A/N: Second to last chapter of generation one! Yay! Sorry if this is a bit bitty. I’m trying to cover a lot of ground in this chapter. :) There will be one more chapter in Gabriel’s generation after this, which I’ve written! I just need the pictures, so it should be up relatively soon! :)
Also, it’s my birthday! I’m twenty one, yay! :D Have a present on me!!! ;D
I never thought I could be happy.
It seemed too much to hope for, or even dream of. Throughout my childhood and my youth, it seemed that the best I could expect was survival.
But I’ve gained so much more.
It’s been almost six years since I last wrote in this journal, and a lot has changed in that time. So many wonderful, wonderful things.
Perhaps it is best that I start where I left off.
Once we had got over the shock of Susie’s pregnancy, our focus shifted right back to Farrow (though obviously I made sure Susie was happy, healthy and comfortable, too).
Farrow grew and learnt fast. Before I knew it, he had learnt to use the potty all by himself and was racing around the garden as fast as his little legs could carry him. When he wasn’t energetically trampling my vegetables, he put his time into creating tunes on his xylophone. Sometimes, they were actually kind of catchy. Sometimes, I even caught him beating out tunes that were uncannily similar to melodies Susie had played on the guitar.
I told Susie that Farrow was going to be just as talented as her one day. She hit me with a teatowel and told me not to be so ridiculous, that she wasn’t that talented. I think she needs her hearing checked.
Of course, we still had Genesis to look after too.
I spent a lot of my free time trying to teach her tricks, but she was much more interested in playing fetch. I did manage to teach her to sit after a long, hard struggle, but anything more was futile.
She did love fetch, though and, I admit, I had a lot of fun playing it too! Simple pleasures for simple minds, after all.
Susie’s second pregnancy seemed a lot shorter and easier than the first, though that was perhaps due to the fact I wasn’t panicking so much.
When Susie went into labour, Jamie came over to babysit Farrow, I grabbed her overnight bag and we caught a taxi to the hospital. It was an easier labour than the one with Farrow, and after only a couple of hours I was cradling my new daughter in my arms.
Oh! I forgot to mention this before, so I’ll mention it now.
We were able to gather enough money to extend the house in preparation for the new baby. Seeley and Molly helped us out a little, but mainly the money came from what Susie had saved during her time with Sienna Dreams and what I had made from my garden.
Farrow was built a new room upstairs. Susie insisted on getting him the same BEE wallpaper so the move wouldn’t unsettle him that much. I still think bees are an awful idea for a child’s room, but Farrow loves them so I think I’m out-voted.
We even managed to afford an en-suite bathroom for him to use when he was a bit older, hoping to pre-empt any bathroom jams.
We redecorated the old nursery with a little girl in mind. We found out the gender of the baby at Susie’s second ultrasound, so we felt pretty safe decorating. We decided on a warm colour scheme and, thankfully, flowers rather than bees.
We called our daughter Heidi Mia. Susie’s sister had done so much for us that we felt it only right to honour her with Heidi’s middle name. Molly was very understanding about the whole thing.
Heidi is a beautiful little girl (though, obviously I’m biased). She takes after her mother the most, but she has my eyes.
When she was little, she was a lot fussier than her brother had ever been, especially when I was out and about in the garden and Susie was busy with Farrow or Genesis. She soaked up love like a little sponge.
Heidi was such a little Daddy’s girl, and I loved the way her eyes lit up when I walked into the room.
Farrow, now that he was older, enjoyed helping me out in the garden. He liked to point out that he was bigger than Heidi and could be helpful. I told him that Heidi would soon be as big as him and would be able to help out too, but he didn’t believe me. He just went about pulling up weeds with renewed vigour, as if to prove me wrong.
More often, though, Susie would keep the two children occupied in Heidi’s bedroom whilst I got my chores done. She would play with them, read books to them and teach them about the plants I was growing in the garden.
I don’t have much I can leave my children, but I hope one day that they find as much joy from working the earth as I do.
Whenever I had some free time, we made sure to spend it together as a family, whether it was picnics in the garden, visits to the local play park or dropping by Susie’s parent’s or Jamie’s house.
I wanted to give my kids the childhood I’d never had and I hope that, so far, I have succeeded.
I made sure to spend a lot of time with Genesis also, giving her baths and attempting (still) to teach her tricks. She was a good dog, and I’d been training her to chase away the raccoons that liked to rummage in our dustbin. She was actually pretty good at it, though usually too slow to prevent them from knocking the bin over. Still, it was a start, and I praised her liberally.
Something to shock you.
Sometime after Heidi’s birth, Susie convinced me to try and cook some macaroni cheese on our resident hell beast. I mean, the oven. You’ll be pleased to know it did not explode, or set me on fire, and I didn’t even burn it!
It’s still a horrible hell beast, however, and I continue to avoid it unless strictly necessary.
Time flies when you have children.
Farrow was soon five years old and ready to start school. Being something of a loner, he was understandably nervous about the whole thing.
I tried to comfort and reassure him, and so did Susie, but I’m not sure our words helped. He always came straight home from school and went up to his room, where he’d play with his blocks for hours. I worried that he wouldn’t make any friends, that he would have a rough time like Jamie did, but he seemed happy enough. Just seemed to like his own company.
There was one person who was the exception to this self-imposed exile, of course. Farrow couldn’t get enough of his little sister. He hugged her, played with her and made sure Susie and I kept to our schedule. If we were even one minute late with fetching Heidi a bottle, Farrow would be on us, nagging and harrassing us until the job was done.
It was good, really. I knew I would never have to worry about my little girl. Her big brother was out to protect her.
It made me think about my own half-siblings, living with Matthew Hamming and my mother. Should I have tried to protect them? Would they have wanted me to? Do they even know about me?
But, as in the past, I try to keep thoughts like that to the minimum.
A little while after Farrow started school, Susie found out that she was pregnant again. We were both shocked, as we had not been trying and we hadn’t thought we would have any more children after Heidi. We were happy, of course, but shocked.
Susie thought it was a miracle, whilst I fretted about money. Luckily, the room upstairs was big enough for two children to share it, so we wouldn’t have to extend the house again. Just as well, really, as we really wouldn’t have been able to afford it. I hoped the baby was a boy, however, as I doubt that Farrow would be too happy about having to switch rooms.
It was about this time that Susie began to wear her hair different, tied up to keep it out of the way. If you ask me, she got more beautiful with each passing day.
Throughout her pregnancy, I noticed that Susie tried to stay as close to me as possible. She was tearful at night and, during the day, joined me in the garden with Heidi.
At first, I thought it was just the pregnancy hormones effecting her more strongly than before, but soon she confided in me the truth. She was scared. We had been so blessed with the two children we already had, when we thought we might never have any, and she was terrified that something would go wrong. I reassured her as best I could, but, now that she had mentioned it, could not reassure myself.
Farrow, on the other hand, had no such worries. He was thrilled at the prospect of a new sibling to help with and look after, and was always touching Susie’s belly, or talking to it, or asking questions.
He was a great comfort to Susie, I think, when she needed it the most.
He kept us all entertained, as well. He liked to play at being a ‘rock god’ like his Uncle Isaac, and would stand on chairs and hollar to an imaginary crowd.
Sometimes, he got a little too into his roleplay.
And sometimes he reminded me a little too much of his grandfather. There is a bit of Seeley Moss in him, that’s for sure.
He may have been loud sometimes when he was awake, but when Farrow is asleep he is sweet and quiet, to a point. Though he is not particularly clumsy, he often dreams and falls out of bed, so I have made it my habit to check on him to make sure he’s not on the floor before I go to bed myself.
I think he dreamt so much because he was still so nervous about school.
As the months went on, Farrow began to make friends. Either that, or Susie’s talk about attempting to talk to the other children was finally sinking in.
The boy he brought home most often was called Skip Broke, and the two of them would sit at the table and do their homework together. More often than not, Skip would stay for dinner. He was a polite little boy, but Farrow was reluctant to ever go home with him after school as he had a huge family. Farrow’s solitary nature meant that the prospect of that was rather unpleasant, but, luckily, Skip wasn’t offended.
As Farrow was battling through school and attempting to make friends, Heidi was growing up. She was toddling around and causing havoc, just like Farrow had done when he learnt to walk. The only difference was that Heidi was a lot more clumsy and often I’d look around to find her faceplanting the floorboards.
Luckily, she found the whole thing rather amusing.
For all Farrow’s attempts at making friends, he was still much more comfortable around us and Genesis.
She was a good friend to him, and I could tell that she brought him comfort when he was sad or nervous. Susie and I weren’t too worried about Farrow spending so much time with Genesis, as he was at least attempting to make friends at school.
Besides, Genesis made him happy, as she made me happy, and Farrow being happy was as much as I could hope for.
And it wasn’t as though he spurned human company completely. He often sought my help for his homework, if Skip hadn’t followed him home.
This was never the best idea, as we were both as clueless as each other, but hey. At least I got to spend some quality time with my son, even if we both came away confused and with aching brains.
I was so busy with my garden, Heidi and worrying about Farrow’s social life, that Susie’s due date crept up without me noticing, despite all the worrying I’d been doing about the health of our unborn child. Susie had just gone to bed one night when the contractions had started and forced her up.
I was as calm and collected as I usually am.
By that, I mean I panicked.
Hours later and in the safety of a hospital, Susie gave birth to a healthy, perfect little boy. All our worries had been for nothing.
We named him Elery Daniel, after my father. It was a decision I did not make lightly, but I did love my father, despite everything. I wish, sometimes, that he was still around to meet Susie and our children.
I wish he hadn’t thought he had no other choice but death.
I’ve been there, on that awful night I’d rather not recall, but… I’m glad I survived. I’m glad I’m here to meet my children and to support my wife.
Not long after Elery was born, Heidi became old enough to join school. Unlike Farrow, she took to the whole idea like a duck to water. She was a friendly little girl, and she returned from her first day brimming over with stories about the people she had met and the great things she had done.
Susie and I had been worried that Farrow and Heidi would be at each other’s throats now that Heidi had started school, but, thankfully, they were closer than ever. I even caught them hugging sometimes and, though it was great to see and it made me happy, I could never quite stop the hollow ache in my chest at seeing it. I could never quite banish my own siblings from my mind.
But I’m not here to talk about the distant past, I’m here to tell you about the past few years. I’m sorry, I can’t help myself sometimes.
Genesis and Heidi got on with each other just as well as they did with Farrow. I think it helps that they are both friendly by nature. It does make me smile seeing them together.
At weekends, Heidi helped me in the garden. Farrow had lost interest a little now that he was older, but Heidi was as enthusiastic about getting dirty and tugging weeds as she was about everything else. I admit, I felt a little balloon of pride every time I managed to teach her something new. She was a smart little girl who loved being amongst nature, and I’m glad that spending time with me helped her to do that.
Time still flies, and we come now to the present.
It seemed like only weeks before Elery was crawling, climbing and getting involved with everything. Like his sister, he took after Susie more than myself, but he has the brightest smile. Any room he crawls into seems to light up as he laughs and giggles and causes general havoc.
His siblings adore him, and are quite happy to take time out of their busy schedules to play with him. Actually, Susie and I are pretty lucky in that respect. Our kids get on pretty well. Sure, they have arguments, as all kids do, but, when it comes down to it, they love each other.
Like he did with Heidi, Farrow has taken it upon himself to look after and protect his younger brother. He’s learnt how to prepare and warm bottles and baby food, how to change Elery’s clothes and even how to help Elery on the potty.
Sometimes, Susie and I barely get a look in!
The two of them have a very special relationship, and are very close.
When Farrow is away at school, Elery becomes fussy and pines, sitting by the door with his favourite rocket ship and refusing to move until Susie picks him up and distracts him. When Farrow returns home, Elery visibly brightens and sits by Farrow’s chair whilst he and Heidi complete their homework for the day.
Susie and I are not too worried about Elery’s dependence on his brother. We figure he’ll grow out of it once he starts school and finds his own friend and, if not, is there really anything wrong with sibling closeness?
Besides, Farrow is very patient with him, much more than most eight-year-old boys would be with their baby brothers.
If nothing else, every afternoon, Farrow always made sure that he had time to read Elery a story. Even if Skip is around, Farrow excuses himself for quarter of an hour or so in order that Elery would not miss out. Skip understands, thankfully, and contents himself playing with either Genesis or Heidi until Farrow is done.
I just hope that Farrow and Elery continue to remain close as they grow older. It is such a joy to see, and it reminds me sometimes of my relationship with Jamie.
Now that I’ve brought you up to speed on my life so far, I feel that now is as good a time as any to bring this diary to a close. I’ve been blessed with the wonderful family I never hoped for. The family I don’t believe I deserve.
But the time for second guessing myself is over.
It’s time to bury the past now, and lock the boy named Lucas Carter away forever.
I’m happy, and it’s time to look only to the future.