After everyone left, I pulled Knight into another hug. “I can’t believe this is happening so soon.”
Drawing back from me, he said, “Yeah, um...Alex, I’ve been wanting to talk to you about this for a while. Let’s sit down.”
Uh oh. I didn’t like his tone. What could he want to talk about?
“What’s up?” I asked, trying to put him in a better mood. His face told me he was worried about something.
“What were you thinking about childcare? I mean, I don’t want to put our baby in daycare.”
Stunned that he was thinking about this so early, I stammered, “W-Well, I figured we’d just do what Jianna does. She uses a nanny service.”
“That’s out of the question. I was raised by nannies all my childhood and never knew my real dad. No way am I doing that to our child.”
I knitted my eyebrows. “What are you suggesting then? For me to give up my job? No frickin way, Knight. I’m not doing that.”
“You’re not even going to think it over?”
I flipped my hands. “Why should I? I’m the one with the master’s degree. I built my career from the bottom up. You expect me to leave it just like that? Why don’t you quit?”
“You know I can’t quit. I have the legacy. That’s what my family has worked for generations. And this will be for our children. How can you ask me to give that up when you could easily slow yours down and pick it back up whenever you wanted.”
He had no idea that writers worked on momentum. Once you stopped writing, people would forget about you and you’d lose readers. I pulled at my hair. “No! I’m not going to quit! You don’t understand. I have deadlines to meet and contracts to fulfill. Sometimes I have to write 16 hours a day to meet those deadlines. You know this and still you expect me to give that up!”
His face grew cold. “So is that your final word? You’re going to sentence our child to be raised by a nanny?”
I glared. “Are you? There are two of us in this, you know. Just because I used to be a woman doesn’t mean I should assume a woman’s role in this family. We are two men. It is just as foreign to me to be the main caretaker as it would be for you. I’ve never even been with a baby. I was just a kid when Bri was born, and I didn’t help out with her until she was much older.”
Knight shot up from his seat. “You’re wrong, Alex. This is not about gender roles, and I can’t believe you’re taking it there. It’s about practicality. If you had a job that wasn’t flexible, I wouldn’t even suggest it, but writing is a perfect career to stay at home with our child and still do what you need to. But whatever. You’re not listening to me.”
I didn’t want to fight with him about this now. We should be celebrating. “Listen, let’s just put this on hold for now. We have nine months to figure it out, okay?”
Slipping my arms around him, I could feel the tension in him ease. “Hey, Knight,” I whispered. “Let’s be excited. We’re about to have a baby. That’s amazing.”
Swaying with him, I said, “Hmm? Are you even a little happy about it?”
He gave me a half smile. “I guess.”
I chuckled. “You guess.” Kissing his cheek, I said, “I hope our baby doesn’t have your temper.”
Smirking, he said, “Well, I hope our child doesn’t have your stubbornness.”
“There’s always something you can do to melt my stubbornness.”
Pulling him up into my arms, I kissed him and said, “Don’t worry about things, baby. It’ll all work out.”
It’d been three months since Jackson was born and I still couldn’t believe how wonderful having a child was. He was this perfect human being. So small and so cute. I was in awe of him every day.
I took on as much of the care of him as I could, especially on the weekends. Alex asked for an extension of his deadlines during this period. We agreed on three months and then we’d hire a nanny. I gave in, but he was right. How could I ask him to quit his job? He not only wrote for a living but it was his passion.
Jackson was screaming, but it didn’t bother me. I hushed him and rocked. That usually helped. “It’s okay, little guy. Pops is here.”
Alex came into the room. “He’s hungry. Let me have him.”
I gladly gave him to Alex. Jackson quieted down instantly as he bobbed his head toward the bottle and drank savagely.
“You’re right. He was hungry.”
“That’s better, right, buddy?” Alex asked. He was so good with him. Every time I watched him, I felt a sense of pride for my husband. I was so lucky to have him.
“You’re amazing,” I said. It just came out. We were such a happy family. I never understood what love actually was until we had Jackson. I fell more in love with Alex every day.
He laughed. “I am not. I am just with him more. Hey, I’ve been thinking about it...I want to stay home with him. The thought of someone else being with him during the day makes me uncomfortable. And besides, I think I can get a lot of work done when he sleeps. I’ve been keeping up a good pace with my new novel already.”
This floored me. “Are you sure, Alex? Because I’m all right with it. I know our family will be better than what I grew up with. You’ll be here and if the nanny needs anything, you can help out. I don’t think you should cut back on your work.”
Putting the bottle back in Jackson’s mouth, he answered, “Well, I do. I can’t handle thinking about someone else getting to see all of Jackson’s firsts. I’m lucky that I’ll be able to stay home. And you know what else? I feel sorry for you that you don’t get that privilege.”
I pressed my lips together. He was right. I did wish I could spend more time with him. “Did you know that I love you, Alex?”
He smiled, not looking up from the baby. “I love you more.”