“Good morning, precious! Did you sleep well?”
“Hi, daddy,” Brittany said in a sing-song voice. “I slept ok. I was trying to think about how to put a schedule together for my lessons.”
“Yeah! I’ve been saving my allowance money and I bought a guitar and a violin! I want to play ALL the instruments in the world!”
“Wow, Brittany! That’s really something. I had no idea. I’m proud of you!”
“Yeah,” Bianca butted in, “if you would hang out with us from time to time you would have known that.”
I have very good children. They never give me any trouble. So, I didn’t get offended when she said that because I knew that it was coming from an honest place. Whether she was sassing me or not, I was completely guilty.
“Yeah…you noticed that, huh?”
“Yeah, dad. You’re always in front of the computer. I figured if I learned how to program you might pay attention to me.”
That was like a dagger through my heart. I hated that she felt she had to do something to get my attention. I have GOT to do better at this parenting thing!
“Oh honey! I am so sorry you feel neglected. Both of you! I know I’ve been unavailable, but I wasn’t trying to shut you out. I’ll get better. I promise! I love you both soo much. I know I can’t give you the time back, but is there any way I can make it up to you?”
“Can we get a pool?”
My funny girl. Of course they can have a pool! They can have whatever they want.
A few days later, I came into the kitchen and Maliyah was there having breakfast.
“Hey,” I said sitting down carefully in the seat next to her.
She didn’t reply.
“Are we back to not talking again?”
She kept eating.
“Come on, Maliyah! It’s over. We have a son now. We don’t have to have any more kids.”
“Seriously, Jayden? You think this is about Brandon?”
“Well, yeah. What else would it be?”
“My goodness, Jayden! Are you blind? You can’t see that I love our son? Do you think I resent him?”
“Well…yeah…I thought you did.”
“How could you think something like that?! What kind sick, evil mom do you think I am?”
She stormed out of the kitchen and left me there extremely confused.
While we were growing apart, baby bro and his wife were getting very close. Jared spends a lot of time working out so he can maintain his strength while he’s in space. Not only does he have to work out a lot, but also he has to get his logic skills up. So, in order to get some quality time in, Asia started working out with him!
I think that’s very smart–and sweet! They workout together and play chess together. That night, he came to chat with me while I was working when Asia joined as well.
“Hey guys! What’s up?”
“Hey Asia,” I said.
“I’m glad you’re both here. I need to talk to you both,” she said.
“What’s going on, babe,” Jared asked.
“Well…we’re going to need more room in the house,” she said.
“More room? We have five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room AND a den, and two offices. We have a playground, Jared has his space stuff outside along with the observatory, and we’re gonna get a pool soon. What other room do we need,” I asked.
“We need another bedroom.”
“Oh no…you didn’t invite your little brother to live here, did you,” Jared asked.
“No! And if I did, you’d be fine with it, right?”
“We’ll talk about it. Anyway, so what’s the other bedroom for,” Jared asked.
“There’s going to be a new addition to the family!”
“New addition?? Are you…we’re gonna…OH BOY!!!”
Jared was beyond excited, and I admit that I was excited for them as well.
“What’s with all the excitement?”
“We’re having a baby!”
“Geez! Is there something in the water here??”
“We’re pretty excited,” Asia very confused.
“Hey, guys,” I said to Asia and Jared. “I’m sorry…can we just have a minute?”
“Yeah, sure man. Come on, Asia. Let’s go work out. And then maybe I’ll try to put another baby in ya.”
“Jared! You’re soo bad!”
I envied them as I watched them leave the room. It was obvious they were completely in love. Now I needed to see what was going on with the woman who is supposed to be in love with me.
“Sweetheart…please! Tell me what’s wrong! I don’t know what’s going on! I don’t know what I can do!”
“It’s not you, babe. I’m just frustrated with…society! I mean, from the time a girl can walk, it seems like everything is all about preparing her for her future. It’s drilled in your head! You gotta get married! You gotta get married! You gotta have kids! You gotta make your husband happy! What if she doesn’t want any of that?”
“What are you saying, Maliyah? You don’t want to be married to me??”
“No, Jayden! Why do you always put me in a terrible light? I love you! I love our kids! I just…I just…I didn’t want all of this.”
“All of what? I’m still not understanding you.”
“Nobody cares about what I want! Nobody cares about what I think! I’m just supposed to go along with everything! When we got married, I thought it was just going to be us. I thought we would be able to spend lots of time together, go on trips, get to the top of our careers quickly and just enjoy life. Sure, I wanted a child, but I did not want it to happen right away! I just feel like my life isn’t at all going the way I wanted it to. I wanted to be a famous artist and travel around the world opening up art galleries. I can just kiss all of that goodbye now!”
“Maliyah! No one is stopping you from doing anything! You’re still young! We have plenty of money! We’re not having any more babies…why can’t you do those things?”
“Stop trying to fix me, Jayden! I don’t want you to fix it! I just want you to listen! Just listen to me!!”
“Ok, ok! I’m listening”
“I just…I don’t know what to do, Jayden! I can’t leave my family and this beautiful house. But I can’t deny how I feel. I like to be in control, but I’m not in control here! I don’t know how to make myself ok with the way things are. I guess I just need time to figure it out.”
“Ok. You know I love you, right?”
“Of course I do.”
“And you know the children love you.”
“I hope so.”
“Ok then. We’re not going to throw any stones here. You do what you need to do, and we’ll be here waiting when you figure it out.”
I gazed into her eyes, and I found a small glimmer of hope. I wanted to lean over and plant a big, wet one right on her lips, but I didn’t want to make her feel even more pressured than she already did. You know, you always assume that your own upbringing is normal. I know that people think that how we live with heirs and such is old fashioned, but it’s normal to us so I never stop to think of how other people perceive our way of life. When my little man becomes of age, this is something I’m definitely going to address with him so he and his wife doesn’t have the same problems that we are having.