Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Brian Ottomas Ch. 3 In My Life Part 1

Brian and Meadow were married a week after they declared their love for each other. Brian continued to build his already close relationship with Meadow's infant, Heath. It wasn’t hard; he loved the baby very much, as if he were his own son. After much thought he asked Meadow if she had any objections to him legally adopting Heath; they would all three have the same last name. Meadow was very happy at this suggestion and encouraged Brian to see about it right away. So Heath Thayer became Heath Ottomas.

Meanwhile, Brian was still playing guitar with his band at Club Dante, owned by his older brother. Both he and Meadow continued to pursue their interests, art for her and, of course, music for him. Meadow usually rose first each morning and fed and bathed Heath. Brian came down for breakfast shortly thereafter.

Sometimes they played the “baby hand-off” game. Brian would come in from work or elsewhere and go up to see the baby.  Meadow would hand him the baby, wave bye-bye and go off to take a relaxing bubble bath. So Brian played with the baby, fed or changed him if needed and then handed him back to Meadow when she returned.

They tried to squeeze in private time when they could; lazing in the hot tub was one of their favorite places to unwind together. Meadow loved that room; she’d tried to make it an oasis.  Their love was still very new and both their lives had been changed profoundly by Heath’s birth. As much as they both loved their child; like all married couples they still needed a little time for romance. Happily Heath was still at an age when his needs were very simple. He slept a lot of the time, too.

The day came for Heath’s birthday,

“I’ve got the cake ready,” Meadow called to Brian from the kitchen, “Will you bring Heath down?”

When Brian handed the infant to Meadow she rocked him and crooned “Happy Birthday to You” while Brian watched. Then she blew out the candles. And Heath became a toddler. 

He had black hair that made him look like Brian, a tan complexion like Meadow and big beautiful brown eyes. Meadow didn’t say anything to Brian but she was shocked at how much Heath looked like his biological father. She could barely remember the man’s face; until she looked into Heath’s sweet face on his birthday. Her son was absolutely beautiful, but it was not only his brown eyes that were telltale; it was also his nose, his mouth, his eyebrows—he was a stamped out miniature of Lonnie Hammond

She’d almost forgotten him because she thought of Brian as the baby’s father.  In fact, Brian really WAS Heath’s father, both legally and in the way he loved the child.  Brian had parented Heath from the moment he was born, even as he took care of Meadow during her pregnancy. 

She was now frightened that if Lonnie ever saw Heath in town he would know immediately the boy was his and would somehow want to intrude in their lives. She dealt with this, for the time being, by never taking Heath out of the house and yard. Brian didn’t think too much about this at first. However; when he suggested they all go to the park one day and Meadow said Heath was much too little to do that, it gave him pause. Brian shrugged though and thought; okay, maybe he was pushing it and anyway, Meadow was the mother, she should know. So, he didn’t think much about it--at first.

Heath woke early every morning now and cried for a bit, then settled down to sing to himself and jabber away until Meadow came in to change him. She’d talk to him while she dressed him for the day and then carried him downstairs for his oatmeal. He loved to play at his play-station, especially with the blocks. He was learning to walk and talk and every day was an adventure for him. 

In the early evening he had his bath, then to bed. Once Meadow taught him to use the potty, life got much easier for all of them. 

Brian was currently teaching him a nursery rhyme. Every day at some point he took time to play with Heath, tickling him and tossing him in the air. Sometimes Brian was the one who bathed him before he went to sleep.

Meadow had two things she wanted to discuss with Brian at this time. It was very easy for her to talk to him about anything as a rule. Except one subject that she avoided and that Brian never brought up; the name of Heath’s biological father. She didn’t know if he was unconcerned about it or just that he knew she was still reluctant to talk about it. She needed to get some courage and tell Brian. She also wanted to ask him a question on something else; but that could wait until later.

One night at dinner she gathered up what courage she had and dove in.

“I want to tell you who…” she stopped. She didn’t want to refer to Lonnie as Heath’s father. Brian was his father.

She began again, “I need to explain about...” Once more she halted awkwardly. There was nothing to explain; she’d already told Brian how she had decided to have a baby and how she went about it. She’d just never named Lonnie. That’s all there was to say really. She couldn’t just blurt it out though: ‘Okay, here’s the deal, the guy’s name is Lonnie Hammond and that's that'. That would be sort of blunt.

Brian looked at her calmly,
“What is it?”

She stammered some more and he said,

“Okay, I'm going to jump-start this conversation; I think you want to tell me the name of Heath’s biological father.”

Meadow nodded in relief.

“I told you once that it was none of my business. I’ve changed my mind, though. We’re married now and Heath is my legal son, so maybe it would be best for me to have the information.”

When Meadow didn’t speak Brian prompted,

“Is it someone I know?” His face was expressionless, but she could tell he was trying very hard to stay unemotional. He was worried that it might be someone he knew or even a close friend.

Meadow shook her head,

“No, or at least I doubt it. He only moved here a few years ago. It was back when you were still on the road. His name is Lonnie Hammond.” There. It was out.

“Nope, don’t know him,” he said with relief. Then he asked her,

“Does Heath look just like this Lonnie guy?”


“Is that why you won’t take him anywhere?”

She nodded her head, admitting,

“I’m afraid Lonnie might see him at someplace public like the grocery store or the park, get suspicious, and try to barge into our life; that he might try to get custody or something.”

“Is he a hothead or someone who likes to cause trouble?”

“No, actually he always seemed friendly and even-tempered, but I didn’t see him that many times.”

Brian took her head,

“Then I don’t think we should assume he will be a problem. This is a very small town; in fact it’s more of a village, so it’s true we could go out with Heath and run into him; eventually anyway. So what? He might not think anything at all. Heath’s hair is black like mine. He skin is golden tan and mine is very fair, but your complexion is just as dark. Anyway, I am legally Heath’s father now. And you said this guy is married with a child. I doubt he would want to explain to his wife about Heath. You have to stop agonizing about it, Meadow, because right now the only people Heath knows besides us are my family and the gardener. He’s never been out of the yard. It’s not right and it’s not good for him, Sweetheart. He’ll be frightened of people when he first goes to school. So do you think you can put aside your fears and relax a little? Just taking him for a walk down the street would be a good way to start out.”

“You’re right,” Meadow agreed but she still looked apprehensive at the thought, “Will you go with us on the walk the first time?”

“Wouldn’t miss it.” 

The next night when they were relaxed on the bed Meadow brought up the second subject she'd wanted to discuss with Brian. She tried to sound offhand.

“Um, so, what would you think about us having another child?”

Brian stared ahead for a minute. Not a good sign to Meadow’s mind.

“Is it something you feel strongly about?” he asked finally.

“Yes, of course, it is. Brian, you are so good with kids; or at least with Heath, that I hoped you’d really like the idea,” she confessed.

“It’s not that I don’t like the idea; but there are some things to consider.”

“Okay, what?”

“Well, for one thing, we’d have to make some changes to the house; turn the hot tub room into a bedroom for Heath. Put a baby in the nursery where Heath is now.”

Meadow thought about it,

“I don’t want Heath to be on another floor from us. He’s only two.”

“That’s what I mean,” Brian said, “There is no way for us to have three bedrooms on this floor or even on the third floor.”

“No, I just don’t like the idea of our children on a separate floor from us until they are older.”

She loved the sound of that--“our children”.  Plural.

“Okay, so we’d have to buy a new house and sell this one. That’s expensive and can be a pain in the neck. And you’ve always loved this house, always been proud that you bought it for yourself.”

“Yes but that was my life back then. Everything is different now.”

Brian was silent. Meadow was the one staring off now,

“Then you don’t want another child?”

“No, I told you that’s not it. I’m just trying to be practical and look at both sides.”

“So when do we get to the other side?”

Brian looked at her,

“Okay, now. You tell me the other side.”

“Well, it would be nice for Heath to have a brother or sister.”

“See, that’s one thing that worries me,” he pointed out, “How will this affect him? I don’t want to cheat him out of any attention.”

Meadow spoke from her heart now.

“Brian, I love you. It’s only natural that I want to have your baby; a baby that’s a part of both of us. Maybe the problem is that you are thinking of love as a pie and the more pieces you try to get out of it the smaller each piece is. Like there is a finite amount of love you have to give and if you give too much it will be gone, but that’s not true. Love is something you have inside you and it just expands; the more love you give the more it grows.  You can never run out of love and you can never give too much of it. I would never give any less love to Heath than to his brother or sister and neither would you. Sure, it will be hard to juggle the time we give each one, but I believe we can do it. Anyway, that’s what I think about it.”

 Brian leaned over and kissed her cheek,

“You’re amazing, you know that? You could have been a lawyer," he grinned, "And I think you’re right; let’s procreate, Sunshine.”

“What a sweet-talker you are.”

“But then I think we really do need to go house-hunting and not wait until we have a small baby to move,” he continued.

She said, “You really think we must?”

“Yes, unless you’re willing to have one child on another floor.”

“No, I don’t want to do that. Not unless we’re forced to do so.”

So it was decided; they would look into buying a new home. How hard could it be?


Sim Girl said...

I am glad he adopted Heath :D So sweet. Great update! Moving huh? That is always exciting!! And of course the planning of a new baby - WOOOHOO!

Lorelei said...

I love when the new babies come!