I look at the clock above the door in the
classroom as everyone walks out. For some odd reason today seems to go slow.
Awfully slow. I close up my briefcase, and decide that I'm going to get a cup
of coffee. My lips pull into a smile as I think about
last weekend. I took Gabe flying, and he seriously just loved it. He starts to
look more and more like me. If that was possible. I think I'm just rubbing off
And Shireen, my darling little girl, who figured that she could swing in the rain… She was soaked by the time we had figured out where she was, and when I went to get her, she protested, saying that I had to push her on the swing. She warmed up afterwards, sitting in my lap for the rest of the afternoon, tightly wrapped in a blanket. Noa had a play date with little AJ, and according to Harriet, Noa is a great help around the house. She wanted to bake cookies when she came home. Now, I'm perfect at making a gingerbread house for Christmas; it's what I do every year, but baking cookies is something completely else…
Eventually, I had to turn Sarah's couch towards the kitchen, so that she could give me and the kids directions (because when Noa wanted to make cookies, so did Gabe and Reen). Sarah's been on rest for the past two weeks. Nothing serious, but she has to take it slow. Doctors orders. The only thing that would slow her down. Just a few more days, and it'll be her due date. And we'll be welcoming another kid into our family. I can't believe it's been almost three years since we got Gabe, Noa and Shireen in our lives. And all that just because we had to do a favor… I think it's the best favor I ever did someone.
I pour myself a cup of coffee, and think to myself that we have to call Ellen; see how she and Ted are doing. Yup, even Ellen got married not to long ago. She and her husband are running the foster home now.
I turn around, looking into the smiling face of another teacher: Hailey Benjamin. "Hey, Hailey."
"Time for your lunch break, yet?" she asks.
I shake my head. "Nah. This is just a well deserved coffee break."
Hailey nods. "Yeah, I know." She smiles. "So, how was your weekend?"
Pretending to think, I take a sip of my coffee. "Oh, as uneventful as can be expected with three kids and a pregnant wife."
"Uneventful is not a word I thought I'd hear."
"Nothing all that serious happened, really. We took it slow. Sarah's on rest, so I took Gabe out flying, dropped Noa at Harriet's and left Reen at home. Gabe loved flying, we made a complete mess of the kitchen while making cookies, and I had to get Reen from the swing during the rain yesterday, because she thought it was fun. Now we're really hoping she won't get sick. But then again, that's my life."
Hailey laughs. "Compared to that, my weekend was uneventful."
I nod, taking my ringing cell phone out of my pocket. "Rabb," I bark into the phone.
That's Emma. "Hey, Emma. Is everything okay at home?"
I can hear her smile. "I think it's best if you come home, sailor."
I roll my eyes towards the sky. "Emma, hate to burst your bubble, but I'm in the middle of a school day here. I can't just drop everything and come home."
"If you want to be with Sarah for the birth of your son, Harm, I'd better get here ASAP," Emma says.
For a while I'm totally silent. "What?" Sarah went into labor? She can't. It's too early! "Sarah went into labor? She isn't due for another three days!"
Emma softly laughs. "Yeah, well, it happens. Harm, take a breath and come home, okay? I'll get Gabe and Noa from school this afternoon. You just go take her to the hospital."
I nod. Right. Of course. "Sure, I'll be right there." With that, I hang up the phone and turn to Hailey. "Could you tell Richard that my wife went into labor? I uh…"
Home. I have to go home. Sarah went into labor. Not paying any attention to Hailey anymore, I run out of the break room towards my class room and get my stuff. Rush over home where I find Emma with Reen on her hip, and Sarah trying to breathe a contraction away.
Immediately, I start breathing with her and help her to the car. We lock eyes for a second and Sarah smiles. "Prep yourself for a serious roller coaster ride, Mr. Rabb."
And boy, did it turn out to be a roller coaster ride. Sarah breathes, pushes and squeezes my hand, curses at me for doing this to her, wants me close, then pushes me away again… All I can do is tell her that she's doing a great job, and that I love her…
Seventeen hours later, Dr. O'Brien looks at me. "Would you like to cut the umbilical cord, Dad?"
I give him a full blown grin in return. Of course I do. Our perfect little boy. Sarah is exhausted and softly squeezes my hand as she falls back into her pillows. "He's got strong lungs," she smiles, as she hears him cry.
I kiss her forehead, then her lips. "Strong kid, just like his mother." I kiss her again. "You did such a great job, baby. I'm so proud of you."
She nods. "I know. I love you, Harm."
"I love you more, Sarah."
About an hour later, we're counting the ten tiny, perfect fingers and toes on our son's hands and feet. Try to decide who he looks like more. He has my eyes, Sarah's dark hair…
We both look up when we hear a knock on the door.
"Mom? Dad?" It's Gabe, sticking his head into the room. His eyes relax when he sees us. He comes walking into the room, Emma follows with Noa and Shireen. He comes walking over to us and steps between my legs.
Emma sets Shireen on the bed next to Sarah and I lift Noa onto my lap. "Hey, guys."
Shireen points to her newborn brother. "Hello, brother."
"He's small, Daddy," Noa says, looking up to me.
I smile. "Yeah, honey, he is. But he'll be bigger before you know it."
Sarah shifts in her position. "Well, everyone, this is your little brother. Ben, meet Gabriel, Noa and Shireen. Guys, meet Benedict Adrian Rabb."