Snow was falling lightly on the day we chose to celebrate Hunter’s birthday. I threw him a small party and invited Darin, his father, along with Emma and Evan. Sadly, Evan couldn’t make it because he had to work. While we were getting ready for the festivities inside, Isaiah asked Darin to help him make a snowman in the backyard. Darin was happy to oblige.
When it was time to start the party, I called everyone inside. We all cheered Hunter on as he stood at his birthday cake, made a wish and blew out the candles. No one cheered louder than Darin.
Hunter aged up into a handsome young man, with my blonde hair and his father’s chocolate brown eyes. His traits are Brave, Athletic, Mean-Spirited, Schmoozer and Loves the Outdoors. Hunter’s lifetime goal is to become a Superstar Athlete.
Darin made it a point to talk to Hannah about their special connection. “So, Hannah, what do you think about being a genie? We have some pretty cool powers, huh?”
“Yeah, Dad, for a while there, I thought I was going to be a regular kid like Hunter, but then I realized I could access my genie powers just by concentrating.”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t around to help you learn the ropes, kiddo.”
“That’s OK, Dad. I know that was part of the deal with Mom. And, really, I turned out OK.”
“I think you turned out more than OK, Hannah. You’re a beautiful young lady, and I’m proud of both you and Hunter.”
“Thanks, Dad. I’m really glad you came today.”
“Me, too, Hannah.”
While everyone else enjoyed a piece of birthday cake, my stomach was doing flip-flops. I made a mad dash to the bathroom. Morning sickness was back with a vengeance. Just once I wish I could be pregnant without having to deal with morning sickness. Anyway, once my stomach was empty, I brushed my teeth, as I always do.
When I rinsed out my mouth, to add insult to injury, the faucet on the sink broke. Water started squirting all over me and puddling on the floor. I grabbed my trusty wrench and wrangled that faucet into submission. After mopping up the puddle and returning to the kitchen, I found that my party had wound down and the guests had left. I was OK with that, considering I was getting tired, and we had a big day ahead of us tomorrow.
The next morning, Hannah and Hunter were graduating from high school. The kids and I joined them for the ceremony and cheered them on as they each received awards. Hannah was voted, ‘Most Likely to Take Over the World,’ while Hunter was voted, ‘Most Likely to be a Sports Star’ and achieved highest honors. I beamed with pride. Hannah wasn’t big on pomp and circumstance and glided right out of the building, grabbed a taxi and headed home. The triplets couldn’t keep up with Hannah’s genie speed, and the rest of us drove home together in the family car.
When I got home, I saw Hannah putting our new food replicator to work, storing perfect versions of some of the family’s favorite meals, like pancakes and cheesesteak. Hannah knew she would be leaving home soon and had suggested I purchase the food replicator. She knew that cooking for a full house was a lot of work, and she wanted her siblings to have the best meals possible. We ate far too much birthday cake as meal substitutes.
“Hannah, you’re incredibly thoughtful, and I want you to know how much I appreciate what you’re doing for me and the kids.” “Mom, it’s nothing, really. All I have to do is concentrate on what kind of food I want, snap my fingers, and it appears.”
“With this cool new food replicator, I can store the recipe just by placing a plate of food on it and pressing the ‘store’ button. Easy peasy.”
While the triplets were busy playing, I decided to call Alec and invite him over. I hadn’t seen him since our adventurous romp at his house, and he’d been on my mind. When he arrived, he immediately smiled and embraced me, saying “Hey, gorgeous! I’ve missed you. I didn’t think it was possible, but you look even more gorgeous today than when I last saw you. You’re positively glowing!”
“Oh, Alec. That’s so sweet of you to say. You’re looking pretty handsome yourself.” With that, Alec pulled me into his arms and kissed me. As he held me tightly against his chest, I could feel that he wanted to take things further, but the kids were home.
Instead, he hugged me close, and I felt warm and cozy in his arms. Apparently, the triplets weren’t bothered a bit because they all played as if we weren’t there.
Isabella and Isaiah were engaged in a pillow fight, while Isaac played with his imaginary friend. I don’t know who started the pillow fight, but from the sounds of the kids’ laughter, they were having fun. That’s all that mattered.
“Alec, I have something to tell you,” I whispered into his ear. Alec released me from his arms and took a step back, looking apprehensive. “Don’t worry. It’s nothing bad — quite the contrary.”
“What is it, gorgeous?”
“Well, a moment ago, when you said I was positively glowing?” Alec nodded. “That’s because — I’m pregnant, Alec.”
“Really? I’m gonna be a Dad?” Alec’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. It was just the reaction I was hoping he’d have.
“That’s wonderful news! I hope we have a daughter who looks just like you, gorgeous!” There was a mix of fascination and pride on Alec’s face as he reached down to rub my baby bump. Now that I had told him, I could proudly stick my stomach out instead of trying to hide it.
Then, Alec did something I hadn’t expected. That sweet man started talking to my baby bump and making funny faces at it, as if he wanted to play with his child already. I couldn’t help but laugh as my burly policeman boyfriend turned into such a sentimental goofball. It was endearing.
We spent the rest of the evening hanging out with the kids, and once they’d gone to bed, I asked Alec to spend the night. “Gorgeous, I thought you’d never ask. Yes, of course.” I motioned to Alec to follow me and led him into my bedroom. I took a nightgown out of the dresser and said, “I’ll be right back. Make yourself at home.” When I came out of the adjoining bathroom, I was wearing a deep red, knee-length nightgown with spaghetti straps. Alec wore nothing but a pair of boxers and a puzzled look on his face.
“Gorgeous, why’d you leave the room to change? It’s not like I haven’t seen you naked before.”
“I know, but now I’m pregnant, and I guess I’m self-conscious.”
Alec pulled me into his arms and gazed deeply into my eyes. “Gorgeous, you’ve never been more beautiful. You’re carrying my baby.”
I could see in his eyes that Alec was serious. I smiled, and as I let my inhibitions go, I felt myself becoming more aware of how wonderful it felt to be in his strong arms.
Once he felt the change in my demeanor, Alec pulled me tighter against his chest and began kissing me, softly at first, then with increasing passion.
We eventually moved to the bed. Alec lay by my side, hugging me close as we kissed. He rolled me onto my back and started gently rubbing my belly as he looked deeply into my eyes. “Alec….” He lifted up my nightgown, saying, “No more hiding, gorgeous,” as he peppered my belly with soft kisses. It was incredibly sweet. Alec went on to show me that there was no change in how much he was attracted to me. If anything, he seemed to want me even more.
After our night of passion, it didn’t take long before we were fast asleep.
The next morning, Alec had to head off to work early. I decided to get some laundry done, but the washing machine didn’t want to cooperate. “Great,” I mumbled to myself. I think I can probably fix the washer with my trusty wrench, but I hope I don’t end up electrocuting myself. This probably isn’t a good idea, especially since I’m pregnant. But, I’m stubborn and have become pretty self-sufficient, so I do it anyway. “Ah, success.” Now, I just have to mop up the water, and we’ll be good to go.
It was a school day, but the boys stayed home because they had both caught colds. They were a little quieter than usual and were happy to just play at the blocks table. Isabella was fine and went to school without them.
Later that day, Benjamin called and asked if I wanted to hang out. I hadn’t my son in far too long so I, of course, said I’d be over shortly. Benjamin gave me the address, and when I arrived, I saw a small house with a great view of the mountains and lots of land around — just what real estate agents would call ‘location, location, location.’
As soon as I walked in, Benjamin gave me a big smile and said, “Mom, it’s so great to see you. And, you’re pregnant — that’s awesome!” I moved closer to Benjamin and, as I was saying hello, he immediately asked if he could feel my baby bump. I said, “Sure, son. You’re going to have yet another sibling.”
Once his fascination with my pregnancy waned, Benjamin started telling me what was going on in his life, ending with, “I have a girlfriend, Mom — Bailey Swain.”
“She’d better be good to my boy.”
Benjamin just chuckled. “I’m not your little boy any more, Mom. I’m a grown man.”
“I know that, silly, but you’ll always be my baby boy, and that maternal instinct never goes away. You’ll understand one day, when you become a father.”
After a lovely visit, I had to head home, but not before getting a great big hug from my sweet Benjamin.
“Keep in touch,” I say as I walk out the door. “I want to know if things get serious with this Bailey girl.”
“Sure thing, Mom.”
Apparently, I had left Benjamin’s house just in time because shortly after arriving home, I felt my first wave of contractions. I let out a groan of pain as I started to clutch my expanded belly, and I could hear Isaiah behind me, starting to panic. Here we go again….