“I love you, sweetheart! Who’s a beautiful girl? Are you my gorgeous granddaughter? Are you my third gorgeous granddaughter? I love you, darling!” Mum was our daughters’ biggest worshipper. She was so very grateful to have lived long enough to have met all three of them, and we were grateful to have had her around this long. She spent so much time with them all that I was a little jealous at times, but I reminded myself that she was getting old, and that Aunt Lily was visiting everyday for a reason, and gladly gave her all the time she wanted with the girls. She looked happy with them, who was I to complain?
Cyan still got up early every morning. His timing was getting better, so he actually managed to be done by the time his car pool arrived. The garden was definitely coming along well, too! It was only small, with less than ten plants overall, but I was surprised that he had kept it at all. Being knowledgeable of plants wasn’t required for his new job, but he insisted. I knew it helped him relax, although sometimes I wasn’t sure if it added to his stress instead. It was something else he had to do, on top of the journals and research he had to read, and the medical terms he had to study.
The fruit he grew was amazing, though! The tomatoes, lettuces and watermelons were nice, but his apples? I had never eaten anything so good! It was possible that it was my hormones that made me crave them, but I easily got through three apples a day, sometimes four.
I wasn’t sure how it worked, but they helped me calm the symptoms, too. Hearing his voice whisper to me from the back of my mind? Eat an apple. See a shade of turquoise that wasn’t part of any furniture, walls or floors? Eat an apple. Have the irrational fear of a bird crashing into our window, carrying a bomb set to explode on impact, destroying everything and everyone I ever loved? Eat two apples. Maybe three. Hungry? Most definitely eat an apple! Somehow, they had become my answer to everything. My new delicious comfort food.
At first I had considered taking medication against the symptoms, but that wouldn’t be an option for me until after this pregnancy. In the end I had decided entirely against medication. I had managed just fine without it before, I’d manage just fine now.
I was pregnant for the third time now, and we wanted this to be my last pregnancy. We already had three children, and knew that there was a chance for another set of twins, or possibly even triplets. Or more than that, even.
We didn’t know how many babies we were having this time, but one thing I knew for sure. The morning sickness had not been anywhere near this bad both previous times. With Feijoa, I had thrown up a couple of times. With Oracle and Willow, it hadn’t been as bad but I had still thrown up and felt sick occasionally. Now? I threw up at least twice a day and I felt sick the entire time. How I managed to keep any food inside me was beyond me.
I had lost all hope of ever seeing this toilet completely clean again. It seemed to me that I had thrown up so often into it that it was simply impossible to get the yuck off, no matter how hard I scrubbed.
When Mum let me do the scrubbing, that was. Often she insisted on doing it for me, ordering me to rest and sit down. Cyan was the same, with the only difference that he ordered both me and Mum to rest and do nothing. In a way, it wasn’t too bad. It did smell pretty vile every time, but I still wanted to be able to tidy up after myself. No matter how disgusting the mess.
I did enjoy watching my girls, though. Willow had inherited Dad’s hair colour, and Oracle had inherited his eye colour, which had made all of us speechless on their birthdays and had brought Mum close to tears. They were a perfect mixture, in every way.
All three of them were so different – as far as we could tell so early in their lives. But they all got along just fine. We often watched them play at their play table together, where they drew each other little pictures. It was adorable to see and hear as they also chatted away happily, talking about something only they could understand with words only they knew.
Mum cherished her time with all of them, and she made sure that they knew it. Sometimes I thought that Oracle was her favourite, and Cyan and I were wondering if it had to do with her green eyes. They had to remind her of Dad, and we thought that was the reason.
All of us made time to teach them their life basics. Cyan was understandably more tired when he came home, but he still managed to teach them at least a few new words. They all learned differently, so it took us a while to figure out who to teach how, but we got there in the end.
Feijoa was definitely the hardest to teach. Every time we told her a word to repeat, she just sat there, eyes wide, looking completely fascinated with us. Eventually she caught on to it, but it took her much longer than the twins. Especially when it came to walking, and how to use her potty. She was a friendly little thing, though, and we thought the sole reason she had started talking was so that she could have small conversations with us.
Oracle was her complete opposite. She learned the fastest, no matter what it was. Before we knew it she was walking and chatting away, and even knew how to use her potty properly and let us know that she’d done it, so we could clean up after her. At their play table, she mixed the colours the best, and it was no trouble at all for her to push the bricks through the right holes, or play little songs on their little xylophone.
She also was the most untidy, however. Mum and I would watch them draw for an hour, and always noticed how her sisters put the paper and pencils back where they belonged, but Oracle always left them on the table. The paper and pencils only went underneath the table, so it was nothing difficult they had to remember, but Oracle didn’t care. She simply stopped doing what she was doing, and went on to something else – which she would then also leave in a similar state.
And then there was Willow, who seemed to be a bit of both. When we tried teaching her how to talk, she was a lot more focused than Feijoa, and really tried to take in the words we were giving her. Or it seemed that way, anyway. She was just as easily distracted as Feijoa, and often started laughing and clapping at the smallest things. She learned a lot faster than her older sister, however, but nowhere near as fast as her twin.
The same was true for their toys. Fey and Oracle simply drew, or played music – Fey because the colours and notes really seemed to impress her, and Oracle because she just seemed to know how, and maybe she even wanted to show off that she did. Willow concentrated more than the others. She got easily distracted at first, but we found that once she had gotten into it, it wasn’t easy to take her mind of it. She was very focused, and while she wasn’t as smart as her twin sister, she was still pretty intelligent for her age.
I took a lot of photos of them during that time, even if we didn’t hang all of them up. We already had so many photos gracing the walls of our house, and didn’t want to run out of space. Baby number four was on his or her way, and the girls were still very young – there were so many years left still before they were old enough to move out. There was so much time yet to take more photos. We wanted to have a few around as reminders, but we didn’t want to cover the walls completely.
It was a chaotic few months, and it was only thanks to Mum that Cyan and I got any time for each other at all. Three toddlers and one baby yet to come was a lot of work, but thankfully Mum didn’t mind looking after them at all so we could have some “us-time”.
If you looked past the stress, our marriage was stronger than ever. He enjoyed his new job, and we both loved our family. There were certain things that we were simply too stressed or too busy for, like going out for a romantic evening together, or some time alone as a married couple, but we knew that things were slowly getting better. Fey’s birthday was only another five months away, soon she would be old enough to help out around the house a little. I didn’t want to give her too much to do, but I hoped she wouldn’t mind entertaining her siblings every now and again, or doing the dishes sometimes. She would also be able to tidy her own room, which would be a nice change of pace for me.
Then one day, it happened.
“Mum? Are you alright?” We had just brought the twins to bed, and were about to tuck in Feijoa, too, when Mum just stopped in her tracks. She just stood there, eyes wide and staring at me, and I knew what was happening. I was grateful that none of the children could see this.
“I feel weird, sweetheart. I think- I think it’s time.”
“You don’t know that. I’ll drive you to the hospital, Mum, you don’t-” We knew that this was bound to happen, of course. Aunt Lily’s visits had told us as much, but now that the time had come I didn’t want to lose her.
“No, sweetheart. I think I’ll go lie down, if you don’t mind. Give the girls a kiss for me, won’t you? And a hug for Cyan. And give Smoke a cuddle” she told me as she hugged me and kissed my forehead. I wanted to be strong, but I could feel how hot tears were rapidly making their way up to my eyes.
“I will, Mum.” I was close to sobbing, but I didn’t want her to see me like this. Her last moments should be happy ones, not filled with guild. “C-Can I get you anything?”
“A cup of tea might be nice, sweetheart. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m really tired. I’ll be in bed when the tea is ready.” I nodded, and tried my best to smile.
I actually did make her tea that night. By the time it was ready and I had brought it to her bedroom, she had stopped breathing.
The months after Mum’s passing were difficult. Cyan had been allowed a few days off work, and I couldn’t have been more grateful that he was home with me. He helped me arrange her funeral, and he helped me cope.
Smoke was getting older, too. He wasn’t that old yet of course, but he was no tiny kitten any more, either. He was a grown, proud cat now, and made sure we knew that it was his house, not ours. Once Cyan was back at work, Smoke was the one who helped me cope. He was a smart cat, and seemed to know that something had changed. He was much more affectionate than he normally was, and was constantly brushing around my legs, purring softly at me. We thought it was his way of comforting me, and I was happy to give him all the hugs and pets he asked for.
Suddenly, Fey’s birthday was only a week away, and my due date was scheduled three weeks later. We realised that we had to move a few things around in order to use all the rooms as best as possible.
Feijoa’s room stayed where it was. Since Mum and Dad’s old room was the only free space we had, the baby was planned to move there. But we soon changed our mind. The twins room was only small, which was made worse by the layout of the walls. It was much better suited to the new addition, while our room was better for the girls. I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with it so soon after the funeral, but I knew we had to move into my parent’s old room.
Cyan promised me he’d make it as cosy for me as possible, and he did. He managed to get the same wallpaper that we had at the moment, and got a very similar carpet to match. After that was done, it was just a matter of moving the bed, desk and computer, and the mirror. It looked very different, which made me feel a lot better about the situation. The bathroom was still how it had been, but I wasn’t as bothered by that. All the bathrooms in the house had to undergo a make-over, so we decided to simply wait until we refurnished the others.
Everything was done just in time for Fey’s birthday. My little girl – a school girl?
Time sure flew by quickly.
That’s it, everyone! This is the end of Generation 3! oO There be an heir vote, this time, and a colour vote, which will be up as soon as I can manage 🙂
Thanks for reading! :3