One Tiny Miracle...(61)

By: Carol Marinelli

She was scared of her own feelings.

He was so little.

A huge baby, but really so little and new and wrinkly and perfect, and she was so scared she wouldn’t get this right. Then he opened his eyes...

Just stared right at her and demanded she love him.

She would very soon, except she was really tired. ‘Ashley...’

She was too sore to pick him up, so Ben did it for her, balancing Willow on one side as he scooped up his son and handed him to her.

‘It means “from the ashes”,’ Celeste said. ‘I looked it up.’

‘I bet you did.’

‘Baby!’ Willow forgot for a moment how tired she was. Delighted with both her finally awake brother and her vocal skills, she’d recently discovered chanting. ‘Baby, baby, baby!’ And she clambered over the bed and a catheter, coming dangerously close to a Caesarean incision, and then smothered her brother with kisses and germs followed by lots more gooey kisses.

Then Ashley got a kiss from Dad.

And then Celeste got a kiss from a suddenly very needy, tearful Willow.

There was almost too much love to go around, Celeste thought, very near tears herself.

‘I’m going to get her home,’ Ben told her.

He’d seen her watery eyes and he understood.

Knew when she needed him, even when she didn’t admit it.

And knew when she needed to be on her own too.

The midwives walked in on his kiss to Celeste, but that was okay, because there would be lots of kisses later—she needed wise women with her now.

Tonight was for Celeste to meet Ash.

Ben understood that.

Tonight was the time for Celeste to discover that there was plenty of her to go around.

‘Push the button...’ He stepped in the lift and guided Willow’s hand to the ‘G’ button—but she managed to miss and they headed for the roof instead!

‘You’re as unpredictable as your mother!’ he huffed.

‘Daddy!’ She’d said it so many times, but she said it again—started up her chant and continued it all the way to the car park where he strapped her in and drove her home. ‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!’

He was hers and she was his and never let anyone say otherwise.

He made her milk, put Willow in her cot, kissed her goodnight and turned on her mobile.

Then rang uncles and cousins and friends and deleted the text he wanted to send to Celeste in case it disturbed her sleep—he’d tell her himself in the morning.

Then he checked in on Willow and changed his mind and sent the text anyway.

Willow sound asleep—give ash a kiss—i love you.

And amid a frustrating attempt at a feed with an angry, hungry baby, and with nipples that hurt, a midwife smiled and handed her the phone. Celeste read her text, but didn’t reply. He already knew she loved him too, so she just did as instructed. She leant forward and placed her lips on an angry forehead, erased crinkles with soft lips, felt the melting in her heart as Ash snuffled towards her and, after just a beat of a pause, Celeste resumed trusting again.

Felt the sweet weight of a new baby in her arms—and wanted it, could do it, was doing it right now...

It really was that simple.

Love grew if you let it.