“Mama, you up yet?” The tiny sound penetrated Lily’s subconscious and pushed her toward wakefulness. Her lids slowly opened. Large brown eyes stared intently at her.
“Good morning, Sammy,” Lily’s sleepy voice greeted her son who seemed much more awake than she was.
“We dot you a pwesent!” His excited tone matched the excitement in his eyes.
“A present?” Lily questioned as she attempted to sit up in bed.
The little head bounced up and down. “For Twistmas.”
Lily smiled in understanding. She reached down and scooped her child onto the bed wrapping him in her arms. “That’s so sweet. I’m sure I‘ll love it.”
“Got you a few actually,” Alex called from the doorway as he carried a tray laden with goodies into the bedroom. “The first being breakfast in bed.”
He placed the tray table around her legs and sat next to her on the mattress. He leaned over, giving her a kiss. “Merry Christmas, sweetie.”
Lily’s smile widened as she took in the spread. Coffee, toast, eggs, fruit and even a small vase with a flower in it.
“It’s lovely, Alex. You shouldn’t have gone to all the trouble.”
“It’s no trouble at all for the woman who holds my heart,” Alex whispered gruffly. Lily always loved when he spoke like this. She could tell he wasn’t comfortable with it but he always made valid attempts for which she was grateful.
She picked up the steaming mug and inhaled the strong brew. She smiled once again, knowing they’d run out of this flavor a few days ago. Alex must have gone out early to get some here for this morning. She took a sip then reached to nibble on the toast.
Alex plucked a few grapes from the tray and popped them in his mouth while Sammy bounced softly waiting for his mother to finish her breakfast so she could get to the good part; her presents. Alex must have given him a stern warning earlier to give her time to eat and he was following orders. But his control was dwindling as Lily took her time with the meal, enjoying the early morning conversation with her family.
When her toast and eggs were done and she was just taking another sip of her coffee, Sammy finally grew impatient with waiting.
“Mama, you want your pwesents now?”
Lily leaned down, kissing her son on the nose. “You and Daddy are all the presents I need.”
“But we dot you more!” Sammy announced and Lily chuckled, nodding that she was ready.
Sammy slid off the bed and ran out of the room. Alex removed her tray and his eyes crinkled with laughter. “He worked really hard on this and he’s very proud of himself.”
“I’ll be appropriately awed,” Lily promised.
Sammy came back in, slower this time, with a square box wrapped in snowflake paper. He placed it gently on the bed then climbed up to sit near his Mom. Lily picked up the box, admired the wrapping then carefully removed it.
“I wonder what it is.”
Sammy’s eyes were about to pop out of his head. The box finally opened and Lily withdrew a hand-painted mug with decorations definitely done by a three year old.
“It’s beautiful!” Lily exclaimed. “You must have gotten this at one of the new art galleries. They have some of the finest artists selling there.”
Sammy’s eyes couldn’t get much bigger and he yelled, “No, Mama, I did it!”
Lily put on her best surprised face as she enthused, “You painted this amazing picture. I didn’t realize I had a talented artist for a son. I love it. Whenever I use it, I’ll remember how much effort you put into it just for me. Thank you.”
Sammy beamed with pride. Alex was grinning. Her heart flipped a few times thinking about how naturally Alex had taken over as Sammy’s father now that his biological father wasn’t around. And Sammy had easily accepted him as such. The love they had for each other was just as strong as any father and son and she couldn’t be happier.
Now Alex’s eyes showed excitement and he pulled out a small wrapped box from his pocket. He placed it in her lap and shrugged. “Just a little something I saw.”
Lily curiously opened the box. Inside was a small golden bracelet with several tiny jewels hanging from it.
“It’s a charm bracelet. Each stone represents one of us. This stone here is my birth stone and these are for you and Sammy. You can add more charms as special events happen if you want or you can just wear it with these three.”
Lily gazed at the three gems sparkling in the morning light and knew it was time for her little secret to come out.
“It’s beautiful, Alex. I love the sentiment and the symbolism. But I’m also relieved you can add to it.”
She reached for her husband’s hand and stared into his expressive eyes. “I was asleep when you got home last night and couldn’t tell you. I saw the doctor yesterday and she says we’ll need to add another charm to the bracelet in about eight months.”
Alex’s eyes went from puzzled to excited to filled with such love she was almost overwhelmed with it. He pulled her into his arms and pressed his lips gently against hers.
When he released her, his smile showed the happiness that he felt.
“It’s supposed to be your present, Lily, yet here you are giving me the most precious gift of all.”
Lily knew that the gift wasn’t just for him. It was one to be shared by this loving family that was gathered here on the bed. And that was indeed most precious of all.