Thursday, 9 October 2014

I’m glad to see it wasn’t my genes that were the bad ones.

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“I’m glad to see it wasn’t my genes that were the bad ones,” he said. His legs were stretched out and crossed at the ankles and he held a cold beer in his hand.
She glanced where he was looking and saw their child. He was almost two years old and had a bucket on his head. He was spinning in circles until he fell over on the grass. She could hear him laughing with delight from inside the bucket.
“How do you know you didn't do exactly the same thing when you were a baby?” She placed the large bowl of salad on the outdoor table.
“I would never do anything quite so silly.”
As she turned to walk back inside, he grabbed her and hauled her onto his lap. She put her arms around his neck and kissed him.
“I will just ask her, you know?” His parents were joining them for a late lunch.
“You wouldn’t.”
“I would.” She stroked the back of his neck leaning in to whisper in his ear. “She likes me... she will tell me all of your, no doubt completely adorable baby stories. All the gossip.”
“I’m sure there isn’t any.”
They watched as their son stood, staggered a little to the side with dizziness and then started spinning in place again. His arms held out at his sides.
“See,” he said, “that kid is nuts.”
He passed her his beer bottle.
“No thanks,” she said. “Not for me.”
He gave her an odd look. “Is there something you should be telling me?” he asked in a very quiet voice. It wasn’t like her to refuse a beer.
She smiled as if she had a secret.
“Seriously?” he asked her.
“You wanna see how the next gene experiment turns out?”
“Do I?” He hugged her almost hard enough to hurt and then apologised.
She teased him, “It won’t hurt him. You know that.”
“You sure it’s a him? We already have one.”
“Awww... but look at him. He’s so cute.”
The he in question was now trying to balance upside down with his head still inside the bucket and his shoulders balanced on the rim.
He fell over backwards and then stood and looked their way. He held his arms out and yelled, “Ta dah!” as if he had just performed a miraculous feat of magic.
“Yay,” they cheered and applauded.
He bowed to his parents and then started to run towards them on his chubby legs.
“I’ll be happy no matter what sex it is,” he said.
“Healthy and whole that is all I want.”
They scooped him up and made room for him on their laps.
“Do well tell grandma?” he checked.
“Not yet. Twelve weeks.” She brushed her son’s hair away from his forehead.
“What’s the matter?”
“This is going to sound crazy...”
“But...” he prompted.
“I love this little guy so much; how will there be room for another one?”
“You worry about the oddest things. Of course, there will be room.” He touched her face with his hand. “The heart expands, you know.”
“It does?”
“Infinitely.” He grinned at her. “You love me, don’t you?”
“Yeah... yeah, I do.”
“Love!” the little boy cried.
“Yes, baby, we love you.”
Tyres crunched on the drive.
“They’re here,” she said. “You had better heat up the grill.”
“Give me a kiss first. Pay the toll before I let you go.”
“Kiss?” the little boy asked.
They each kissed a cheek, then set him down on his feet. He ran off to get his bucket. His father stood, picked up kid and the bucket, when he ran back. “Let’s go say Hi to grandma.”
“Hey,” she called. “I never got my kiss.”
Turning back, he kissed her thoroughly until his son hit him with the bucket.
“Ow... can we lose the damn bucket?”
© AM Gray 2014

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