Eliza sent Asia a text when she arrived home from the hospital. She was so excited about squeezing cute baby cheeks, she rushed right over. In a few hours, she would have to leave for work, and there was no way she was going to wait until the next day to coo over the new junior Pancakes. She was so excited about seeing the babies, she almost forgot about the new bedrooms that were constructed. Eliza led her into a colorful but not over the top room. She gasped as she looked around. There were so many colors and patterns, but oddly enough they meshed well together. Pink was the accent color. The room gave off a cheerful vibe that made her very happy.
“Good heavens! This is the CUTEST room! I didn’t know you had it in you, Eliza.”
Eliza snorted. “You know me quite well. These rooms are the hallmark of my husband’s odd talent.”
Asia’s eyes grew wider. “Bob did this?”
She nodded. “And he spends so much money on them. Thank the Watcher he was reasonable with these two. He spent nearly §6000 on Breanne’s room!”
“Good heavens!” The child’s room costs nearly as much as our entire basement! “But, that’s so sweet though! I didn’t realize he was so…uhhh…so–
“So doting? It’s ok. I realize on the outside he may come across as withdrawn, but…he’s quite the Mr. Mom!”
Eliza drifted away thinking about Bob. Asia had never seen her so taken with her husband before. Clearly, something had to be going on to warrant the surprise pregnancy. Despite how odd it was to hear, Asia loved how Eliza gushed about her husband without realizing it.
“So everything went ok this morning? No complications or hiccups?” Asia asked.
She was expecting a “yes” or “no” followed by a brief statement like always, but Eliza was in a rare mood. Perhaps she was still on cloud nine from meeting her two new, beautiful daughters. She was never one to overshare; perhaps it had to do with her profession. But, that day, she was quite the chatterbox.
“Well, no. The birth went without a hitch. Despite the reservations I have about Moira, she is quite good at her job. I, on the other hand, could have been more cheery.”
Did she just admit something negative about herself? Who is this woman, and how can we keep the old Eliza wherever she is?!
“I felt like a walk this morning. When Robert changed his clothes to come with me, I knew he was concerned. Getting that man to be active is like trying to milk a dead cow plant!”
A loud belt of laughter erupted from Asia’s mouth before she covered it with her hands. She forgot there was one sleeping baby.
“Naturally, I was quite surprised. It was nice, though…”
There was that twinkle in her eye again.
“However, we didn’t get very far…
“When we arrived at the hospital, he did the best he could, opening doors for me and keeping a steady hand on my back…”
She heard the way her tone softened and her train of thought derailed at the mention of his hand upon her back.
They are completely different people behind closed doors!
“He still panicked! I will never understand why men can’t handle birth! It’s not like they are delivering the thing!”
“Bob too? I thought it was just Jared. All three times!”
“Hmph! They say it’s a sympathy thing. I think it’s preposterous!”
“Anyway… When we got to the room, he calmed down enough to calm me down.”
“Awww! You were nervous?”
“Of course not. I just didn’t want to do it.”
Asia laughed again. “Well, I don’t think you had a choice, my dear!”
“Hmph. That’s what Robert said.
“Anyway, seeing as how there was no reset button or return to sender envelope, I figured I’d get it over with. Robert was so…encouraging…”
There was that softness and runaway train again.
“Too bad he couldn’t encourage himself.”
“But, after Moira got them out, and I heard them for the first time, I felt…I felt happy. For the first time through the whole thing, I was happy!”
“Well it’s about time,” Asia yelled. “I never met a woman more…” She interrupted herself as she thought about Mary’s last pregnancy. “Well…new children should bring happiness, not sorrow!”
“Perhaps. You’ve never been unexpectedly pregnant. You can’t understand.”
Usually Asia didn’t like when Eliza told her what she could and couldn’t understand, but this time she had a valid point. She still thought she should have been happier though.
“So, you’re gonna keep them together in here until they’re older?”
“I suppose. They’ll be easier to manage.”
“Hmmm… I wonder if it’s a good idea to separate them at all. What if they don’t like being apart?”
“Well, I suppose we’ll drag the other bed in here and see what happens.”
“I hope you don’t end up wasting a room you guys so carefully built.”
Eliza gave her a cold stare. “My sentiments exactly. You have no idea what we went through to get these rooms.”
“Hmmm…I bet it has to do with someone whose initials are B.P.”
The sleeping baby awoke with a loud wail. It was lunch time. Asia enjoyed watching this unknown side of Eliza. She handled her so gently with care and precision as she smiled and giggled to herself.
“What’s tickling you?” Asia asked.
“Come on! Spill!”
“Well… I’ve never been one to enjoy or engage in baby talk. I think it’s silly and insulting to the child. Robert, on the other hand, cannot stop the babbling rubbish. I never knew his voice could be so high.”
“And he makes faces at them. They love it so much. I vowed I would never succumb to such silliness, but there I was, standing beside him, babbling and making faces! I’m not quite sure what came over me.”
“They do that to you! Babies have a way of bringing out the playfulness in us. We’ll do anything to make them smile. It’s like baby joy is fuel for our own happiness or something.”
“Yeah… I know…” She seemed to get lost in thought again.
“But, the playfulness extends farther than the nursery,” Asia said with a wink.
Eliza blushed. Asia thought it was precious to see her friend that way. She always questioned their relationship in the past. Perhaps, at one point, things had gone awry, but she was glad they somehow found their way back to each other. It was awesome to witness how much their relationship had blossomed in the past few months.
Eliza shrugged like she was guilty. “Well… That’s a side effect I can live with.”
Asia’s jaw almost hit the floor. She loved all the vulnerability Eliza shared with her that day.
“Eliza! You’re a bad girl! I love this! Don’t go too crazy though! You don’t want anymore ‘oops’ babies.”
The two women laughed.
“No, but seriously though,” Asia said. “You guys aren’t having any more children, right?”
“Oh dear! I’d rather shop at the flea market!”
Asia snorted and shook her head at her friend. “Oh! You’ve been gushing about Bob so long, you haven’t told me what their names are!”
Eliza blushed again. “Oh…dear. Forgive me.”
“Eliza, never ask forgiveness for talking about your man. If you love him, let the world know!”
She seemed to consider her words before answering. “The first one is Lily.” She pointed to the bassinet closest to her. “And that’s Lexi.”
“Lily and Lexi! Good heavens, those are cute names!”