Before I was even aware of it happening our little girls had grown from tiny pink bundles to very precocious toddlers. I knew twins were going to be hard work but I had somehow thought that once they started sleeping through the night the worst was behind us. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Every time I got control of one of them I turned around to find the other had gotten away and was into something they really wen't supposed to be. Even with all the stress and hard work they caused I never felt happier than when I watched them play.
Watching them grow was the greatest gift I could have asked for and it turns out they were not the only ones growing around here.
Patina was once again glowing with the growth of our third child. This pregnancy was harder on her than the first and as she grew it got more and more challenging for her to look after Moon and Mint. I was once again running around trying to take care of everything but to be honest I didn't mind one bit. Nothing made me happier than looking after my girls and this time I remembered to relax and enjoy the time. I was in heaven
Life, however, has a way of bringing you back to earth.
My beloved grandfather passed away. My family gathered to mourn his passing and my heart ached.
"Merlot was a dedicated father."
"A supportive grandfather."
"And a loving husband. Both to his first wife Water,"
I felt my mum stiffen by my side but I was too lost in my own grief to muster the energy to worry about what was upsetting her. "And after her disappearance and death to his second wife Berry."
"He touched more lives than he will ever know and will be missed by the wonderful family that he started."
"Rest in peace Merlot Pinot Noir." As the officiator finished I could no longer hold back the tears.
My grandfather was the man I always hoped to be like and his loss left me with an empty feeling. As Patina lead me away we past my mother crying into my father's shoulder.
I had never seen my mother so vulnerable before. I could just make out what she was saying, muffled though it was by my dad's shirt and her own tears. "I can't stand having the hole in my heart again Blue. I can't loose anyone else! I just can't!" He made quiet soothing sounds against her hair as he stroked it and held her tighter. We carried on walking not wanting to intrude. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My mother's words of that day stuck with me. A hole in my heart she had said and that was exactly what it was. Even knowing that my grandfather had lived a long and full life it still felt like a piece of mine was missing. Still I was luckier than most. The joys of my family surrounded me every day.
It was hard not to be happy with so much love in the house. Sleeping while heavily pregnant was not easy for Patina and since I could never sleep without her it was tough for me as well. One night late in the pregnancy I had just drifted back off sleep when I was jolted awake by a scream.
It was deep in the middle of the night and after quickly scrawling a note to my parents I lead Patina out the door and to the hospital. It was a short and easy labour and we arrived home just as the sun was rising.
I was again a father and I was overjoyed to bring my first son home. Perano Parfait. We settled into a routine then. My parents had finally agreed to retire (my mum took more convincing than my dad she seemed to think the world would end if she wasn't working) and they very generously agreed to watch the kids while Patina and I were at work. Every night when we got home I would sing Per a lullaby as Patina put him to sleep.
It was then bath and story time for the girls.
Once all the little ones were in bed it was our time. Time when we could catch up on our days and with each other.
Her work was advanced and I have to admit that most of it went over my head but to be near her was all I asked. As time went on and summer came round again Per had his birthday and began to add new challenges to life.
His sisters loved playing with they're 'bwodder' but sometimes it would get a bit to much for Per. When I could sense he just needed to be alone I would take him aside and sit with him for awhile.
After years of avoiding the beach and it's painful memories I found myself drawn back to it. Although I loved my family more than my own life a restlessness had awoken inside me. Whenever the comings and goings of the house get to much for Per and I we would escape there and sit quietly amongst the sand and waves.
It bothered me that I was having these feelings. I had the perfect house, the perfect job, the perfect wife and the perfect children. It was all I ever wanted in life yet here I sat feeling the tug of the ocean waves on my soul.
"I thought I might find you here." Her soft voice drifted to me with the cool night breeze. I turn distractedly my thoughts a million miles away. Her face was gentle, full of emotion and she smiled softly. I couldn't quite read what was behind that smile and tried to bring myself back into the moment. "Where are the girls?" I asked hastily getting to my feet.
"They're still at the house with your parents. I had something I wanted to show you." I looked around trying to see if I could find what ever it is she wanted to show me. She smiled wider. "It's not here silly." "Oh," I said laughing nervously. "I knew that." "Come on," she said picking up Per and walking away.
It took me a moment to catch up with what had happened. Once I had she was already halfway to the car and I had to run to catch up.
She drove me to a rather nondescript building near the edge of town. The inside, however, was surprisingly colourful and full of life.
I stared around in awe trying to reconcile this entirely too cool interior with the expectations I had formed from the outside and trying to understand why Patina led me here.
Although I was completely overwhelmed Patina seemed to know where she was going and led me confidently to a door halfway down the hall. I was not prepared for what was inside.
"Bondi my boy so glad you could make it." Jaffa's jovial tones were just as I remembered them and I stared at him in mute astonishment. "Jaffa?!? Mr. Bumble?!?" I said incredulously as I took in the other occupant of the room. I looked around trying to place them here in Sunset Valley where they very obviously didn't belong.
Slowly I took in my surroundings. The room within a room full of equipment, the desk in the front with computers and other gear it could only be, "A recording studio?" I asked no less confused. "What are you doing here?" Jaffa let out a big booming laugh. "So she didn't tell you, eh?"
He slapped me on the shoulder. One of these days I'm going to have to work up the courage to tell him that when you knock someone over it's less companionable than you might think. "I'd wondered how she was going to convince you to come." He was still chuckling to himself as if he had heard the best joke in a year. "The clubs of Bridgeport miss you son." "I..." "Now don't you get any ideas. Patina here told us you wouldn't be coming back. You have to do what's right for your family and we stand by that. No this is something different." He gestured to the room. "Patina got some money together and hired this studio for you. She even got me and Bumble here away from the big city lights to come produce it for you."
I turned to Patina in surprise. How had she managed to do all this without me having any idea? "Is this true?" "It's true," she had a smile on her face that seemed to be half shy and half sad. "As happy as I know you are with this life I can tell there is something missing. I think this," she gestured to the room full of interments and microphones, "is it."
"I am happy and I don't need anything else but you." "You may think that but I know better." the playfulness in her tone was just a little bit forced and it made me pay closer attention to what she was saying. "Music is part of you love, it is part of who you are. You've been denying yourself that creativity since we moved here and I think it's time you let it out again." "I...." For the first time I stopped myself from speaking. Something about her words hit me. Was music the thing that I was missing? Was that what I needed to stop the restlessness? "But I play for me. I'm not good enough to make an album." I protested in a last ditch effort to try and get a grip on what was going on. "Silly no one said this was going to make you some kind of super star. I just want the chance to take your music with me where ever I go." She started tugging me to the back room. "Come on the studio is already paid for what have you got to loose."
She left me there, still overwhelmed, and went to stand behind Jaffa and Mr. Bumble. I took a deep breath as I looked at the microphone in front of me. Well if it was already paid for I might as well give it a try. I took my guitar out and started to sing.