“You ready for this?”
“Are you ready for this?”
“Yeah, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, of course I am.”
It seemed like Laurel and Kurt were both unwilling to say aloud they weren’t quite ready to say goodbye to the last vestiges of their youth. They looked at each other with solemn faces.
They’d been through so much since the day they met in high school, but the entire time they’d felt like young kids muddling through the world, figuring it out as they went. At this point in their lives, that description no longer fit. They’d have to find a new way to look at themselves. But they would face it the way they always did. Together.
Laurel was about to open her mouth to say more, but she heard heels clicking towards the kitchen. She decided it could wait.
Coming down the hall was Daniella, happily back to her pre-baby weight. She didn’t know if it was the fruit she ate during her pregnancy or the breast-feeding after, but she felt good about the way she looked, and she was ready for a party!
Right behind her was Carmen, who came into the kitchen to ooh and ahh at the birthday cake.
The other guests weren’t so familiar with the house so they stuck to the living room (where the music was), the dining room (where the food and drinks were), and the 2nd floor landing (where there was room to stand around and chat).
Robyn changed into her favorite party outfit then headed to the kitchen to make and pour herself some lemonade.
“Looking good in that outfit, girl,” said Carmen from across the kitchen. “I love the back of your shirt, is that a bodysuit?”
“Thanks Miss Carmen,” said Robyn. “Yes, it’s a bodysuit. I almost wore the pink one, but I thought it would’ve been too much.”
Carmen headed upstairs to join the adult conversation. Hope Chong was telling an interesting story about pestering her daughter Liz to give her grandchildren. “If you’re gonna marry a guy three days after you met him, the least you could do is give me a grandchild three days after that!”
“Mom! I heard that,” said Liz Holloway. “I can’t believe you think this is good party conversation. We’ll have babies soon, I promise. We haven’t even talked about it yet, but I’m sure it’s on the horizon.”
Quincy overheard the women and smirked. From everything he knew about his new brother-in-law, he was surprised Liz felt so comfortable saying that without checking with Luca first.
Downstairs a hired musician was playing the piano. She looked a bit glum. Perhaps because there were no guests there to listen to her music. At least she got her money up front.
Robyn got a text on her phone and she dashed outside. She stood on the porch and greeted Baby as he arrived for the party.
“Hey there,” she said.
“Hey yourself,” said Baby. “You are looking festive today. I’m a fan of this blue thing you’re doing.”
“Aw thanks! I’m glad you came to the party. Quincy and Dani are upstairs, and so is Luca and Liz. I’m not sure who else is here that you know.”
“Well, if I don’t know anyone, I guess you’ll just have to keep me company.”
Robyn giggled as they headed inside.
Baby and Robyn sat on one of the ottomans in the living room and started chatting and laughing together.
Gavin arrived and joined them. Daniella came down to the join them, but got distracted by Emilie who wanted her help blowing out her birthday candles.
Emilie didn’t want to wait for everyone else, she wanted to blow out her candles now. Daniella figured once they got over by the cake, the rest of the party would slowly join them. She picked up Emilie and looked over her shoulder towards Robyn. Her demeanor towards Baby was a bit worrisome, but seeing as how Robyn was next to Gavin and he was just as animated and into the conversation as the other two, Daniella decided not to worry about it.
Daniella: Once again, here I am, taking care of Emilie because her parents are off doing other things.
As soon as they got near the cake, Emilie didn’t want to wait, she leaned over and started trying to blow out her candles.
“You don’t want to wait for your mommy and daddy?”
“No Dani, I have my birthday now!”
Daniella put Emilie down so she could go ahead and age up. She was relieved when Laurel and Kurt showed up with Carmen and their butler to watch Emilie age up.
Laurel and Kurt also stepped up to the cake, ready to embrace the next phase of their lives.
After her parents aged up, Emilie ran up to her room. Some redecoration was in order for sure, along with a haircut and getting rid of the ripped jeans.
Emilie: Yes, that’s much better.
Emilie went back to the party, happy to have the better motor functions of a child, pleased her toddler years were behind her.
After the party, Daniella and Quincy were back at their temporary home with their triplets.
“We did it,” said Quincy, “we made it through an entire evening away from our babies.
“I know! I’m proud of us. I still can’t believe there are three of them,” said Daniella.
“We’re outnumbered, but with teamwork, we can do this,” said Quincy.
As if on queue, all three babies started crying. Daniella was on breast-feeding duty while Quincy handled diapers and cuddling.
The girls were easy, but Henry was a bit harder to console.
One by one, they cared for each infant, and they fell asleep.
Quincy and Daniella finally sat down to talk to each other. They’d been around each other all day, but hadn’t had a chance to connect as a couple while they were surrounded by family and friends and babies.
“Today was a good day,” said Daniella.
“Yes it was,” said Quincy.
“I look forward to many more of these days with you.”
“You’ll have forever with me.”
“Well,” said Daniella, “that’s what my promise ring I’ve been rocking since high school says, so I believe you.”
“Promise ring? Oh that thing. You know I’m gonna get you something so much better than that one day soon, right?”
“That’s what I keep telling myself.”
“Stick with me baby, I’m going to give you the world.”
To Be Continued…