No place like home

As an antithesis to my story, A Life of Ordinary, I wrote this story after some nagging from my cousin who wanted me to. This, I suppose, is more how I picture my perfect life to be. So please, enjoy my little snapshot.

As it always did, the gate creaked as it opened inwards into the little but well maintained garden. Her little patch of jungle was coming along nicely in the corner, while the daisies lining the garden path thrived. The whole garden itself was full of the sweet perfume of frangipanis from the tree by the front of the shady front veranda. With a smile, she looked up into the warm sun, closing the gate with a clatter behind her. Even as she climbed the front stairs, she heard the trample of little feet, hurtling to greet her.

At the door, she dropped to the floor, where she was almost bowled over in a flurry of little arms and legs. Her three children were wrapped around her in a tangle of legs and arms.

“Mummy!” they squealed as one.

“Hello my darling ones,” she said fondly, cuddling them each in turn.

With a smile, she straightened the hat on her son’s head. Her eldest, he was the only one who inherited her brown eyes and had the look of her dad. He grinned back with a gap toothed smile, his cheekiness sparkling in his eyes as he went in for the tickle. Though she was not at all ticklish, she obliged, giggling with him as his fingers stroked underneath her armpit.

“That’s enough, cheeky monkey!” she said, wrapping him under one arm and messing up his dark hair.

Turning her attention to her twins wrapped around her legs, she cuddled them together. Her sweet little angels, with their father’s light coloured curls and big blue eyes, were still becoming their own little people. They were named for her grandmother and her twin sister, a concession her husband gave to her knowing how much she cared for both of them. Her great-aunt hadn’t lived to see them, but her mother and dearest Grammie had cried when they had been told. Certainly, they weren’t identical twins, but they looked pretty close and only the slightest changes gave them away.

“Pwetty,” Lola said, stroking her mum’s hair, straightened for the interview she’d had today.

“Thanks poss,” she replied with a big smile, hugging her close.

“And what has my little Marie been doing?” she asked, planting a big kiss on her other daughter’s cheek.

The sweet reward for her affection was a beaming smile and a return slightly slobbery kiss on the other cheek. 10 years ago, that sort of thing might have made her cringe, but now she took it as mark of honour, motherhood’s highest accolade. Love of a child was almost better than, and certainly incomparable to, any other feeling in the world.

With a big groan, she picked up the girls, and said to them all, “Where’s your Dad?”

Her little man Ben, ever eager to please, said “I’ll show you.”

With a comical little jump, he hurtled off down the hallway, as fast as his little legs could carry him. Past the photos of the whole Yorkston clan, past the photos of Aunty Lauren, and Unca Dunca (as they called her brother Duncan). Past the photos of their parents on the Seine, in Egypt. A wedding photo in honeyed light, their parents gazing forever into each other’s eyes. His absence left her looking at her lean body, a product of years of healthy eating and hard work, even after 3 kids.

Laughing loudly, she followed. “Wait honey, Mummy’s not fast enough with the girls!”

Through the lounge room and toy obstacle course, she followed his funny little footsteps to the couch, where her husband sat on his laptop working. He looked up at her over his glasses, a golden curl flopping into his big blue eyes. Slowly, the roguish smile that melted her heart spread across his face. He stood wrapping his arms around his girls, his eyes looking into his wife’s eyes tenderly.

“Ciao bella,” he said softly, cupping his wife’s face before kissing her slowly.

Beneath his lips, her heart fluttered as it had for all the other times he had kissed her, before and since he made her his wife. They were right, she thought, to say that someone will come into your life to show you how all the others were wrong. Not to say their marriage was perfect, but it was pretty happy and that was the important part.

“Hi gorgeous,” came her breathless reply when he was done kissing her. She ached to get her hands on him, but the girls were firmly planted on either hip. Later. Looking at the clock on the wall, she saw it was 6. If they were quick, they could walk down to the beach for a little play before it got too late.

A quick flurry around the household resulted in the right shoes on the right feet and a touch of hats to heads and the 6 of them were out the door. 6 of course including their dog, a golden retriever cross they called Trip, short for Tripitaka. Yes, she and her husband were both nerds, weaned on the glory that is Monkey Magic.

The sun was setting on the world, casting that beautiful dusky hush across the seascape. Trip ran into the waves, glorious in her all her golden galloping. Between them, they swung Ben into the surf, a little girl’s hand held tightly in the other hand. They walked along the beach, pointing to the freighter’s on the horizon, at the seagulls whirling madly into the sky that had been hounded by Trip, to the tiny shell Marie pointed out. Half an hour later, and as soon as 3 little voices were getting cranky, they headed home.

In the soft lamplight a few hours later, the two of them were finally alone. In one of his old t-shirts, she was curled against him, his arm wrapped around her stomach.

“So how did the meeting go?” he asked quietly, his lips brushing the back of her neck.

Beneath his arm, he felt her stiffen. “Oh honey,” he whispered, nuzzling her neck, “it’ll be fine. We’ll find another publisher.”

She rolled over then and he could see the excitement written from her eyes to the beaming smile he fell in love with. “I don’t need one. They’re going to publish my book!”

“Why didn’t you say so earlier? We could have called everyone!”

“I’m waiting,” she replied coyly.

“For what?”

The cheeky grin was back. “For them to approve a contract on the second and third books.”

He was up on his knees on their bed, pulling her up into an enormous hug, grinning from ear to ear. “Look at you my beautiful, talented wife! My talented authoress!”

They bounced together on the bed in quiet glee, celebrating as only the parents of toddlers know how. Quietly.

He kissed her. Throwing her arms about his neck, she kissed him back fiercely as he pulled her body towards him.

With a wolfish grin, he said, “I think it’s celebration time. For my brilliant wife, I’m going to do that thing she likes.”

Her answering smile was flirtatious. “And what would that be?”

“Turn off that light, and I’ll show you.”

Turning away from him, she crawled across the bed as he prowled after her, before she reached over and plunged the room into darkness. In the dark, there were sounds of a pounce and much giggling…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *