Page 159 of The Dancer

Every morning I have a houseful of people because her due date was around the corner and everyone wanted in. Still with all the help around here, our kids won’t let anyone do shit for them except me or their mother.

Ergo the early morning wakeup call from the twins. “They been fed and watered or are they waiting for daddy to do that?”

“You know the drill. Grandma Sophie already have their oatmeal ready we’re just waiting for you.”

So why was she telling them not to wake me? Her hormones must be out of whack again. “Are you sure you’re doing okay?” She’d been rubbing her tummy the whole time we were talking with that constipated look on her face.

“I don’t…” She flew off the bed and made a mad dash for the bathroom leaving me with a dilemma.

I grabbed the boys and put them on the floor, closed the bedroom door and made it into the bathroom in less than a minute.

“I’m here baby.” I held her hair which she’d let down because she thought she was out of the danger zone and talked to her calmly while she spilled her guts.

This is the only part of this shit I hate. If I could do this for her I would in a heartbeat, well this and the actual labor. That shit is all kinds of fucked up. In fact if I could sleep through this one that’ll be great, but that wouldn’t be fair.

I still have nightmares of watching my sons being born, could still hear every scream and if my career wasn’t already over I’m pretty sure what she did to my hands would’ve ended it.

People say you never remember because of the joy of having a baby, that’s true to a point. But watching the woman you love in that kind of pain is a game changer.

Had I not already promised to protect and love her for the rest of my life. To never do anything to bring her pain, that shit would’ve cinched it. Any

man who can watch his woman go through that shit and still hurt her is a certifiable asshole.

“Come on baby, let’s get you back to bed.”

“I can’t, I have to head into the city.”

“No, you don’t. The others are already there and Sherrie’s going in later.”

I lifted her and took her back to bed. “Where are the kids?” I looked around the room at her question. The little shits were nowhere to be seen. I didn’t panic, I’ve learned not to do that after the third or fourth time they pulled this stunt.

I looked under the bed, behind the bed and behind the bureaus with no luck. I heard a noise in the walk-in closet and headed in that direction. “Found them.”

They were sharing one of my belts between them. “Okay boys, let’s get you fed. The meat’s already off that one.” I lifted one bruiser under each arm which they found hilarious.

Their raucous laughter made my heart skip a beat, almost the way their mother’s still does. She was fast asleep on my pillow and the love welled up inside me so strong it almost took me to my knees.

How did I become this person? How had I become so lucky, or what great thing have I done in my life to deserve this euphoria? Some days I sit and look at them and a sudden fear hits me in the gut.

The fear of ‘what if’. What if I hadn’t stopped her that first day? What if I’d given up in the beginning when she was being such a hard ass? What if she’d walked away from me when Arlene was trying her best to break us apart?

I can’t imagine life without her, can’t picture what that would look like. And because of that I’m a whole lot over protective, over bearing and downright out of my mind, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

In the past couple of years I’ve watched her grow and though some people may find something wrong with a twenty-two year old working on baby number three, it works for us.

She’s taken to motherhood as well as she did dancing and because I stay on top of shit, she hasn’t had to lose anything, didn’t have to give up her dream to fulfill mine.

She’d aced her classes at Colombia which she

didn’t plan on using. Her school had expanded to the point that she was talking about opening another one here on the island, something I was behind one hundred percent.

We spend almost all day together everyday, something that I would’ve thought would make me nuts, but I literally break out in a cold sweat if she’s gone for more than a couple hours.

It’s the running joke among the family, my attachment issues. And everyone knows I don’t like sharing my wife with anyone but our kids.