I’m holding this little bundle and secretly wondering what our baby would look like. I’m sure most women who haven’t yet experienced this feel a similar feeling, especially if they are head over heels in love with the man of their dreams. I can’t help but think about it, about what it would be like to create a family with Elliot, the look on his face when one day I tell him it’s our turn. The way he looks at our child like Ethan is looking at Emerson right now. I can’t freaking wait for that. I still haven’t fully gotten over everything that happened but this, this is the best thing that’s happened since. Two months have gone by and no more letters have arrived. There’s been no contact whatsoever and as the time passes it’s gotten easier to believe that this might actually be over this time. Helen stayed with us for almost two weeks before I had to almost force her out the door. Looking back I wouldn’t have been able to get out of my funk without her. She knew when to push and when to allow me the space I didn’t know I needed. Her ease with me surprised me, I wasn’t a stranger but I was still new to them and in those days it didn’t matter. I don’t think I realized just how much I missed my own mother until I had someone mothering me like Helen. Thankfully my mother had been gone a few years when Nathan took me, it would have killed her to go through that, but it didn’t mean I didn’t wish every day that she had been there after. Helen stepped in as though I was one of her own and it made all the difference.
While I’ve been working on not living in a constant state of fear, Elliot has been more than I could ever ask for. Together we’ve been getting through this and his ability to love me despite the messed up world I live in amazes me every day.
I’m watching her, the look on her face as she reluctantly hands over my new niece and while thoughts of this kind of life with her scares some parts of me, those other parts are screaming at me to get the proverbial show on the road. I know the last few months haven’t been easy on her, hell the last ten years of her life have been completely fucked up, but regardless I don’t know how long I’ll be able to wait to truly make her mine. I finally feel like myself, like I’ve been holding my breath for these exact moments to fall into place so that I could be who I was supposed to be. Sure every day there is a constant reminder that the way I envisioned my life isn’t going to be how I imagine but this life, Taylor, it’s more than I could have ever hoped for. At the height of her personal hell, I thought maybe she wouldn’t come back from this, but watching her with my mother really showed me how strong she is. She’s the strongest person I know and every day she just continues to get stronger, it’s amazing.
“Hey, El, your turn,” Ethan says breaking me from my thoughts.
“It’s okay, Mark can go first,” I say quickly.
Before I can protest any further though the pink bundle is in my arms, tiny and warm, and I get so caught up in those tiny features that I’m lost in them for I don’t even know how long. This little snoring peanut is the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen, let alone gotten to hold. I can’t take my eyes off of her and the room around us kind of disappears. Named loosely after both my mother and sister, Emerson Helene Turner has no idea just how loved she will be. As boneheaded as Ethan is he sure did make a gorgeous kid.
“What are you over there chuckling about?” I hear from across the room.
“Just thinking how amazing it is that you helped create this perfect baby, I mean how did that happen? Beccs, are you sure you weren’t artificially inseminated?” I shoot back.
“Elliot!” my Mother says cuffing the back of my head.
“Ma, I’ve got precious cargo here…” I say as everyone laughs.
“I want to hold her now, come on, uncle Elliot no hogging the nugget!” Alex nearly screams.
“Come on up here kiddo,” Becca says patting the bed in front of her.
Briefly, I wonder how I’m going to wheel across to them, or if someone is just going to take Emerson from me. No one moves to take her though as the room becomes quiet as they witness my internal struggle. Working out the logistics in my head I’m not sure if this is going to go well and I sure as hell hope someone is paying attention. I reposition her head on my knees, her body lengthwise so that her feet are against my stomach. Slowly I move forward and to my surprise, it works and I pass her off to Becca with the biggest grin I can muster at having made it work.
“Geez, y’all, did you think I was gonna drop her?” I ask, beaming.
Once upon a time I would have passed her off to someone else without a second thought but this time, this moment, there is a feeling of need so great that I almost can’t bear it. I want this, I want what they have, and I want it with Taylor. I can only hope that she wants it too. Every day I have to tell myself that it’s not the right time or the right moment, or that it’s still too soon to propose. That other little blue box is hidden under the seat of my motorcycle just waiting for the right moment. It’s been there for weeks now and I have no doubt in my mind that it’s what I want. I want her to be ready, though, I want her to want it too.
“Ethan, come on, I got you out of the house to help us, can you at least make an effort?” I yell as I’m wheeling past him with three boxes stacked precariously on my lap.
“I’ve taken out like six more trips than you…” he shrugs.
Taylor finally gave into moving in with me about a month after Emerson was born and here we are moving the stuff out of her apartment, well what she has packed. She’s the worst when it comes to this I’ve found out. I just shake my head as I go past her in a fit of indecisiveness. She has literally pulled the same three things out of the same box three different times while we have been filling our trucks with what she has decided was going. For the small space that she called home she sure had a lot of stuff and when we showed up this morning ready to haul, I had to laugh because she only had four boxes done. Since we’ve been here distracting her though it’s gone a little quicker.
“Taylor, when can we take the furniture to storage?” I ask stopping to grab a big box by the couch.
“No! Not that one…” she squeals causing me to almost let it drop with a thud.
“It’s closed, I’m taking it,” I laugh.
“No, I’m taking that one in my trunk, hands off mister,” she says shimmying between me and the box.
“Okay, okay!” I say holding my hands up before pulling her into my lap.
“We have work to do, Elliot,” She says breaking the kiss and climbing from me.
“If you say so, maybe we can run these boxes to the house, and then come back for a furniture run while you keep plugging away here?” I ask.
“Okay, but I mean it, that box stays, let me get you the keys,” she says disappearing into the other room as Ethan plops down on her couch.
“Dude, we haven’t even started on the big stuff yet,” I smirk.
“This is the most physical exertion I’ve had in while. Your niece keeps me up almost all night, I’m exhausted!” he whines.
“Suck it up buttercup!” Taylor laughs as she plops the keys onto his stomach.
“I think you’ve been spending too much time with this jerk, Taylor,” he jokes.
“Let’s go, wimpy,” i say on my way out the door.
Three cases of beer, four pizzas and countless trips from her apartment to my house, Taylor and Jenna had her almost unpacked while Mark Alex and I played Mario kart. I don’t know what they were doing upstairs but I could hear the laughing from time to time. I loved that she fit so well with my family and that they really took an interest in her as well. The look on my mothers face when I told her that she was moving in was priceless. I swear she had to wipe tears from her eyes. I’m sure that after all I’d put them through, they maybe doubted that I’d ever have this with someone, let alone someone as great as Taylor. Sometimes I even wondered if it was a dream.
As I carried the mystery box upstairs, the final piece of my moving puzzle, I thought about how this was home now. Funny thing is it felt like that like this was where I was supposed to be. Jenna helped me turn one of the guestrooms into a work-space while the boys played video games. Ethan had been summoned home just as the last load was being carried inside earlier, but not before he grabbed a box of pizza and case of beer and bolted. He really did most of the work today, as far as the heavy lifting went. Even with the whining, he did it was fun to have them all around for the momentous occasion. I swear I even heard him comment on how he thought he’d never see the day that Elliot would let a woman move into his house. I’d been practically living here for months, though, I hadn’t been ready until now to give up my own space.