Being a father was wonderful. I started falling more and more in love with Kyle. It was so hard to imagine that he was half of me. My son. And Penny’s son. She loved him as much as any biological mother would and I felt so blessed to be part of this family.
So when my family was in danger, the only thing I could think of was to get them to safety.
It was Kyle’s birthday and I was going to blow out his candles for him. Now, I knew I could be clumsy but when I leaned forward to blow the candle out, I don’t know what happened but suddenly there was a blaze. Penny freaked out while I backed out of the kitchen, clutching Kyle. He started wailing from the sounds of the fire alarm.
“Pens! Get the hell out of here!” I yelled, running for the door. “PENNY!” I screamed as I saw she was still dancing in panic by the flames. I seized up with fear, terrified the flames would reach her. “PENNY! NOW!”
I shoved the sliding door open, having no clue what to do. I couldn’t leave Kyle just laying on the ground but Penny wasn’t coming. I wanted to run back and grab her. “PENNY!” I yelled again and was about to go back for her when I saw her turning and running.
The fire truck arrived and a fireman ran past us. Penny was standing next to me, shaking like a leaf. Still holding Kyle, I slid my arm around Penny and pulled her close. “Sweetie?” I whispered. “You okay?”
“I… I couldn’t move…” She turned her face up towards me. “I was so scared, Cal!”
“It’s okay, you’re okay now.” I kissed her and kept her against me, watching as the fireman put out the flames. “Everything will be okay.”
The house still smelled of smoke, ash, and burning. Penny had gone to get another cake since we really wanted to give Kyle a somewhat decent birthday. I held Kyle close, feeling so miserable with myself. I had put him and Penny at risk. Why did that cake just blaze up? Was I really that–that pathetic and clumsy?
“I’ll never let anything happen to you,” I whispered, rubbing Kyle’s back. Penny came home, holding a new cake. As soon as she set it down, I handed Kyle to her. “You help him with the candle.”
“No,” she said with a smile. “Don’t worry, Cal. It will not happen again.” She kissed my cheek and stepped back.
I tried to think of a wish for him and soon I realized what I personally wanted, which was completely selfish. I don’t want Teri taking him back. I knew that was very, very selfish of me but in the three months with him I had fallen in as much love with him as I was with Penny. I wanted Kyle to be part of my life for as long as I was alive.
So I left Teri out since it was too selfish, and just wished that he was part of my life forever. I blew out the candles and then set him down, watching as the sparkles started surrounding him.
He giggled and kicked his feet as the sparkles started settling. “Naba!” he exclaimed, giggling more and grinning up at me.
He resembled his mother more than I expected him to. He has her hair color and her eye color. But his mouth looked like mine. I wondered what he would look like as he got older. I scooped him up and grinned at Penny who was clapping her hands.
“Ahh Kyle!” she giggled, leaning over and kissing his forehead. “Want some cake?”
We sat down at the table and I fed Kyle a bit of cake, though not much. He squealed and made noises as Penny and I chattered. I felt cozy and as Kyle shifted around in my lap and made noises, I realized how much I wanted another kid.
When I held Kyle against me to get him ready for bed, he cuddled back. Penny stood up, her eyes lighting up. “My two men,” she said with a smile. She reached over and touched Kyle’s shoulder. “You’re both so handsome.”
I took him into our bedroom and changed him into the pajamas Penny had chosen. “We should work on turning your old bedroom into a nursery,” I said, fastening the last buttons on the little bunny outfit. “I should be finishing up that painting soon and I think I can get five hundred for it. That should be enough for new wallpaper and carpet.”
I kissed Kyle’s head and he whined as I pulled away from the crib. Besides, I thought, watching him flop back and stick his thumb in his mouth. Besides, Penny and I need some adult time. We hadn’t done anything in three months. It was difficult to be romantic with a baby in the room.
After I sold the painting, we started working on the nursery. We took out the old lamps and added a new light fixture. I moved the painting that was in the bathroom to the nursery since it looked a bit like something for a kid’s room. By the time we were done, I had finished a smaller painting and we sold it plus one of Penny’s. We were able to buy some furniture and by the time we moved the crib in, it was ‘cute’ as Penny put it.
“I love it in here,” she sighed, sitting back in the chair. “It’s so sweet.”
“You’re sweet,” I said, putting Kyle in his crib. I wasn’t sure how he was going to sleep being in a room by himself but I put his doll in the crib with him and we were going to leave a light on. He sat back and pouted at me.
Penny stood as I came closer and I pulled her into my arms. “Calcier,” she said as I kissed just below her ear.
“I want a baby.”
I kissed her passionately and then put my forehead against hers, my vision filled with her beautiful eyes. “So do I,” I whispered. “But do you think we should start working on it now or wait until Kyle’s a bit older?”
Penny sighed and glances sideways at Kyle who was watching us with interest. “We should wait. I think we should wait until he is two. Then we can try. But I do want to spend us time together tonight. Can we?”
“Oh, we definitely can,” I replied, giving her another kiss then letting her go so she could get Kyle to sleep.
Now that he was a toddler, life started going by in a blur.
Kyle became more fussy than he was as a baby. He hated being left alone and would wail and throw fits if no one was in the room.
But he was all smiles when we’d return to him and give him attention.
I had to admit that I was all smiles too. I had never imagined being a father would feel so wonderful. I loved spending time with him but also loved watching Penny with him. She had a certain glow about her. So beautiful… It was hard not to just stand around and watch her being a mother.
She was the one who wanted to take care of teaching him to speak. She’d sit with him and patiently work on teaching him words. He would make sounds in reply though nothing that sounded like words.
We had agreed that because she was in charge of speaking, I would be in charge of walking.
I wasn’t expecting much on our first attempt. I stood him up and then backed up, kneeling down and holding my arms out. “Come to Daddy,” I said. “Come to Dada.”
He stuck his fingers in his mouth and stared at me, a bit of drool falling onto his shirt. I was about to stand up and go over to help him but then to my shock he took one unsteady step, then another, and another.
Before I knew it, he fell into my arms. “Nnnn!” he said, reaching his arms up for me, looking slightly worried. “Aboo!”
I swept him up into the air, grinning and hugging him. “Your mother is never going to believe this,” I laughed.
A month after his first steps, he said his first word. I was bowled over by the fact it was ‘mama’ and he was calling Penny that. For some reason I had been worried he’d remember Teri was his birth mother or something. But he called Penny ‘mama’ and soon after was calling me ‘dada’.
We both worked on potty training him but he didn’t take to that very well. He’d throw fits as soon as we set him down but we were determined not to give up and pursued his potty training every day.
Shortly before Kyle’s second birthday, Penny and I decided to start trying for a baby.
I still wasn’t sure if this would work, despite her high hopes that it would. Even if we couldn’t have our own babies, I still loved her with all my body, heart, and soul.
Everything felt so perfect. I was so happy to be Cal’s wife and Kyle’s mother. Spending time with him made me want more and more for my own baby. I knew that Calcifer and I would have our own one day, though I suspected sometimes he wasn’t as positive as me.
Bedtime was our time. We would sit in the chair and I would give him a sippie cup with some warm milk and I would sing to him as he drank. Then I put him in his crib and read to him until he fell asleep. The one night Calcifer tired this, Kyle cried and cried. “Mama!” he called out. “WANT MAMA!”
It was like music to my ears and I was only too happy to come to his side.
We were living on our paintings. Calcifer hadn’t played in the park for a long time. I knew he wanted to, but I think he preferred painting and knew it would bring in more money. I hoped that soon we had enough money for him to relax and spend more time with his guitar. I worked on my own paintings to help bring in the bread.
Soon I started really not feeling well. I had not been sick before so the queasy feelings in my stomach made me scared, and throwing up made me cry afterward since my throat felt as though it was on fire. I did not tell Calcifer, though, because I did not want him to worry. I knew if he thought I was sick he would flip out.
We had enough on our mind with Kyle getting into things and his doll showing signs of being real.
We would find the doll in random spots and since none of us moved it, we knew it was doing it on its own. I knew Cal was worried at playing Watcher and still being ‘under the thumb’ of the scientists who had put his father through so much, and I wished I could help him feel better. Even though I was not feeling well.
A couple weeks after my stomach started hurting regular, my entire body started to ache. I admitted to Calcifer my body ached which was a good thing because he wanted to help.
He gave me massages every day which were wonderful. He had wonderful fingers and put pressure against all the right spots.
“Are you okay?” he asked one night after he gave me a particularly long massage.
“Yes,” I said with a smile. “I am fine.” I kissed him and went back to my painting. I did not tell him what was on my mind because now I was beginning to think it was something else. I was not sure, though, and did not want to say anything.
I continued throwing up and I gained weight. I bought baggier clothing but still did not say anything to Calcifer. I wanted to be completely sure. So I made a doctor’s appointment on my own and told Cal it was just a checkup since I had not ever gotten one before.
The night before the appointment I was very nervous and scared. I hoped that my suspicions would be confirmed.
I really hoped that I had a baby inside me.