The Present

Jackie Stokes was sitting in the recliner watching her daughter Jasmine play with her toys on the floor when the doorbell rang. Jackie got to her feet, her almost full term pregnant stomach making it very difficult. When she had finally gotten up she hurried to the door, she looked through the peephole and saw a UPS driver holding a package. She opened the door and signed for the package and then carried it over to the recliner so she could sit back down. Once she was sitting again she glanced at it to see who it was for and to see who it was from.

She smiled and said "look Jazz it's for you, it's from Grandpa Roger and Grandma Jill in Texas."

Jasmine looked like she couldn't care less as she just continued to sit there and play with her toys. Jackie again managed to get back onto her feet and then she went into the kitchen and grabbed a scissors. She took the scissors back into the living room and cut the tape on the package. When she opened it there was a note it read

Jasmine, we saw this in the store the other day and we thought of you, we love and miss you. P.S Nick and Jackie, maybe you can use this to save up for her college fund. Love Roger and Jill, AKA Mom and Dad, AKA Grandma and Grandpa (Our personal favorite).

Under the note there was some bubble wrap and under the bubble wrap there was a glass pink piggy bank.

"Look at this Jasmine." Jackie said as she lifted the piggy bank out of the box.

"Ohhhhh" Jasmine said excitedly as she toddled over to Jackie.

Jackie dug in her jeans for some change. She found a couple of quarters and picked Jasmine up.

"Here Sweetie this is what you do. You take the money and you put it in the little hole like this."

Jackie dropped a quarter into the hole and to both of their surprise the piggy bank oinked at them. For a split second Jasmine looked scared and then her face lit up and she giggled.

"Here you feed the piggy." Jackie said handing Jasmine the other quarter.

"Piggy" Jasmine repeated.

"Yep, feed the piggy." Jackie said once again.

Jasmine dropped the quarter in the hole and clapped and giggled happily when the piggy bank once again made noise.

"Moe" she said looking at her mom.

"Ok, mommy has to go upstairs and get some more."

Jackie went upstairs to her bedroom. Her husband Nick had a bucket for spare change on his nightstand. She grabbed a handful and then returned to the living room.

"Here Peanut" Jackie said handing Jasmine a dime.

Jasmine giggled, "piggy" she said excitedly as she dropped the dime in the hole. She grinned and clapped her little hands when the pig made noise.

"Moe" She said again.

Jackie smiled and handed her a nickel.

"Uh-oh" Jasmine said when she accidently missed the hole and the nickel landed on the floor.

"It's ok, pick it up and put in there." Jackie said with a smile.

She did and burst into a fit of giggles when the pig made noise. Jasmine continued to put money in the pig until Nick got home about 15 minutes later.

"Dada" Jasmine said happily as she greeted him at the door.

"Hi Kiddo" Nick said as he gave her a pat on the head.

"Dada, Dada, Dada" Jasmine said excitedly.

"Jasmine, Jasmine, Jasmine" Nick said with a laugh.

"Dada" Jasmine said tugging on his hand.

"Hold on, let Daddy take his shoes off and then I'll go with you." Nick said smiling.

"Dada Piggy." Jasmine said.

Nick looked at Jackie who was still sitting in the recliner. "Did she just call me a pig?" Nick asked with shock evident in his voice.

Jackie laughed "No Nicky, she's trying to tell you that you're mom and dad sent her a present.

Nick groaned "Please do not tell me they sent her a pot belly pig."

Jackie laughed again "no, they sent her a piggy bank."

Nick smiled "That's nice." He said.

"DADA" Jasmine yelled as she continued to tug on Nick's hand.

By now Nick had taken his shoes off, "Alright, I'm ready, let's go." Nick said, letting his daughter lead him to the recliner, where Jackie sat with the piggy bank.

"Wow that's neat Jazz." Nick said when he saw the piggy bank.

"Mama moe" Jasmine said.

By now the handful of coins Jackie had gotten were already in the piggy bank.

"Sorry Sweetie, mommy doesn't have anymore."

Jasmine was undeterred, she turned to Nick "Dada moe" she said sounding hopeful.

Nick didn't know what she was talking about.

"What does she want?" Nick asked Jackie sounding confused.

Jasmine was impatient, she wanted change right now "Moe" she said loudly as she put her little finger in the hole.

"Oh she wants change." Nick said finally understanding.

"She's a smart cookie, one way or the other she was going to make me understand what she wanted." Nick said with a laugh.

Nick smiled as he dug in his pocket, he looked at Jackie and said "She's only two and she's already asking me for money, that isn't good, when she gets to be a teenager I might have to get a second job."

Jackie laughed.

Nick pulled out some change from his pocket and handed Jasmine a quarter. She giggled once again when the piggy bank made noise as she dropped the quarter into the hole.

Nick looked at Jackie and said "I've never seen a piggy bank that does that, that's pretty neat." He said.

"I know, I said the same thing." Jackie said. Then she said. "Honey we should call your parents and thank them, I was going to call them earlier but I figured I would wait for you to come home so you could talk to them too."

"Ok that's a good idea." Nick said as he got his cell phone out of his pocket.

He dialed his mom's cell phone number.

"Hi Mom." Nick said cheerfully when his mother answered.

He put the phone on speaker phone so Jackie and Jasmine could hear too.

"Nicky is Jackie in labor?" His mom asked sounding hopeful.

Nick looked over at Jackie and smiled, she returned the smile and then Nick said "Nope, we probably have a couple more weeks before that happens."

"Oh" Jill said disappointed.

"The reason we called was because Jasmine got the present you sent her."

"Oh good, does she like it?" She asked.

"She loves it, she has been enthralled with it all morning. Thanks so much for sending it" Jackie said.

"Good, I am so glad she likes it." Jill said.

"Here listen." Nick said as he handed Jasmine a quarter, Jasmine giggled once again at the noise.

"She does like it." Jill said happily.

Nick could picture his mother's smile.

"Say thank you Jasmine." Nick told her.

"Tank oooohh" Jasmine said with a grin.

"You're welcome Sweetheart." Her proud grandma said.

Nick's cell phone started beeping at him, indicating the battery was dying

"Hey mom, I'm going to have to let you go, my phone is about to die." He said.

"Ok, thanks for calling, I will talk to you guys later." She said.

"Thanks again for sending Jasmine the piggy bank." Jackie said.

"Our pleasure." She said and then quickly added "And Jackie, the next time we hear from you, you better be in labor."

"If not what will happen?" Jackie asked with a laugh.

"Or else" Her mother in law said with a chuckle.

"Alright then, we'll talk to you in a couple of weeks." Nick said.

"Oh hush Nicholas."

Nick grinned, "bye mom" he said and then hung up the phone.

"I think she really wants her grandson." Jackie said with a laugh.

"I think so too." Nick agreed.

A few minutes later Jasmine started yawning

"I'm sure she's tired, it is way past her nap time." Jackie said.

She picked her up and carried her upstairs.

She read her a story and then put her down for her nap.

Jackie then went downstairs.

"That was easy, she fell asleep pretty quickly." She told Nick.

"That's good." Nick said.

Jackie sat down in a chair at the kitchen table. Nick noticed she did so with a grimace on her face.

"You ok?" he asked.

"Yeah I'm ok, but my back is killing me today." She said.

Nick gave her a sympathetic smile and grabbed her hand. "Come here." He said gently pulling her to her feet.

"Where are we going?" She asked as he led her into the living room.

"Sit down." He instructed when they had reached the couch.

She sat down and looked at him curiously.

He sat down next to her and began to gently massage her back. She smiled at him and closed her eyes.

"Feel good?" He asked.

"Like heaven." She answered.

Nick massaged her back for a good 15 minutes before he said "You just relax and put your feet up, I'll make dinner and take care of Jasmine when she wakes up from her nap."

"You don't have to do all of that, I'm fine, that massage did wonders, I feel as good as new." She said.

"I know I don't have to, but I want to." He insisted.

"Nicky really I'm…"

"shhh, I'm not arguing with you, now lay back and relax." He said as he pulled the lever on the couch so it would recline.

"You're so sweet, thank you." She said gratefully.

He grinned "I know I am, and you are welcome."

He wandered out of the room and came back a couple of minutes later with a pillow.

"Here, take a nap." He said as he laid the pillow behind her head.

She wanted to argue but she knew it wouldn't do any good so she laid her head back against the pillow, closed her eyes and fell asleep.

She woke up a couple of hours later. After a great deal of effort she managed to get to her feet and waddle out to the kitchen. She found Jasmine in her highchair eating grapes and Nick sitting at the kitchen table reading the paper.

"Hi Mama" Jasmine said when Jackie walked into the room.

"Hi Peanut." She said.

"How'd you sleep?" Nick asked.

"Very good." She answered as she gave him a light peck on the lips.

She didn't smell anything cooking in the oven so she figured Nick had forgotten to make dinner, and he had been so sweet that she didn't have the heart to remind him he'd said he would.

"I'll make dinner." She offered.

"It's taken care of." He assured her.

"But I don't smell anything cooking." She said.

"I've got it covered." He insisted.

She shrugged and got a bottle of water out of the fridge before sitting down next to him at the table.

A few minutes later the doorbell rang so Nick got up to answer it. Jackie couldn't see who it was but she heard Nick say thank you before closing the door. He came back into the kitchen carrying a big white bag. The bag had the logo of the couple's favorite Chinese restaurant on it.

"Here, I got you your favorite; sweet and sour chicken."

"Are you running for the husband of the year award today or something?" Jackie asked with a grin.

"Yep, do I have a shot at winning?" He quipped.

"Keep this up and you'll have a runaway victory." She said with a laugh.

Jackie got up and got a little plate so she could share her chicken with Jasmine. She cut some chicken into tiny pieces and then went to grab some of Nick's as well.

"I wouldn't give her any of mine, it's pretty spicy." He said.

"Oh, ok." She said as she then set Jasmine's plate on her highchair.

After they ate Nick had one more surprise, he also ordered Jackie her favorite desert from the restaurant, a doughnut with sugar draped on it.

"And the winner for husband of the year goes to Nick Stokes." Jackie said in the deepest voice she could.

Nick laughed "Finally, I have been trying to win that award for nearly 8 years."

Jackie laughed and said "Well if it makes you feel any better you've been runner up a couple of times."

"Gee thanks" Nick said, pretending to be offended but the grin on his face gave him away.

After dinner Nick insisted on giving Jasmine her bath while she read the paper at the kitchen table.

Nick was not having an easy time with it though "Jasmine, sit down, I don't want you to fall and crack your noodle." She heard Nick say

"Nood" Jasmine answered.

"Yeah noodle." He responded.

A few minutes later she heard him say "Jazz cut it out, you're getting the floor soaked."

"Need help Nicky?" Jackie called up the stairs.

"Nope, we're fine." He answered.

"You gotta behave, I don't want mommy to think she has to come up here, she's tired." Nick said.

Jackie smiled as she went back and sat down. After her bath Nick got Jasmine in her PJ'S and read her a story but Jasmine was not satisfied.

"Ting Dada." Jasmine told her father.

"No honey, daddy doesn't want to sing to you tonight."

Jasmine stuck out her lower lip in a pouting motion.

"Not the lower lip." He begged her.

"Ting" she said again.

"Jazz I don't know the song that mommy sings you."

Every night Jackie sang Jasmine a special bedtime song, but Nick never learned the words and he was regretting that now.

Jasmine smiled sweetly at her father "ting"

Nick sighed "Alright, you win." Nick said. "Jackie, can you come up here for a minute?"

When she did he said "Sorry but she wants me to sing to her but I don't know the words to her bedtime song."

"Oh, you are actually going to let me do something?" She asked jokingly.

"Oh hush." He said with a grin.

She sat down in the rocking chair and then Nick handed Jasmine over to her. "I see the moon and the moon sees me, the moon sees somebody I want to see. God bless the moon and god bless me, god bless the somebody I want to see." Jackie sang.

By the time she was done singing Jasmine was asleep. Jackie laid her down and then tiptoed out of the room.

"You've got to write down the words to that song, so I'll know how to sing it to her next time." Nick said."

"Ok I will tomorrow." She said.

A few hours later the couple got ready for bed and when they laid down Jackie said

"Thanks for everything today Sweetie, I love you."

"I love you too, and it was my pleasure. I like being supportive, it makes me feel like I am a part of the pregnancy." He said.

She grinned "Well of course you are a part of the pregnancy, who do you think got me pregnant in the first place?"

He laughed and said "True, but you know what I mean."

"Yeah I do." She said.

She smiled as she reached over, grabbed his hand, and placed it on her stomach. It felt like the baby was playing soccer.

"Your son is going crazy." She said with a laugh.

He smiled as he kept his hand on her stomach.

Moments later Jackie drifted off to sleep.

"Night little guy." He said as he gave her stomach one last gentle pat before falling asleep himself.