“He’s such a peaceful little thing,” Lisa said admiringly as she rocked him gently in her arms.
“That’s because he’s got you for a mother,” Ethan said. Lisa smiled and gently put him in his cradle. They both stared at him for some time.
“We are parents now.”
“Yes we are.”
“Everything’s going to change…”
“Yes I know,” Ethan said, kissing her forehead.
“But we’re going to get through it…together.” She nodded. They kissed. They paused when the baby squirmed.
“I think he wants us to get a room,” Ethan said jokingly. Lisa chuckled.
“Goodnight love.” They went to their bedroom and lay down.
“Liz, I’ve thought about the whole nanny thing and…”
“It’s okay Ethan; I think I can handle the whole mummy role. It would take some time to adjust but I can work it out.”
“It’s not just about you Lisa; we both have to adjust. And I don’t want you to relegate your career to the background. That would be heartless. So, I know it won’t be easy but I think we should endure this infant stage till he starts school; then we can think of getting a babysitter.”
Lisa was quiet.
“What do you say, Liz?” She sighed.
“I don’t think it would be easy.”
“I know; I just don’t feel comfortable with a stranger coming into contact with our baby at such a fragile stage. We’ll do this together.”
“By that do you mean you’re okay with it or you have something else in mind?”
“No, it’s fine.” He looked into her eyes. “You’re so beautiful.”
She touched his face. “And I’m blessed to have you.” He kissed her. She broke it off.
“I just delivered, Ethan; you’re not by any chance trying to get me pregnant…again, are you?”
“What?” Ethan asked, chuckling.
“Of course not; I just want give my wife a congratulatory gift for delivering such a bouncy baby boy.”
“Yeah right.” He kissed her neck.
“Don’t worry; you’re not going to get pregnant as long as you’re lactating.”
“What?” He looked up at her.
“I mean as long as you’re breast-feeding…”
“I know what lactating means, Ethan. How did you know…?”
“Seriously? You seem to forget that I’m a doctor.”
“Yes, a neurologist not a gynecologist.”
“Well…that didn’t stop me from reading around the subject when you were expecting.” Lisa looked at him, puzzled.
“What? I wanted to know what my chances are without putting you and the baby in harm’s way.”
“I see; so what did your research say about making love to your wife who just delivered?”
“Well…it tells me to be gentle,” he whispered as he winked. Lisa chuckled. He kissed her.
On Sunday, the couple took the baby to church where he was dedicated to God. After service, Lisa saw a missed call alert on her phone. It was her mother. She called back.
“Sorry mother; we were in church. What’s up?”
“Could you please pass by? Your father wants to see you.”
“Today? I’m pretty worn out right now and the baby looks restless. Can we make that tomorrow?”
“No dear; he insists on seeing you and the baby today. Could you convince Ethan to bring you?” Lisa sighed.
“Sure; see you.” She hung up.
“Who was it?” Ethan asked, opening the car door for her.
“My mum. She says my dad wants us to come over today and that my dad is being insistent about it.”
“Is everything okay?”
“Well I hope; I know you’re tired and hungry but can we make a quick detour over there?” Lisa pleaded.
“Sure.” He took the baby from her. She sat in the car and he gave her the baby. He closed the door and got inside. They drove off.
“I knew you must be hungry so I prepared lunch. Please make yourselves at home,” Lisa’s mum said pleasantly.
“Thanks ma’am,” Ethan said, sitting down.
“My sweetheart is here!” Lisa’s dad happily with a weak voice.
“Daddy!” Lisa said excitedly as she walked to him. He kissed his daughter’s forehead.
“And how’s my grandson?” he said, taking its tiny fist into his hand.
“Good to see you here, Ethan.”
“Same here, Mr. Cooper.”
“Let me help you to the table, dear,” Mrs. Cooper said.
“He’s sleeping; I’ll go and lay him down,” Lisa said. Ethan nodded. They all settled at the dining table. Lisa’s mum said grace and they ate.
“Ethan….what do you love about my daughter?” Lisa’s dad asked.
“Wow…that’s a good question,” he started, putting his fork down. “Well, I love her for being the best life partner ever…very caring, supportive, God-fearing and beautiful in heart. God bless you for raising such a great woman, Mr. Cooper.”
Lisa smiled. Her dad smiled approvingly.
“I now know I didn’t make a mistake handing her over to you.” They chuckled.
After lunch, her dad went to bed as he was feeling tired. He asked Lisa to bring the baby to his room. She sat beside him on the bed with the baby in her arms.
“Lisa my child….you’ve grown to become one incredible, responsible, loving woman and I’m so proud of you. And now that I’m so feeble, I’ve a favor to ask you.”
“Please take good care of your mother, Liz.”
“What do you mean? She doesn’t have cancer too, does she?” Lisa asked, alarmed.
“Of course not. I don’t have much time so I needed to talk to you as soon as I can.” He placed his feeble hands on the baby’s forehead and declared, “You’ll be great, and nothing will stand in your way. You are blessed and you will be a blessing to many others. Whatever you touch will prosper….”
“Amen,” Lisa responded. His hand moved from the baby’s head to hers.
“You’ll be a wonderful mother to this boy the same way you’ve been great to your husband. You’ll be a strong pillar for your husband and children. I urge you to stand for your family no matter what.” He paused.
“Get me some water, dear,” He said weakly.
“Yes dad.” She took the glass on the bedpost and gave it to him. He gulped it down. Lisa put the glass down. He sighed.
“I think I’m done now…”
“What do you mean? Dad…. Dad…. Dad….no…you can’t leave like this…..”
A scream from Lisa startled both Ethan and her mother. They both got up.
“Lisa! Are you okay?” Ethan asked as he rushed into the room. The mother followed him.
“Ethan….” Lisa said with tears streaming down her face. He looked at the father.
“Give me the baby, Liz.” She did.
“What happened, Liz?” her mum asked, touching her husband.
“He prayed for us and then…and then he was gone, mama.” She sat by her daughter and hugged her, rocking her gently. Tears filled her eyes.
The baby squirmed and began to cry.
“Shhh….this isn’t the time,” Ethan whispered to him, rocking him.
“Oh mummy….” Lisa continued to cry.
Seeing Lisa cry like that broke his heart but there was nothing he could to comfort her with the baby wanting his attention too. He went outside.
The burial service was a private but a very emotional one. When it was all over, they returned to Ethan’s place.
“I’ll get us some water,” Lisa said and headed to the kitchen.
Ethan sighed with exhaustion. The week has been quite stressful. He turned his head when he heard Lisa coming. She looked pale, weak and tired. She looked ready to fall.
“Lisa….” He got up and walked to her, taking the tray from her with one hand and holding her with the other.
“Are you okay?” He asked with concern.
“Yeah…just got a little dizzy. I need some rest, I think.”
“Yes you do. I’ll put you to bed.” He served the mother and excused himself. He escorted Lisa to the bedroom. She sat down.
“I feel like I’ve been trapped in a very bad dream.”
“Can imagine…being the only child and all…..” Ethan said as he took off her shoes. He made her lie down.
“Can I get some pills to pop? I think I’m entitled to it considering the circumstances, right?” Lisa said drowsily.
“Oh no you’re not. Let your body rest itself. If you’re still feeling terrible after you’ve woken up, then we’ll discuss the pills part,” Ethan said, covering her with the bedspread.
“Oh…you’re not fun at all, Ethan; you’re depriving me of the privileges of marrying a doctor, you know?”
“Thank God you are not junkie, Lisa or I’d have had you committed myself,” he said with a smile. He kissed her forehead.
“Have some sleep, love. I’ll come and check up on you later.”
“Okay; give Jer a kiss for me, will you?”
“Of course, my love.” He left the room.
About two weeks later…
“Hey honey…” Ethan greeted his wife with a kiss when he returned from work.
“Hi sweetie…how was the hospital today?” He sat beside her.
“It was relatively quiet till an emergency case came up. An older couple was involved in a gruesome car accident.”
“Ouch….can imagine…hope they are out of danger now.”
“Yeah, looks like it. How was your day?” he asked her.
“Fine; I passed by my mum’s place.”
“And how’s she doing?”
“She’s depressed, Ethan. It seems to be getting worse by the day.”
“It is to be expected. Why don’t you get her to see someone?”
“Yeah, we’ve done that and we were advised that she needs to be close to family; so she doesn’t feel the loss too much.”
“I don’t think anyone else could replace your father in her life, Liz.”
“I’m aware of that but I think it’s a step in the right direction.”
“So what do you have in mind?” Lisa glanced at him and blinked. It took Ethan some seconds to decipher what Liz was getting at.
“You’re not thinking of… no, Lisa.”
“Why not, sweetheart? I’m her only child.”
“So am I but that doesn’t mean I’ve to let my parent move in when one passes away. That’s what the home for the aged is for, Lisa.”
“Are you serious? There’s no way I’ll let my mum live in a home like that.”
“Neither is she joining us here,” Ethan said firmly.
“What’s so wrong with that? It’s not like I’m asking my female friend to come live with us for fear of losing you to her. She’s my mother.”
“Lisa, your parents’ home is spacious and lively enough for her to recuperate. Find a way to make it work.” He got up.
“Come on Ethan; you’re not seeing the bigger picture here. With my mother living here, we don’t have think of hiring anyone to take care of Jer. She’s perfect for the job.”
Ethan chuckled in amazement.
“Are you being serious right now? You want your grieving depressed mother to take care of our child? How could you even consider that as an option?” Ethan asked.
“This way, she’ll recover from the shock of losing my father, Ethan. It’s a win-win!”
“You’re not delegating your motherly duties to your mother, Lisa.”
“I am not, Ethan! She’ll only be helping out.”
“I see. So even when I agree to this, how long do you want her to stay here? A week, a month, 3 months, 6 months?”
Lisa didn’t respond.
“Oh, you want your mother to be our son’s permanent nanny, don’t you? I can’t believe this. How inconsiderate can you be?”
“I just want the best for all of us, Ethan; we can both go about our careers without stressing ourselves about looking after the baby.”
“So here we are again; the career being on top of the priority list,” Ethan sneered.
“Well, that’s what paying the bills around here, Ethan.”
“Excuse me?” Ethan asked, turning sharply to look at her.
“I’m sorry, I meant…”
“No, I get it. The fact that you pay for a few stuff here and there makes you think you’re the one keeping this house running, huh?”
“No, Ethan; that’s not what I meant.”
“This discussion is over,” he said and went upstairs. Lisa sighed.
“This wasn’t how I expected things to turn out,” she told herself, disappointed.
Ethan was reading when Lisa came out of the bathroom. She gave a knowing smile as she walked to him.
“Hmmm..?” He didn’t look up from the book. She took the book away from him.
“Lisa…I’m trying to read here.”
“Uh huh…” She sat astride him. She stared at him.
“What is it?”
“I’m sorry for what I said.”
“Which part, the fact that you said your career runs this house or your proposition of moving your mum into this place?” Ethan asked.
“Both; I shouldn’t have been so forceful about it.”
“You shouldn’t have even brought it up.”
“Okay…” Lisa admitted reluctantly. She wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Okay…I went a bit overboard with that. Forgiven?”
“Hmmm… I’d have to consider that.”
“Oh really? Consider what?” she whispered, kissing his jaw.
“Well…if you continue to do that, I might consider faster…” he said playfully.
“Oh yeah…like this?” She kissed his ear.
“Yeah, just like that.” She giggled as he held her waist. He kissed her and lay her down.
“I’ll tell you later…” They kissed again. Their ‘cosmic’ moment came to an abrupt end when they heard the baby’s sharp shriek.
“Seriously?” Lisa fumed. “Tonight of all nights?”
“Baby beckons,” Ethan said with a smile as he sat up. Lisa sighed as she got up.
“Perhaps you’re not forgiven after all,” Ethan teased when Lisa opened the door. Lisa eyed him as she left the room. Ethan laughed.