Laurel and Kurt didn’t get a lot of time together to be alone. Actually, that was an overstatement. They never got time together alone unless it was 3AM and they were squeezing in some half-hearted woohoo while they were half asleep after a very long day.
They’d fallen into a comfortable routine that was common for people who had been together as long as they had. Meeting when you’re still in school, falling in love and deciding you’re going to be together forever, getting pregnant while you’re still a teen, getting married the second you aged up to Young Adult, struggling with two small children in a tiny Bridgeport apartment, getting a surprise inheritance from a distant relative, moving to a new town and finally realizing the dream of a large house filled with family, well, let’s just say it took a toll on their marriage.
Laurel hadn’t felt close to Kurt in a long time, but she still felt shame when she thought about the mistake she almost made with Bob Pancakes back when the twins were first born.
She planned on taking that secret to the grave, and was glad they moved in different circles than the Pancakes did. She didn’t think even Carmen was friends with them. What she knew was that she and Kurt would be empty nesters sooner rather than later. Neither of them intended to neglect their marriage, but she needed to make plans for when that time came nonetheless because she didn’t want to be in a big old house with no one but him to talk to.
Robyn was going to age up to Young Adult soon, and Laurel fully expected her to move out right away. The twins were still girls even though their birthday was any day now. Emilie would be a child for a while, so at least they would have one kid left to occupy their attention. Laurel wondered if she could convince Quincy to move back in with his family once there was more room in the house.
The original plan was for Daniella to move in with them, then she had to go and get herself pregnant. Laurel wasn’t a huge fan of Daniella, and she was pretty sure the feeling was mutual. She didn’t think Daniella would be open to moving in with them now that Laurel had a nice house built for them, but the fact that they had triplets might push Daniella to consider it. Laurel and Kurt could be very useful in handling large numbers of kids at once.
Laurel considered all of this as she sipped her coffee one Saturday morning. Kurt came in to talk to her, and she eyed him and marveled at how young he still looked. He was very good looking and he made beautiful children.
When Kurt sat next to Laurel, she asked him, “hey, what do you think of having another baby?”
“What?? I don’t think of it,” said Kurt. “We’ve only got Emilie left to raise and you want to start all over again? Don’t you want to… you know… enjoy our time together as a couple at some point?”
“Sure I do,” said Laurel unconvingly, “I guess I was just thinking of how empty this house will feel, and I was trying to brainstorm ways to keep it feeling full.”
Kurt watched her for a moment and was about to say something when Bianca walked in with leftovers-as-breakfast. “Good morning mommy, good morning daddy,” she said.
“Good morning,” they said in unison. Then Laurel said, “sorry I didn’t make breakfast for everyone this morning, I just thought it would be nice if we all got to do our own thing in our own time. I see you’ve already taken advantage of your morning by going on the slip n slide, I assume that’s why you’re in your bathing suit?”
“Yup,” said Bianca. “I’m glad this is a lowkey birthday. I wouldn’t want a big party like you all and Emilie had. I just want what we did for Quincy’s birthday.”
“Birthday?! I mean, of course, sweetie,” said Laurel in a panic, “I know we didn’t discuss plans, but I know my girls, and I knew lowkey is what you’d want.”
Kurt turned to Laurel with his eyes saying, “I told you we shouldn’t have more kids, we can’t even keep up with the ones we’ve got.”
Kurt turned to Bianca, ready to lean in to Laurel’s fib and present a united front to Bianca. “How about this? You go get changed and make sure your sisters are up. By the time you are all back downstairs, we’ll have your birthday cake ready. You know your mom loves baking the cake fresh herself. You feel like birthday cake for second breakfast?”
“Oh boy, that sounds great,” said Bianca excitedly, “birthday cake is my favorite! Can it be chocolate? No, strawberry! Wait, no, chocolate!”
As Bianca continue to debate with herself about whether she wanted a chocolate or strawberry (or vanilla) cake, Kurt leaned over to Laurel. “Can you handle the cake while I go for a run? Easier to maintain the lie if I don’t have to look my girls in the face.”
“Oh hush,” said Laurel, “you’re just trying to calm your mind because you know it’s about to get crazy in here with three teenage girls. But it’s fine. Go, I’ve got this cake.”
Bianca finished her first breakfast and ran upstairs to force her sisters to wake up and get ready. Kurt changed into his workout gear and went for his jog. Laurel changed into more casual clothes and threw on her apron to start on the cake. It was to be a chocolate cake; Bianca had finally settled on a flavor.
Laurel hummed to herself as she prepared the cake. Kurt was back from his run and chatting with Emilie in the kitchen. Laurel chuckled as she wondered if Emilie was prepared for the huge responsibility of being the only child in the house now. So much cuteness responsibility was about to fall on her shoulders.
Laurel was really in her element. Being in the kitchen, cooking up a storm, while her family milled around filling the place with life and love, that was her everything. She couldn’t really understand how any part of Kurt was eager for this phase of their lives to be over. She was in her happy place, and didn’t want it to end any time soon.
She finished the chocolate cake, with sprinkles added for good measure, and set it on the cake table. She never would’ve thought she’d have enough space and money to own a table that sat in the basement most of the time and literally existed only for cakes.
She looked at Kurt, who’d just sat down with a plate of leftovers. “You’re kidding me with the frittata, right?”
“I just wanted to have first breakfast too,” said Kurt with a wink as the twins entered the kitchen. Laurel smirked at him, then added candles to the cake.
Laurel looked at her twins, who were both very eager to enter the next stage of their lives. “Okay, who’s first?”
“Me,” said Brooklyn with a smile.