sounds of the children playing in the back yard. She grabbed the mystery novel by one of her favorite authors and curled on the loveseat; Callie, the calico cat who preferred Tony, snuggled next to her. With her classes, reading for pleasure had become a novelty and she was determined to seize the opportunity today.

The quiet was interrupted by LJ bursting through the door to the deck from the family room, "Ima, Ima!" the little boy called out for his mother. "The Frisbees are all on the shed roof again; we need you to get them down."

"Slow down, motek, why do you need the Frisbees?" she retied the hood on her youngest's jacket, hoping it would stay on his head.

"We're using them for alien detectors, Ima; Tali says that the aliens throw them on the shed," he replied very seriously.

Ziva nodded, "Does your sister have a plan to get them off the roof?"

"She used the rake to get some, but the others are too high. They sent me to get you to help, please," he gave his Ima the best puppy eyes he had.

"Okay, but if they get thrown up on the shed again…" Ziva extracted herself from the cat and put her book on the end table. She grabbed her jacket and followed LJ into the yard. The other kids were standing by the shed trying to retrieve the Frisbees with a leaf rake.

Ziva was about to step in a leaf pile when Rivka stopped her, "That's a lava pit, Ima. You can't step there." She looked around the yard; the kids had raked the leaves into various piles and formations around the yard. Several pathways seemed to be marked off with leaves as well.

"Yeah, we chase the aliens into the lava pits with the Nerf guns and our swords," John held up his weapon and a stick. Each of the kids had sticks and Nerf guns, cannons, or bows and a bag of ammo.

"But we gotta watch out for the evil Gremlin who lives under the shed," Charles added and pointed at a hole Asher had dug by the back side of the shed.

"We got two teams, Ima; DiNozzos and others," Beth pointed to the leaf forts on the sides of the yard. Stockpiles of Nerf ammo were in the area under the playset as well as near the two forts. Ziva did not realize that her kids had so much Nerf stuff!

"Okay, let me get the remaining Frisbees," she took the rake from Tali and pulled the three discs off the shed roof. "Tell the aliens that the discs should stay off the shed roof, please."

Tori grinned, "We'll try, Aunt Ziva, but Tali says those aliens do what they want when they want."

The kids ran back into the yard and continued their 'adventure.' Ziva paused on the deck to watch them play; all nine were actively participating in the game they were playing and running and laughing together. She smiled; her five would never be accused of being 'couch potatoes.' They were too active, constantly in motion, and every one of them had a very active imagination. Her kids were normal kids; whatever that meant, and she was very grateful for the life she and Tony had worked to give the five young DiNozzos.