It was the day of our wedding, and I don't know if it was nerves or what, but my stomach was rebelling.
"Are you sure you're alright, sweetheart?"
"I'm just nervous. I'll be fine. I hope."
"You'll be great. I just know it. I'll be waiting when you are ready, love."
I went upstairs to change, while my proud papas made sure everything was set up to their satisfaction.
At last I conquered my fears enough to make my way down to the pond, where Papa Brook was waiting for me.
"You look lovely, sweetheart. Are we all set?"
I had a sudden last minute attack of nerves, but then I glanced toward the edge of the pond, where the wedding arch had been set up.
There was my Zhan, waiting patiently for me. Keeping my eyes on my love, I nodded.
"Yes papa, I'm ready. Let's do this."
I floated through the ceremony as if in a dream. A few times my stomach made as if to rebel again, but I just kept my eyes on my Zhan, and before I knew it, we were finished. Husband and Wife. That made the whole ordeal worthwhile.
We both had insisted the Song be part of the ceremony, so he sat at our feet the whole time, giggling and cooing and adding his adorable cuteness to the occasion.
As soon as we finished our vows, Zhan scooped him up in his arms to show him off to our guests.
"Say hi to everyone, Song!"
He decided to be shy, and refused to say anything, but he did wave at the audience before he buried his face in his daddy's shoulder.
By then I was feeling pretty good again, and made it without a hitch though all the rice throwing...
...and of course the cake cutting.
At last the party seemed to be winding down. Papa Brann had already taken charge of Song, and fed him and put him to bed.
"Come 'ere, you! I have plans for my beautiful bride tonight!"
"Hehehe. What kind of plans?"
Haha..as if I didn't know...
Then he swept me up in his arms, and before I knew it he was carrying me up the stairs to our room... and I'll leave the rest of that magical night to your imagination.
Of course, we found out soon after that my wedding day sickness was not entirely due to nerves. Zhan was so thrilled to be part of this new baby's life from the very beginning. And he was intent on making up lost time with Song as well.
Our favorite place was the park. Song would get so excited whenever we'd plan a visit.
"Wheee! I'm a piwate!"
"Yay! Sail faster, Mr. Pirate! Look at you go!"
"Let's build a sand castle, Song. See, like this!"
I was getting to big to get down on the ground with them, but at least I could sit on the bench and watch. Zhan was so good with Song, and it was obvious Song adored his daddy.
We'd try to sneak in a little kiss the best we could, but sometimes it was hard.
"Mommy! See bunny!"
"Mhmm.. just a second sweetie, mommy's busy right now..."
I was painting in my favorite spot out on the second story deck, with Zhan keeping me company, when I felt a sharp pain.
"Ack, are you sure you don't want to go to the hospital?"
"Positive. I despise hospitals. Just help me get to the bedroom," I panted in between contractions.
Zhan stayed with me the whole time, until in the wee hours of the morning, we welcome our little girl Daffodil in to the world.
Time passed quickly, and in no time at all it was time for Song's and Daffodil's birthdays. Since Song was the oldest, I took him to the cake first.
"Blow our your candles! Like this! Very good, sweetie."
Then Song got to wave his noisemaker while Daffodil took her turn at the cake.
The proud grandpas joined in with gusto. I was a little worried that all the noise would scare little Daffodil, but it didn't phase her at all.
Everyone had their eyes focused on our little Daffodil, cheering her on, and so no one noticed at first that something was wrong with Papa Brann.
I was the first to recognise that my Papa Brann was leaving us. Everyone was surprised to see me burst into tears.
Then everyone else realized what I already knew, and poor Daffodil was forgotten for the moment, as we all mourned my papa's passing.
Of course she had no idea what was happening, and kept glancing from one crying face to another, with a most confused expression on her face.
Her big brother was the first to notice her predicament, and rushed over to give her a hug.
"It's okay, sweet pea. Everything's gonna be all right, I promise."
I think he was trying to comfort himself as much as anything, but it seemed to work.
I don't know what I would have done without him that day. And from then on, those two were inseparable. I never had to worry about Daffodil when her big brother was around to protect her.