“Don’t worry about it,” Liam says. “JD and Jenna are already there. They went a day early because he went overboard on snow gear and couldn’t wait to test it out.”
Liam and I hang up, and my next call is to the hanger to get everything set up for tomorrow. After this, I call the hotel and book the necessary rooms for the kids. The last thing I want is for them to have to pay for their rooms since they’re accommodating their mother and me in our little request.
By the time I have everything set, take-out dinner is sitting on the table, and Katelyn is holding the little guy in one arm and eating with her free hand. I go to her, kiss her forehead, and then lean down and press my lips to the baby. I inhale deeply and take in his baby scent.
“Are we all set for tomorrow?”
“We are. Nola is the only extra flying with us. Noah has practice, and Ben is going to his mom’s.”
Katelyn looks at me, and her mouth drops open slightly. “Ben is going to his mom’s?”
I shrug. I find it odd as well, but it’s not my place to say anything. “I guess.”
“He didn’t come here for Thanksgiving, either.”
“He doesn’t have to spend every holiday with us,” I point out.
“Since when?” Katelyn counters. “When we lived in Beaumont, he was at our house for everything. I just find it odd that he’s suddenly going to his mom’s.”
“Well, I’m sure he has a good reason.” I set my hand on top of hers and squeeze it. “Let’s eat, and not worry about why Ben has decided to spend Christmas with his mother and get packed. With this little guy, we have a lot of extras to take with us, and I don’t want to be in a strange town, not knowing where things are if he needs something.”
“You’re right.” Katelyn smiles and goes back to eating. I make sure her drink is full and find myself begging to hold the baby while I can because once his sisters, aunts, and cousins get a hold of him, I likely won’t get to hold him again until the new year.
I rest my head on the doorjamb and close my eyes. I underestimated what a two a.m. feeding meant, and the three in the morning diaper change, and the four-thirty wails because the baby was uncomfortable in his new surroundings. Each time I got up with him, even though Harrison woke as well. I know he would’ve gotten up if I asked, but I felt like it needed to be me. I think because I feel like I’ve interrupted a routine this little boy had already started to establish at night. And I’m the one who took him away from his night nursing staff.
Harrison rests his hand firmly on my leg, and my hand moves to his in an instant, clutching it tightly. I love this man more than words, and if it wasn’t for him, I’m not sure where I’d be in life. I look over at him. He’s focused on the road, keeping a steady pace with the traffic. We’re on our way to the hanger, where our children will be waiting for us, and where we’ll introduce the very quiet bundle of joy to them. There isn’t a doubt in my mind the twins will be over the moon in love with our-yet-to-be named little boy. It’s Quinn who I worry about the most. He’s always been our only son, the only brother. I can’t imagine at his age what he’s going to think of this new little guy. I lean toward the middle of the console, wishing I could see the baby or had sat in the back with him. I almost did until Harrison told me to let him sleep. He was right. Had I sat back there, I would’ve touched his cheeks, lips, and adjusted the blanket covering him, which would’ve surely woken him.
“We’re almost there,” Harrison says. I glance out the front and notice very little traffic heading toward the airport.
“You’d think more people would be traveling right now.”
“Probably next week, a little closer to Christmas.”
He reminds me that I need to text Jenna. I pull out my phone and ask her if the packages arrived. She responds with a picture of her holding a coffee mug with the fireplace in the background.
“What is it?” Harrison asks.
“Oh, nothing. Jenna’s sitting by the fire and enjoying a cup of coffee.”
Harrison laughs. “I’m willing to bet there’s some Bailey’s in there, and she probably loves the peace and quiet.”
“You’re probably right. How do you think Eden is doing on the slopes?”
“Knowing her, she’s probably a natural.”
“Once again, you’re probably right.”
Harrison signals to turn into the parking lot of the hotel, and my stomach seizes. He must sense my anxiety building because he tells me everything will be fine. After he parks, he pulls out his phone and tells the kids to all meet in Peyton’s room, that we’ll be there in a moment.