I open my eyes and turn my head to Sarah's side. No Sarah. I frown. The covers have been thrown back, and the mattress is cold. She's been out of bed for a little while, then. Where is she?The bathroom door is closed. Is she in there? I throw the covers back and get out of bed. Walk over the bathroom. Knock. "Honey? You in there?"
I can hear some covered up sounds, but Sarah doesn't respond. Sighing, I lean back against the bathroom door. It's not the first time that this happens. This is the fourth morning in a row. After a few minutes, the bathroom finally opens and Sarah smiles a careful smile at me. "You okay?" she asks.
"Isn't that a question I should be asking you?"
She shrugs and sinks down on our bed. "I'm fine, Harm. Really," she adds when she sees I've arched an eyebrow.
I heave another sigh and walk over to her. "Honey, don't tell me that you're fine. You don't have to lie to me. Whatever it is, we'll handle it together." I take her hand in mine and give it a soft squeeze.
Sarah laughs. "I'm not lying to you, Harm. Promise. I'm fine."
Narrowing my eyes at her, I shake my head. "You've been throwing up for four days in a row, and you're still telling me that you're fine? Come on, Marine, you know that I know better."
The door slowly opens up and reveals our three kids. I'm afraid that our kids have adapted to our time table and are awake at 0730 now. Come by our room at 0730, now, too. And that's only the weekends. It's been three weeks since Sarah and I changed our billets to Annapolis and NCIS, and life has been great so far. No more unexpected leave and all that, and the knowledge that you'll be going home to your family is just great.
"Hey guys," Sarah greets and lets go of my hand. At that, the kids move into our bedroom. Our Saturday morning ritual has changed a bit.
"Dada!" Shireen lifts herself up on the bed, and climbs in my lap. Gives me a hug only Reen can give me.
"Good morning, Dad." That both from Noa and Gabe.
"Morning, you two. Did you sleep well?"
They both nod and Sarah hands them a small box. We keep this one around for our morning ritual. We (all right, I) read Shireen a story, and Sarah occupies Noa and Gabe with a memory card game.
Today, though, something's different.
"Daddy, play with us?" Noa's big green eyes look up at me. Now, I can't deny that little girl anything, even if I really wanted to. I must look a bit confused, because all three start to laugh. Shireen fills in as if she knows what they're laughing about. "You sure?"
Gabe tugs on my hand. "We're sure, Dad."
"All right." I scoot over with Reen still in my lap as Sarah spreads the cards out on our bed. I'm not all that familiar with the way our memory card game looks, but something's off. I just can't figure out what it is. This game somehow looks different to me. Gabe is the first one to turn a card, and I see that Sarah personalized our cards. She put photos of us and the kids on them. She told me about the idea a few weeks back, and to be honest, with the new job and all, I kinda forgot that she had. Gabe has two different photos, and then it's Noa's turn. She turns last year's snowman (and woman, the kids insisted) and Shireen with her sun hat. Halfway through the game, something starts to add up. It has just been Gabe's turn again, and he turned a picture of Mom and Frank and a picture of the five of us, made at Harriet's fourth of July party. Just as Gabe wants to turn the card around, I lean forward and stop him. "Hold it."
He looks up, surprised. "What is it?"
I shake my head, and pick the card up. Now I look closely at it, I see that Sarah has taken a photo of the two of us with Shireen and she mixed it with a picture of the kids. The three of them. Sarah cut Shireen's picture out, so that the only thing left is a white spot and there's a question mark. When the realization sinks in, I slowly lift my eyes up to my wife. She smiles. I smile. My face breaks into my famous grin. "We are?"
"Eight weeks and counting," Sarah tells me.
Eight weeks and counting?! Why didn't she tell me before? "Eight weeks? You're telling me now?" I shift Shireen in my lap so that I can move over to sit next to my wife.
She shrugs. "Well, I wasn't sure myself until I went to the doctor two days ago. Give me some breathing time, all right? I would've told you sooner, but than my surprise wouldn't have worked."
I lift her face up to look at me, and kiss her on her lips. The thing I really would want to do is lift her up, spin her around and shout of the rooftops that we're going to have another kid!
"We're going to have a baby?"
Her smile lights up her beautiful face. "We're going to have a baby, Harm. We are going to have a fourth kid." She says it in such a calm way, but the twinkle in her eyes betrays her.
"Gabe, hold your sister." Before Gabe has the time to respond, I push Shireen in his arms and push Sarah back on the bed. "A fourth kid? A real fourth kid?" Biting her lip, Sarah can barely contain her laughter. She's probably as thrilled as I am. We're adding to the family! I'm going to be a dad again!
"A real fourth kid!" She brushes her lips over mine, and wants to pull back, but I lean in and deepen the kiss. She's isn't going to get away from me now.
I hear Gabe sigh. For a seven-year-old, he should know that his mom and I are like this. Sticky. Totally in love. I break our kiss and look over at Gabe. "Trust me, buddy, you'll thank me later."
He rolls his eyes in real Gabe fashion and shakes his head. "Sure, Dad."
I look at Sarah and laugh. A baby! We're going to have a baby!

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