I dropped into the recovery suite’s easy chair and let out a deep sigh. Compared to Sofia’s birth, Owen’s had been short, but it had still been a long six hours.
Next to me, Krys’s deep, even breaths threatened to lull me into sleep, as well. The minute we’d gotten settled into the new room, before even Owen was brought in with us, my wife had been zonked out. My eyes were drooping as well, despite the mid-afternoon sunlight streaming in from the window.
Maybe just a little nap before the wave of visitors get here…
My family had been there for the birth, but they’d gone to get something to eat while we settled into the new suite. It wouldn’t be long before they returned, though, and wanted to officially meet my son.
I leaned back in the chair and tilted my head back, letting my eyes slip shut. Yeah, just a few minutes of shut eye.
My lids had barely touched together when there was a quiet knock at the door. I stifled a sigh. “Come in.” What was the saying about sleeping when you were dead?
I was pleasantly surprised to find only Alison at the door. I’d been expecting the whole crowd of well-wishers to walk through the door.
She shut the door gently behind her and smiled at me. “Hey, Dad. You look tired.” Her voice was low, barely above a whisper.
I got to my feet, cracking my back. “I am. Where’s Luc?”
“Loralee got here right after us. They’re out in the hall, talking. They’ll be in in a minute.”
She stepped over to Owen, a soft smile on her face. “Hi, there.” She reached into the bassinet and stroked one of his hands. “He looks just like you.”
Deciding there was really no reason to be standing, I sank into the chair again. “Babies always look like their fathers.” Some evolutionary thing to make dads stick around or something, according to one of the baby books I’d read back when we were expecting Sofia.
The two of us fell silent, the quiet stretching between us interrupted only by Owen’s soft gurgles. I watched Alison with him and idly tried to imagine a world in which she was his mother. Once, it had been easy to imagine our features blended together in a sweet-smelling little bundle. Now? It was impossible. It felt unnatural, even, to imagine myself having a child with her. Krys was the only person I could see as the mother of my children.
I don’t think you can get more “over” a person than that.
Alison’s voice drew me from my thoughts. “I thought I’d bring Ricky by the house in a few days, if that’s alright.”
“Ricky? What happened to Hailey?”
“Oh, did I forget to tell you?” She moved over to sit down on the sofa. “Hailey’s back with her mom.”
I frowned. “Wasn’t her mom in jail? They just gave her right back?”
“She did a lot of counseling when she was in jail and when she got out. I’ve met her, and she seems really motivated to change. The social worker is going to keep checking on them, of course.”
“Well, I hope they’ll be alright.” I’d really grown fond of Alison and Luc’s little foster daughter. She’d been a ravenous sports fan who had even managed to surprise me with all the Raven’s trivia she knew. “So, what’s Ricky like? How does he feel about baseball?”
Alison started telling me about her new foster son. Halfway through a story about one of his antics – he was, evidently, very mischievous – Luc and Loralee walked in. Just a few minutes later, the rest of the lot came back from the cafeteria. Very quickly, the small room got cramped and noisy, despite everyone’s best efforts to keep their voices low.
Krys grumbled as she gingerly sat up on the side of the bed. “Just pushed a brand new human-being out of me. Don’t need my rest or anything.”
I laughed softly and moved to sit next to her. I slid my arm around her. “It’s tough having a close family, isn’t it?”