The Family Home
“I don't know," Cathy confessed, scanning the faded, peeling wallpaper. "It's so big. And it needs so much work."
"Mostly cosmetic," Paul pointed out. "Drywall, paint, definitely the floors."
"It's just so big!"
Paul laughed, stepping behind his wife and wrapping his arms around her still-small waist. "We can't have this baby in a one bedroom apartment. This house gives us room to grow. The downstairs is plenty big enough for the three of us. We can get to the upstairs when we need it."
"You're right," Cathy sighed. "We need more space." She smiled. “But four bedrooms?”~
~"Paul!" Cathy called up the stairs again, her hands pressed against her swollen abdomen. "Honey!"
"Just a sec!" The familiar whirling screech of the band saw pierced the air. With the upstairs remodeling so near completion, Paul rarely stopped to eat or sleep. Cathy smiled with a sigh, looking down to three year-old Johnny and his big sister, Ella.
"Let's get Mommy's things to the car," she told them. "Johnny can carry my purse." The red-headed boy ran excitedly toward the door while Ella watched Cathy.
“Is the baby ready?” asked the blue eyed six year-old.
"She sure is. And I'm going to need lots of help from you until Daddy comes down.” Ella nodded enthusiastically, always eager to act grown-up. The petite girl rushed to the bedroom to pull out her mother's wheeled suitcase while Cathy refilled her purse with the items Johnny had spilled out. The kids were already buckled into their car seats, Ella excitedly explaining to Johnny what to expect, when the band saw stopped.
"Cathy?" a muffled voice called out from the house, "Cath?"
"Out here!" She closed the sliding door as Ella's description of the extra time with Nana and Papa when Paul finally stepped onto the porch. His hair and clothes were covered in a fine, woody mist. He cocked his head, confusedly watching his wife shift and push until she finally sat comfortably in her seat. "Are you coming?" she asked.
"Hi Daddy!" Johnny yelled. "I'm going to Nana's!"
Paul brushed off his hair, then froze. His eyes twinkled as he considered his wife, hand on her stomach. "Why didn't you say something!" he yelled, slamming the door before sprinting to the car. "How long? Are you comfortable? Did you call the doctor?"
"Everyone's informed," she smiled. "Let's go."~
~”I don't get my own room?” cried Ella, dropping dramatically to the floor.
“I'm sorry sweetie,” Cathy smiled. “But we didn't plan for this.” Ella, Johnny and Lily stared at their parents. Paul put an arm around his wife.
“I'm fourteen. I don't want an eight year-old in my room,” Ella explained.
“Well I don't want to live with Johnny!” Lily proclaimed, her arms crossed.
“I know we said we'd give you the guest room,” Paul said, “but the twins are going to need their own nursery. “We can't put them with Ella.”
Suddenly, Ella's eyes lit up. She jumped to her feet. “The basement! Couldn't you give me a corner down there? Just enough room for my bed and dresser?”
Johnny laughed. “Yeah, keep her hidden.”
The children teased and bickered about the living arrangements, but Cathy leaned happily against her husband.
“When did this house get so small?”
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