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Nicole was exhausted. She had no idea how much energy giving birth and nursing a new born could be. She would drift in and out of
The laundry piled up, the dishes (and she didn't even know where they came from) were overflowing in the sink, she couldn't remember the last time she took a shower or even ate a decent meal.
Nick walked in the door one night about three weeks after Bruce was born and found his wife and son curled up on the only clean spot available - the corner of the room. He gently knelt on the floor next to her and said, "Honey, you can't sleep on the floor."
Bleary eyed she looked up at him and whimpered, "I couldn't find another spot."
"Let me take care of that," he gently prodded. "I'll watch Bruce; you go take a hot bath."
Forty five minutes later she emerged feeling much better. She was still exhausted, but she was clean and relaxed. The first thing she noticed was that Nick had changed the sheets on their bed and taken her overflowing hamper out of the room. She wandered down the hall and heard water running in the kitchen and sound of dishes clanging. He had managed to make a minor dent in the pile of dishes and was softly humming to the baby.
"Why did it take me falling asleep on the floor to get you to help?" She asked.
"Because I'm a dummy and should have pitched in as soon as I saw you getting behind. I won't let that happen again."
The little family soon got into a nice routine. Up at six, naps at nine, lunch at noon, park at one, nap at three, dinner at six, bed at eight. Well at least that was the goal for the day. There were many times the little man of the house did not cooperate as well as days when the big man of the day was not present. For Nicole it was the perfect balance. And then Bruce turned six months old and all things changed. He no longer slept for a morning nap; screamed on the walk to the park and refused to eat dinner. Rather than getting upset Nicole just adjusted the schedule around Bruce, not around Nick.
Bruce was a quick learner. He was crawling by seven months and walking at ten. Nick was not home to see his first steps as he was again away on a business trip.
Nicole noticed that as soon as she got a grip on motherhood and the chores and her new role in life that Nick went back to traveling every other week. Although she knew he had been promoted and now had a larger area that encompassed Nebraska, Kansas, and Northern Texas; she did not anticipate the traveling that was involved. Most of the time when he was on the road they did not even talk as their schedules were so different. He had business meetings during the day and dinner meetings every night. She couldn’t even remember the last time she’d gone out to dinner.
Bruce’s first birthday was coming and Nicole wanted to plan a nice party or family and friends. Her parents were coming, as well as some of the neighbors. Nick did not have any family. His parents had died some years before Nicole met him and he had been an only child. The party was planned for a Sunday afternoon in a park near the lake. On the Friday before the party Nick was in Texas and a freak thunder storm hit. His plane was grounded. Saturday morning came and the damage to the small airport he was flying out of was so great from the storm that all flights had been cancelled until Monday. He called home and gave Nicole the bad news.
“Nicholas, rent a car, go to a different airport, I don’t care what you do but you are not going to miss your son’s first birthday; especially since you missed his birth!”