“Sometimes things make more sense the second time around. People change, you change and the universe changes, if we keep ourselves confined to first chances only, we will truly miss out on some of the most beautiful things in life.”— Rania Naim
San Myshuno Myshuno Meadows Park
A crisp, sunny winter day after Christmas just before New Year’s Eve saw the bustling city that never sleeps powdered in snow, turning the city’s green lung, the very scenic Myshuno Meadows Park into a beautifully serene artwork by nature.
With most people rallying after the holidays or back at work on this Monday, the park sat quiet in the hours before noon, the majority of the snow still undisturbed by any footprints.
Three people though made up the exception from that rule, here to enjoy a relaxing walk. At first glance they were just a little family like many others, a tall man, his pregnant wife and their young son, but upon closer look they all just exuded an aura of being everything but average.
Maybe it was the fact that both parents were remarkably attractive, which already reflected in their 8-year-old child. Maybe it was the fact that the mother moved with the grace of the seasoned performer that she was, despite her seemingly ageless beauty.
The parents looked deeply in love and extremely comfortable with each other, whenever her unbuttoned coat opened a little from walking or a light breeze, it gave a glimpse at her small baby bump contrasting her very slender frame, sometimes her husband would smile and gently touch it, and nobody who didn’t know them better would ever guess that they were divorced.
“Nick, don’t run ahead too far, buddy.” Liam called.
“Yeah yeah dad …” dragged the little boy’s reply, while already peeking around to figure out where to run to next.
Within seconds, a little smirk appeared on the little boy’s face after stepping into some deep, fresh, undisturbed snow, as he just let himself fall backwards into it, squealing and giggling, while making snow angels.
“That kid, seriously. I don’t remember us being such Energizer Bunnies at that age and constantly getting into something new. If his name were a rubber band, it would be worn out by now and he hasn’t even reached his teens yet. I don’t think we were such handfuls growing up.” chuckled Liam.
“Oh, we were handfuls, maybe even worse, at least I was, just seemed like nothing to us back when we were the ones doing it. And Nicholas isn’t malicious, ever, he’s just too smart for his own good – or ours.” giggled Vivien.
“Maybe the next one is gonna be calmer. Fingers crossed.” chuckled Liam.
“Or maybe after that one we’re so used to this parenting thing that we’ll turn into my parents and just foster or adopt everyone in need we come across.” Vivien giggled, making Liam laugh out loud.
“Now you’re talking crazy talk, woman, I know it’s just your hormones running wild with all the maternal nesting going on in your head. After the first few sleepless nights once the baby is here, we’ll talk again.”
“Are you excited about the baby?”
“Of course I am! Thrilled beyond belief. You and I went from you wanting no kids ever, to having one and no more ever according to you to now being on our second. So yeah, I am more than excited about that progress. And I am still super excited to find out the gender.”
“What do you want it to be? Another boy or a girl?”
“I really could not care less. I really mean it when I say all I want is the baby and its mother to be healthy. And I love surprises. I am glad we didn’t do the blood test but decided to wait for the sonogram. But that week and a half until the appointment can’t pass fast enough.”
“Wholeheartedly agree. Glad to hear you love surprises. Nick and I just happen to have another one for you. We’ll need to take a little detour on the way to the restaurant.”
“A surprise? And Nick knows about it? I don’t know if I am more eager to know what the surprise is or shocked that Nick managed to go all morning without blurting it out yet.”
“Nick has known about it for days now. Our son is very amazing and incredibly smart. He knew how important it was that he wouldn’t tell. Although he is about to burst at the seams about it, he kept his mouth shut.”
They walked a little more, then cleared the snow off a park bench by the playground to sit down and let Nick burn off some of his abundance of energy until he was ready to move on.
“Are we going to THE PLACE now, mommy?” Nick asked with big eyes, barely able to contain himself, making Liam smile.
“Yes baby, finally we are …”
Unlike usual, Nicholas didn’t have to be pried and bribed away from the park, instead he was more than willing to leave, trying to drag his parents with him. Liam was highly amused about the enthusiasm of his son, while wondering what kind of surprise the two could possibly have for him that got them so wound up as Vivien looked just as eager now as well.
They walked through the city streets, Christmas decorations now seeming out-of-place alongside the freshly added energetic and fun harbingers of the impending New Year’s Eve displayed in the shop windows next to the remnants of the Christmas spirit, as the three of them now crossed the Spice Market, when Vivien covered Liam’s eyes, while Nick took his hand to guide him.
“Ready?” Vivien finally asked when they stopped.
“I am more than ready … can’t wait to see what you two brewed up.”
“Oh, it wasn’t just us two. It took a village. You’ll know when you see it. Open your eyes … tadaaaa..”
Vivien removed her hands with a quick kiss on Liam’s cheek and his mouth fell open. When he could finally shut it again, he tried to say something, but no words wanted to come.
“Wha- what? No way! I am dreaming this, aren’t I?” Liam mumbled.
“Nope dad, that’s all real. I helped!” Nick gloated excited, grinning wide.
“It was always your dream, baby and now it’s real. Wanna go inside? It’s all yours, Liam, you’re the owner, the boss, the big cheese, all is in your name and yours alone and all bought and paid for. All you see here is 100% yours. Except the cafe downstairs, we franchised the space out. Figured you wouldn’t mind really good coffee on site.”
“Dad, you have to go upstairs and see your office! It’s the biggest of all the offices and I helped mom and aunt Abby design it! It even has photos of me in there! And on a clear day you can see all the way across the ocean to the Windenburg island!” Nick chimed up.
“All right, buddy, lead the way!” Liam said, fighting his emotions, literally feeling like he was walking into his old dream.
“This is incredible! Thank you, Viv. I …. well .. I literally have no words. Nothing seems strong enough or appropriate.”
“Man guys, do you HAVE to do that here now too?” groaned Nick.
“Come here, son!”
They lingered around, looked at every room and detail, then had lunch together, during which they got a call from Vivien’s ob /gyn. A last-minute cancellation had opened up an appointment for a sonogram that very afternoon. They took it, finished their lunch and all went, even Nicholas, so he was there with his parents when they found out the gender of his little sibling.
Later that afternoon the first, unofficial celebration with the family members that could come by at very short notice, happened. Everyone was thrilled to hear the news.