I am NEVER having kids! Seriously.
I know what you are going to say. This is an unusual situation. Motherhood is not normally like this. It’s a different feeling with your own child. I think I have heard them all, all the cliches from all three of the adults in this house. Which they follow up with, they aren’t cliches, just the truth but you will never fully understand until you are holding a child of your own.
Doesn’t really matter what they say, I couldn’t properly process any thought right now if I tried. My brain is mush. I’m so tired and lacking in sustenance most of the day, I’m making all types of mistakes. The milk can sometimes be found in the cupboard, instead of the fridge. I’ve used laundry detergent to wash the dishes (that was a big mistake-bubbles all over the kitchen floor) and I could never remember if I had actually washed my hair in the shower. Several times I fell asleep in there too, standing up, palms flat to the wall while resting my forehead against the cool tiles. Mind you, I was lucky to get five minutes to shower most days. Completely and utterly gross, especially since I was so often covered in baby spit up, let alone my own bodily odors.
Yet, here was Sun, always with a smile on her face and the most patient of temperament with everything going on. No matter how little sleep she got, she always had a lit up smile when she picked up any one of the little monsters. I just had no idea how she remained so upbeat and positive. Must be the “your own child” thing she was talking about, cause otherwise the whole thing completely baffled me.
I needed a break! The babies were now a month old and Sun had pretty much recovered from the trauma of giving birth with the loss of so much blood. I just wanted it all to stop, even for a few days, which is when I came up with an idea. Pulling out my phone, I sent a desperate text to my dear friend Jilly.
“Jilly, I seriously need off this island. That spare bed still made up? I was thinking of asking Jin if I could come for a short visit.”
“Yes of course! My parents won’t mind at all and I would love if you could visit.”
“Oh my gosh, thank you so much. You have no idea how badly I want to get away from all these babies! How soon can I come?”
“We’re so laid back here, you could come anytime, really. I’ll ask mom and dad just to make sure it’s okay, but I already know they will say yes,” Jilly replied.
“And I will ask Jin to see what he says. I have no idea how I will do it, but before I go crazy, ask I must!”
Jilly sent me LOL with a smiley face tongue hanging out. “Let me know what he says.”
“This will be so much fun!”
How to go about asking, that was the question. I thought about going around him and asking Sun instead. I knew she would be more likely to seriously consider it before giving me an answer, but I had a feeling Jin would not be at all impressed with the tactic. Jin on little sleep, was not the most easy person to deal with and Sun had very effectively maneuvered us both by keeping us apart, completing different chores. She probably thought she was being clever, but I saw through her requests each time she sent me off to do something away from Jin. I realized in doing so, it must have been incredibly stressful for her, so I started volunteering to do a task before she even had a chance to ask. She would smile at me every time I did so, knowing I had caught on to the game but it kept the household peaceful and I happily played along. But just because Jin and I had successfully managed to go a month without screaming at one another, didn’t mean the atmosphere was charge free. Say the wrong thing and poof, off fly the sparks. So how to ask and when?
One week went by and I still hadn’t asked, waiting for that perfect time, but I quickly came to realize, there never was going to be a “perfect” time. I took a big breath and went to find Jin.
He was in the nursery sitting in the rocker trying to get Alex to sleep.
“Ummm, Jin, I was wondering……. I mean I wanted to ask if it was okay with you, if I could go visit Jilly during her school break week?” I whispered every so carefully.
Jin just stared at me and I knew that was not a good sign.
“But why? Please Jin, I really want to go.
“I said no. We need you here to help.” He carefully lifted a sleeping Alex into the crib.
“Jade, we need you here. Besides taking you to Jilly, takes me away too because I have to drive you there and that means I would be away for 2-3 hours.”
“It’s not like I’m asking you to be away for a day!”
“And what if something happens while I am gone? I said no Jade, end of discussion.”
“FINE! Sorry I asked!” I said a little louder than I meant to. Anna began to cry and Jin growled low in his throat.
“You woke her, you take care of her!” Then he stomped out of the room.
I picked up Anna from the crib, tears running down my cheeks and fed her a bottle. I felt like such a baby, because I did cry then. I was just so exhausted I really couldn’t help myself.
Sun came into the room not long after.
“Oh Jade, there you are. I wanted to tell you……….what’s the matter?”
“Oh dear. Spill and I will see if I can help.”
So I laid it all out for her then. Not the “your kids are driving me crazy” angle, of course, but just that I had been invited to Jilly’s for a visit and Jin wouldn’t let me go. Okay, I know the invited part is a bit of a fib, but I really wanted to go so I was willing to risk the lie.
Sun sighed. “Jade, you have been a very big help to me and your brother for the past month and I want you to know that we both appreciate it very much. So with that in mind, I will talk to Jin. I can’t promise he will change his mind, but I will see what I can do.”
“Really? Oh thank you Mama!” She smiled, then turned to leave the room. “Wait! Did you want to tell me something?”
“Oh right. Yes, I signed you up for on line classes to complete your schooling. I just don’t see how I will have the time to teach you anymore. I’m sorry about that, but I’m sure you understand, right? Anyway, it means a much stricter school schedule just so you know.”
Crap! Guess my new teachers aren’t going to be so impressed with my current D average. Just great! Something new to stress about.
Jilly was disappointed when I told her the news, but then told me her father had a response to the ad he had put up at work for the puppies. Could they pass on Jin’s cell number? Jin said yes of course and the family called almost right away. They arrived in the afternoon, by this really big house boat which pulled up to the dock, and they walked the long way around the island before finding our house.
Jin met Mr. Richards on the beach.
He brought along his son Travis and his daughter Callie. I had planned to stay in the house and ignore the family all together in silent protest of losing the puppies, but then, I saw him.
Totally WOW! Did not expect that at all! Quick check in the mirror
Nothing in the teeth?
Looking good! Luckily I was able to shower this morning!
I thought about changing, but discarded the idea, then quickly, yet casually hastened down to the beach. He was leaning down playing with puppy 2, and I waited for him to stand up, and waited and waited. Really? So I decided to grab his attention.
“Hi,” I said as best as I could with a smooth feminine voice. Then, all I saw was this!
Beautiful, soft blue eyes that made you want to sink right into them like slowly walking into a pool of calm blue water. Yet there was something about his eyes though. A real sadness one wouldn’t expect to see in a sim his age, which I thought to be very close to mine. I wondered if something terrible had caused such a haunted look to his very beautiful eyes. Wait, could you call a guy’s eyes beautiful? Because his sure were. Suddenly, his look changed and I wondered what had caused such a change until it dawned on me, he must have said something to me and I had completely missed it and what an idiot I must look right now……. What do I say to cover that up?
“I said, I’m Travis. How do you do?”
How do you do? What teenage guy says that? I mean, are we over seas at some hoity toity mansion? And now I am doing it again……….
“I’m Jade. Nice to meet you. I see you came to look at the puppies. What do you think?”
Did that sound okay? I think that sounded right, compared to his “How do you do thing” Shut up Jade!
“……..and my sister just loves them, as you can see.” I looked over to see a little girl sitting in the sand giggling her heart out while puppy 1 liked her face and ears.
“Looks like a match made in heaven.” Then I sighed, because I really didn’t want the puppies to go.
“I’m sorry. This must be a little sad for you,” Travis said, those sad eyes back again.
“Yes, well with four babies we really can’t keep them.”
“Wait! Four babies? Like quads? Can I see them?”
Weird but, “okay, sure.”
“They are really cute.”
“Yes well, not at two in the morning when they won’t stop crying and spitting up all down the front or back of your shirt. Do you have any idea how bad baby spit up smells?”
Travis laughed. “Ummm, yes I remember well. Callie is only 5 so I spent my fair share of burping and walking the floor with her. Hey, do you maybe want to come see our houseboat?”
I shook my head a little at the change in topic. “Umm, sure.”
Back on the beach, Travis yelled to his dad that he was taking me over to show off the boat. Mr. Richards turned to look at Jin, who after a moment nodded yes.
“So you live here, on the boat. Do you like it?”
“It’s okay I guess. Not as good as living in the big house we left behind. Hey, come see my room!”
I don’t know why, but warning bells went off in my head. Alone in a boy’s room. Was that okay? I didn’t know. What do girls do in this situation?
“Umm, sure. Just for a minute.” Travis pointed to the circular stairs and waited while I climbed first.
“It’s not much I know. Not like your house! But it’s home, for now.”
“What do you mean, for now?” I asked, hoping that was not rude.
“It’s a bit of a long sad story. You probably don’t want to hear it,” he said looking away.
“If you don’t mind telling me,” I replied. I just really wanted to find out the mystery behind those very sad eyes.
He looked uncomfortable at first, but then looked back at me.
“Well, short version is, last year my mom got very sick. It lasted for six months and just when we thought she was getting better, we got more bad news. Not long after, she died. My dad was this big time exec at a company, but he just couldn’t cope without my mom. He stopped going to work, stopped just about every thing. One day, the school threatened to call child services if he didn’t get it together and it was like a slap to the face. It woke him up. He sold his shares and completely quit the company. He pulled us from the school, sold the house and pretty much everything we owned, then bought this boat. We have been sailing around ever since. He says, Life Is Short and we must learn to live in the moment because we never know what the future holds. It’s great, most of the time, but I miss my friends and the stability of land. Which probably sounds stupid, but it’s the only way I can think to put it. Callie has been missing mom’s dogs. She was a very well known breeder and truly proud of all her little puppies. Anyway when someone at dad’s work called to him about the ad, he changed course and headed this way. And I said I would give you the short version didn’t I? Sorry.”
“No, it’s okay. I’m so very sorry Travis. I know what it’s like to lose a parent. I lost both my mom and my dad. It’s not an easy life growing up without them. I feel like I don’t really know who I am, who I am supposed to be.”
“So the people you live with…..”
“My brother and his wife. I know,” I laughed. “It’s weird. You should hear my story. It’s a bit of a jaw dropper at times.”
“Man, you sure are pretty! I don’t think I have ever seen a prettier girl than you. I’m going to be dreaming about you all night long.”
At first I was little taken back by the swift change in topics and his demeanor. Then, I totally melted like butter and giggled like a girl. Later I knew I would be disappointed in myself……. oh who am I kidding?
In my mind all I heard was “he likes me! He really likes me! A boy said I’m pretty!”
More melting ensued!
He started flirting, and I was easily falling into a dreamy state. Next thing I know, he is holding my hands and leaning in for a kiss, I hoped. I start leaning forward just a little….and then-
knock knock knock
In walks his dad, with a big smile on his face carrying a plate of food. We shot apart like a pair of guilty teenagers caught doing something worse than a kiss. I was so embarrassed!
“Hey Jade. Want to stay for dinner?” He stopped at the door to the outer deck still smiling.
“Uh, no. I should probably go.” Mr Richards waved then walked out the door. I was so flustered, I almost walked into the wall trying to get out of his room. “Here, give me your phone,” I said holding out my hand. I quickly entered my number and handed it back to him. “Bye.”
“Wait!” Travis grabbed my hand and pulled me through the bedroom door into the hallway, then turned to KISS ME!
I was so shocked at first I didn’t know what to say.
There he was quite proud of himself, grinning from ear to ear and dang it all, I giggled………………..again!
“Bye,” I said in a whisper.
I rushed down the spiral stairs way faster than I should have and I’m amazed I didn’t fall. Callie was walking up the dock and I think she may have said hi to me as I walked by.
“Hi,” I replied not looking at her and I believe I may have even sighed. Later I will really think, I’m such a girl! But for now, I wanted to remember that moment. My first KISS! Not what I imagined at all, but still. My stomach was filled with butterflies and every fiber of my body felt like it was vibrating. Oh my gosh, it felt so good.
The boat stayed docked all night long. I know because I kept going out in the night to check. I thought, in the morning I will casually walk by and see if I can catch him. Or maybe, maybe I could say I’m checking on the puppies, or that I wanted to say goodbye. I was so giddy with excitement!
Until I completely foiled my own plans. I must have fallen asleep, because I woke abruptly at ten in the morning. I made a quick freshen up and raced across the grass, only to find the boat was not at the dock. I was so desperate for any site of him, any info to know which way they headed, I climbed to the top of the lighthouse.
There was no boat to be seen, in any direction. The water flowed by in calm serenity, as it always did and with it, took my one and only hope at the chance for love.
I will not cry! Uh huh, don’t bet on it.
*Jilly’s responses were written by RosemaryMarie at Noble Doubt. To see what happens to Jilly and so much more check out her story HERE