About 5 years later
"Daddddyyyyy!" I awoke to a little body jumping up and down on my bed and calling my name, trying to wake me up.
"It's too early. Go find Mommy…" I mumbled, trying hopelessly to catch a few extra minutes of sleep on a Saturday morning. I knew that it was hopeless, so I opened one eye, only to see blond curls hanging in front of my face.
"Mommy's gonna make breakfast. Wake up! Alex needs you!" My five year old daughter was not going to give up, so up I got. Charlie jumped off the bed and took off down the hallway, I assume she wanted to rush to tell her mom of her success in waking me up. As a second year law student with two kids, sleep is hard to come by, so I take it while I can.
As I made my way to the kitchen, a smile burst onto my face. My beautiful wife was humming a song and watching from in front of the stove as Charlie and Alex, our 2 year old son, played with the dog, Church, in the living room. "See Mama, I told you I'd get Daddy up!" Charlie stopped playing and ran to her mom.
"Yes you did honey. Good job!" She kissed Charlie's cheek before coming over to me. She put her arms around my neck and kissed me deeply as my arms wrapped around her waists. "Good morning," she sighed, barely moving her lips from mine.
I pulled away a bit while still holding her close to me. "Good morning, Clary. Why are we up so early?" I asked, genuinely curious why we were up at 8 am on a Saturday morning. Then I noticed the kids were dressed.
"We're meeting Izzy, Simon, and Chloe at their house in an hour. I made pancakes!" She said, pointing to the pile of pancakes next to the stove. I smiled, excited to see my sister after a couple of weeks. She's a fashion writer, so her schedule is kind of crazy, especially while she balances that with raising Chloe. Simon creates video games. Don't ask me how he got that sweet gig, because I don't know.
"Great!" I said, scooping my son up and kissing his face. "Come on, big guy! Time for breakfast!" Clary set the table as I sat my two year old on my lap and Charlie hopped onto her chair. After a peaceful breakfast, I got dressed and joined my wife and kids on a short walk to Simon and Izzy's brownstone. As soon as we got there, four year old Chloe pulled the door open.
"Charlie! Yay!" my niece screamed, hugging Charlie close. The two girls are only nine months apart, so they are very close. Clary shifted Alex in her arms, laughing, as I closed the stroller and entered the house.
"Clary, Jace, you guys are actually on time!" my pregnant sister greeted us. She's about seven months along, and is finally taking some time off of work. I hugged her close, smiling, before letting her run to her best friend.
"How ya feeling Clare?" she asked my wife.
"I'm good. First trimester is over, that's always the worst, ya know. How about you. How's my sweet nephew doing in there?" Clary asked, placing her hands on her own stomach, where there was a slight bump.
"Great! Chloe is so excited, she helped Simon finish the nursery yesterday. She talks to Noah every night!" Izzy said as we all migrated into the living room, where Chloe and Charlie were playing with a doll house. Clary set Alex down and he ran to play with his sister and cousin.
"Speaking of Simon…" Before I could even finish the thought, the front door slammed and in walked a flustered looking Simon.
"Iz, three stores later, I found those breakfast bars you wanted," he huffed, sinking into his chair. "Oh, hey guys," he added when he saw we were there.
We spent the next few hours playing with the kids and watching college football, I packed the kids up and my family made the walk back to our apartment. I held my wife's hand and we pushed the stroller with our free hands. Clary had a soft smile on her face, seeming so peaceful. When we got back to the apartment, we put the kids down for a nap and Clary went to sketch. She's a wonderful artist, and she's actually been selling some of her work through her parents' gallery.
I sat down at my desk to do some homework, but I couldn't keep my mind from drifting to how lucky I was. I was married to a girl I'd loved my whole life, we had two beautiful children with a third on the way, a great family and friends, and a future as a lawyer. Life was good and I was a lucky man.