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Chapter 6

Where did the last nine months go? Barbara thought. It seems like just yesterday we were on our honeymoon, and here I am holding our baby daughter. Katherine Elizabeth Harris.

She wasn’t born beautiful, but people who saw her for the first time felt compelled to stare. Her eyes were a magnificent pale blue with an added touch of green. They were almost hypnotic.

Sophia, being a de facto grandmother and matriarch, a position she took with dedication and pride, idolised her granddaughter.

Barbara had employed Lucy as soon as she was aware of being pregnant. Expecting her working days to come to a temporary halt at the birth, and knowing her clients would require a psychologist, and for her practice not to lose clients, Lucy’s input was paramount.

JM, with three independent dental surgeries to manage, found his days fully occupied.

Barbara chose to return to work, although on a restricted daily schedule, one more accommodating to her child. Although, with the self-imposed shorter working hours, she found herself consulting with some clients over the phone, rather than a face-to face consultation. A situation not preferred by some.

Television was never a part of their lives. Music and reading were their main form of entertainment, and they had significant effects on their young daughter’s early education. Katherine had taken a liking for the sound of violins emitted from any one of their classical music records. Painting had become a part of Barbara’s relaxation routine in the latter part of her pregnancy, and it continued long after Katherine was born. She wanted her daughter to discover her own world of colour, and it had a distinct effect on Katherine developing a penchant for colouring stencilled drawings.

JM regarded, as cherished, the time spent reading to his daughter. Stories willingly read from one of many children’s books Barbara had purchased, or given to their daughter. Even though Katherine was incapable of understanding his words, his hand movements and facial expressions bewitched her.

She was quick to learn, especially when it came to learning the playing of the violin. The three adults, knowing of her liking for its sound, ensured the apartment was always full of music from Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, or from any of the classical masters.

JM and Barbara had acquired not only a large collection of classical music albums, but also a small library of books on fine art. Barbara would sit Katherine on her lap as she browsed the colourful pages and, while her daughter looked at the pictures, she described what she thought the paintings represented. Occasionally, and in an entertaining way, she invented an entirely different story depicted in the painting.

Katherine’s face would come alive with excitement. She’d touch the scenes of the countryside with her small fingers, running them along the swaying grasses, trees that covered bushes, the cotton-ball clouds dotting the sky, and water-filled lakes being moved by the breeze. Periodically, Barbara would try to imagine what her daughter was thinking as she gazed at the paintings.

If Barbara was able to see what Katherine saw, she would have been flabbergasted, for each painting showed a living musical, or play, and they were only restricted by her young brain’s imagination. In some, she saw a music’s rhythm dancing across their canvas, while in others the painting was re-arranged.

As she grew, so did her skill with the violin, and she painted maturely for one so young.

Over the coming years, it was obvious to Katherine’s parents, and Sophia, the creation of her paintings were by someone well beyond her young years. Though Katherine did love to paint, her greatest desire was to play the violin as the masters had. She enjoyed school and being with her best friend Molly, who not only lived in the next block, she began school on the same day.

Barbara was sitting in her office when her cell phone rang.

“Barbara Harris.”

“Hi, Barbara, it’s Doctor Rubens. How are you?”

“I’m fine. Have you rang for any particular reason?”

“I was ringing to inform you about the results of your tests we did last Friday.”

Barbara felt a sense of anticipation, but remained silent.

Because of her silence, Doctor Rubens continued, “I’m happy to announce that you’re having a baby.”

Barbara felt a pang of excitement flush through her body. “That’s fantastic! Do I need to come and see you?”

“Not yet. I’ll ring in the next couple of weeks, and we’ll talk then.”

“Thanks for the call. JM will be ecstatic.”

“Again, congratulations.”

She was correct. Overjoyed he was.

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