Clinton watched his wife’s body take its new motherly form and wondered what was so great about parenthood anyway? It just got in the way of your career, got in the way of your marriage, and got in the way of life in general. What was the point? He liked Myers, it was impossible not to like the little guy, but he couldn’t cross the line from like to love. He wondered if he would love the next baby, his real baby. Maybe seeing a child that he and his wife actually created would help him realize what was so amazing about it all.
Sarah’s feet were swollen and huge. She couldn’t see them unless she held them out in front of her, but she knew from what glimpses she saw that they were triple the size of her actual feet. Shoes didn’t fit anymore, and neither did any of the size small maternity clothes that she bought herself at the beginning of her pregnancy. Only a few more weeks and it would all be over. She would have another baby boy or her first baby girl in her arms. Myers would be a big brother, and their family would be complete.
“Clinton we need to talk.” Myers was down for his nap and Clinton had taken the day off to accompany Sarah to her doctor’s appointment. He watched Myers in the lobby while Sarah went in to discover that she was already dilated.
“I don’t like that sound of this…” Clinton thought back to the last time she sat him down with this same serious tone in her voice.
“Oh, don’t be silly. No more baby news.” Sarah smiled at her husband, hoping that he would be receptive to what she had to say.
“Okay, as long as you aren’t having twins or adopting triplets, I should be okay.”
“I just hope you’ll be around a little more when this baby comes. It is going to be very hard on me at first… An eight month old and a newborn is an impossible combination… Now I know I did this to myself, but I can’t handle it alone.” Sarah rubbed her hand across her belly, her protruding belly button serving as a speed bump.
“I’m sure I can work something out with my co-workers. Maybe they can schedule their closings and showings during the afternoons to give me a more steady nine to five kind of deal again.” Clinton could easily work those hours now, but handed them off to his co-workers. Not only would it make him look better, but it kept him away from home. Sarah may be living her dream, but he wasn’t living his. After a year of trying to have a baby, he had lost his high school sweetheart. Being parents was supposed to bring them closer together, but instead it was slowly pulling them apart. “Don’t worry about it.”
“Thanks, honey. I’m so glad that you’re willing to help.” Sarah envisioned long evenings with Clinton playing with Myers while she rocked their tiny newborn to sleep. It was going to be perfect. Two babies! She was the luckiest woman alive!
Clinton, who was ready to embrace his new role, headed in to check on Myers. He was sleeping away, sucking his little thumb. Something was holding him back from this baby, he didn’t know what, but he did know that it was beyond his control. He wanted to like Myers, but for some reason Myers symbolized that drastic changes that his life had undergone. For some reason he associated the sweet baby boy in front of him with losing his wife. He really had lost Sarah. She wasn’t the same girl he fell in love with. She had morphed into someone he didn’t recognize. Sure her body would most likely bounce right back to its old shape, but she was forever changed by motherhood.
Sarah smiled as Clinton emerged from little Myers’ room. She couldn’t wait to meet her other baby, and hoped that Clinton would honor his promises. She needed him around. Myers needed a daddy and this baby needed one too. Myers had already been abandoned once, and she wasn’t going to let him be abandoned again. Clinton signed the adoption papers too, and Myers was just as much his’ as he was hers’. Sarah studied Clinton’s tired eyes and saw a different man from the one she had married. Clinton was different now. He had been changed by fatherhood. She just hoped that eventually he would settle into it and accept the love that was waiting on him. Maybe one day he would see.