Jonathan and Jennifer had loved the bigger house and the sale went through quickly, the family who lived there were moving to The US and they'd laughed about them doing the opposite. They'd moved in 6 weeks after first seeing it and all three of them had settled in quickly.
Amy loved the garden and they'd bought her a slide, a swing set and a sand box. For her Third Birthday she'd gotten a climbing frame and a Log Cabin Play House and she spent a lot of time playing outdoors.
They became friendly with some of their neighbours who also had young children and Amy had 3 children around the same age to play with which was great for her.
The year between Amy's 3rd and 4th Birthdays had been one of change and excitement for her as she had started Pre-School. Jennifer and Jonathan knew it was the right thing for her but it had been hard leaving her in the charge of someone else, even just for three hours a day, three days a week. Jonathan carried on working two full days a week and would sometimes go in to the office for a few hours if he was dropping Amy off on the third day, and that allowed Jennifer to work on any articles she had to do. They had a great routine and their lives were as perfect as anyone's could be.
Jennifer had told Jonathan jokingly when Amy was smaller that there would come a day that he would have to say "no" to her, and he'd laughingly replied that he never would. But just before her Fourth Birthday when he asked her what she would like as a present, he was faced with having to say "no" to her request. It was one which both of them had thought might come one day and they weren't sure how to deal with when it did. For her Birthday Amy wanted the same thing her best friend Sophie got – a new baby brother.
How did you explain to a four year old that although you would like nothing more than to give her a baby brother or sister, it wasn't possible?
Jonathan said how lovely it was for Sophie to have her new brother and explained that neither he nor Jennifer had any brothers or sisters and Amy was like them. Then he quickly distracted her with other ideas for Birthday presents and told her about the surprise that they had for her – a trip on a big aeroplane to go to Disneyland and see all her favourite characters. Not a trip to Paris where they had been last year, but to California where she had been born and where their other house was.
Amy had been excited and she had told Jennifer all about it when she bathed her.
"Daddy says we'll meet all my favourites and get to have breakfast with them, that'll be lots and lots of fun!" Jennifer smiled at her daughter's accent which was a mixture of American and British. She'd always been a great mimic and since she'd been at Pre-School a lot of her words had a British tone and sometimes she said a sentence that was half and half which Jennifer found endearing. It made her think about her Dad, he'd have gotten a kick out of his Grandchild being raised in the land where he was born, it was that connection to the UK which meant so much to Jennifer and she loved Jonathan for understanding that.
"We will all have lots of fun, Disneyland is a magical place sweetheart. Daddy and I went many times when we lived in our other house but this will be the most special time because now we have you with us."
"Daddy says I get to have two Birthdays" Amy laughed, her whole face lighting up. "Two Birthdays, that's excellent isn't it Mommy?"
"It IS excellent." Jennifer agreed smiling at Amy's choice of words. "Are you looking forward to your party?"
"Yes all my friends are coming and Tamara says her Mummy bought her new party shoes."
"Would you like new party shoes?"
"No thank you, I like my red ones I wore to Sophie's party. Daddy says I'm having the same magician that Sophie had."
"That's right, you liked him didn't you?"
"He was very funny and he made animals from balloons."
"Mommy is going to get the Party Bags tomorrow so you can choose the ones you like best."
"And we need to get things to go in them, little presents and chocolates and a pencil and bubbles..." Amy told her.
"Ok sweetie, you can tell me what we need to get when we're out tomorrow."
"Daddy asked me what present I wanted for my Birthday." Amy said as Jennifer finished washing her and sat back to look at her, wondering what she'd ask for, she loved dolls at the moment and had seen a crying baby doll in Harrods which she'd liked. Her little face lit up as she smiled at Jennifer.
"What is it, is it a surprise?" Jennifer asked smiling back.
"I told Daddy that I wanted the same present Sophie got." Jennifer tried to think what Laura and Rick had given Sophie, they'd all been at her party but she didn't recall anything that Amy had shown a real interest in at the time.
"What did you tell Daddy it was?"
"I told him it was Harry. But I can't have Harry cos he's Sophie's brother so I need to have my own brother Mommy." Jennifer's smile faded but she quickly realised that Amy was looking at her waiting for a response.
"Oh sweetheart it's not that simple, you can't just ask for a baby brother for your Birthday." Jennifer tried desperately to think of how to word this and silently cursed Jonathan for not warning her.
"I don't just want him for my Birthday Mommy. I want him forever!"
"A Birthday present should be something nice that you buy from a shop." Jennifer started to feel uncomfortable.
"You can't buy babies from shops Mommy, you need to grow them in your tummy."
"That's right sweetie..."
"I grew in your tummy so my brother can grow there too." To Amy it was simple enough, she had no idea about fertility problems or traumatic births and what had to be done to stop haemorrhaging. She was far too young to understand the reasons why Mommy couldn't have another baby. If it had been possible it would have happened long ago.
"What did Daddy say?"
"Daddy said he didn't have brothers or sisters and you didn't."
"That's true Amy."
"Daddy didn't have a Mommy or Daddy so that's why he has no brothers or sisters." This was getting more difficult and Jennifer was trying to think about what to say next when she heard Jonathan come up the stairs.
"Conference call over!" He smiled, then realised something was wrong. A moment later he made eye contact with Jennifer and got the horrible feeling he knew what it was. He'd been waiting for the right moment to tell her about Amy's wish but it looked like Amy had beaten him to it. His expression told Jennifer how badly he felt and she knew it would be easy for her to forgive him, it always had been! She just wished they'd been prepared for this conversation.
"Daddy was just checking that everything was organised at our other house in California. I had to make sure we had your bedroom all ready for you as the last time you were there you were just a little girl and it had baby wallpaper. It'll look like a big girl's bedroom when you see it in a few days."
"That was nice of Daddy." Jennifer smiled at Amy then added "I'm going to go down and make your supper sweetie, Daddy will help you get dried and your pj's on."
"Ok." She nodded her agreement and Jonathan caught and held his wife's gaze a moment as she stood up. He mouthed "sorry" to her and she nodded then headed out leaving him lifting Amy out of the bath and in to her warm towel.
Jonathan helped Amy get ready for bed and then brought her down for her supper, fortunately nobody mentioned the baby brother issue again until after Amy was in bed and fast asleep looking forward to her party.
Jennifer was sitting on the sofa when Jonathan came downstairs, after he'd tucked Amy in he'd made a couple of calls to his LA office, and emailed back a document they'd sent him earlier. He looked a bit shamefaced and she couldn't help but smile at him.
"I'm so sorry Jennifer, I didn't get a chance to warn you. I would have made the time if I'd realised she was going to repeat our whole conversation back to you."
"We should have been ready for this conversation anyway. I guess we would have been if we'd known how old she'd be when she asked."
"Any idea what we should say when she asks again?" Jonathan sat next to her.
"We could try the truth - that we didn't think we would be lucky enough to have one baby but then we were blessed with her... or maybe that Mommy is too old to have another baby."
"She won't really understand the age issue darling, you're the most beautiful Mommy around, and you certainly don't look too old!"
"Flattery won't help you know." She laughed as he put his arm around her, his expression turning more serious.
"It's not flattery and you know it. You are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, and you're even more beautiful now than when I first met you. We're blessed to have Amy in our lives, and I'm so blessed to have you in mine." Jennifer knew he was sincere and she felt the lump in her throat, he made her feel so cherished, and so loved. "I never imagined how amazing spending my life with you would be, and as much as I wish we had been able to have more children I think we created someone really special. Amy is smart and intuitive, she's funny and sensitive, she's bright and she's so beautiful. She is going to be somebody."
"Oh Jonathan..." Was all she could manage to say, she was so touched by his words.
When Amy woke up the next morning she was really excited about going shopping with Jennifer for the party things, and mid morning they headed out along to the Party Shop on Kensington High Street. It had a great choice of things and they bought everything Amy said they needed. Instead of party bags they got pink party boxes and blue for the boys with all the matching toys, puzzles, bubbles etc and Amy said they needed to get chocolates and candy to put in them so they went in to Sainsbury's on their way home and got a choice of things – Amy's favourites!
"We'll get Daddy to help us make the boxes up after lunch." Jennifer told Amy as they got home laden down with all their purchases
"Daddy, we're back!" Amy shouted as they opened the front door and Jennifer smiled at her.
"I think Daddy will be up in his office sweetie, go up and tell him we're home please and see if he'd like some lunch."
"Ok dokey!" Amy headed off upstairs to Jonathan's home office and Jennifer could hear them chatting as she put the party goodies in the dining room. A couple of minutes later Amy reappeared and said "Yes please Daddy will have some lunch... and I told him we need his help to make up the boxes after lunch Mommy."
"That's good, then we'll be all organised for tomorrow."
"Excellent!" Amy's favourite word again and Jennifer smiled
"Come and help me with lunch then please sweetheart."
After they'd eaten and Jonathan had cleared everything away they got the boxes and all the goodies out. Jonathan made the boxes up while Jennifer put the toys and other gifts in and then lastly Amy put a little pack of jelly beans and a chocolate bar in. There were 16 children coming to the party and they left all the completed boxes on the dining table. Amy had a few packets of candy and a couple of chocolate bars left over and she took one of each up to her bedroom when she went to play with her dolls.
Jonathan and Jennifer retired to the sofa in the living room and they spoke about plans for the party the following day. Everything was organised and the only thing left to do in the morning was collect the cakes. Instead of a big cake Amy had chosen to have cupcakes and their local bakery was making them fresh first thing.
"Amy is so excited about her party." Jonathan smiled
"I know, she's been to so many others recently and she wants her friends to love hers, she wants it to be excellent!" They shared a grin at her favourite word
"I'm sure it will be. I can't believe she's 4 already." Jonathan reached for her hand and squeezed her fingers. "Remember how surprised we were when Jack told us you were pregnant?" Jennifer nodded
"It seemed so unreal. We could never have imagined how our lives are now."
"Mommy!" The little voice sang out, filling Jennifer's heart with joy. A moment later Amy appeared in the room.
"Yes, what is it sweetie?"
"We didn't get a party box for Harry!"
"I know, he's too little for all the fun things you chose for the boxes, they are for bigger girls and boys."
"But if he's at the party he should get a present to take home, that's just fair Mommy!"
"Ok, we'll see if we can find a little present for Harry."
"Can we go and find it now?"
"I was going to do some writing this afternoon Amy."
"Daddy?" Amy turned to Jonathan
"I won't know what to buy honey. We can wait until Mommy is finished her work and then we can all go up to the High Street and find something." Amy looked at him for a minute before nodding and heading back upstairs again. "She's certainly taken to little Harry."
"I know. She isn't going to take it very well when we tell her she won't be getting her own brother..."
They went out later to get something for Harry, and Amy insisted on taking her pram and baby doll with her which further reinforced Jennifer's feelings that she wasn't going to take their baby news very well. She was really interested in all things baby/Mommy related now and had been since Harry was born.
They bought a brightly coloured rattle for Harry that Amy had chosen then they took a walk along to the park.
It was a nice afternoon and Jonathan and Jennifer sat on a bench while Amy played on the swings and the climbing frame. She'd always had great balance and co-ordination and they didn't need to worry about her clambering about on her own.
"Do you need any help with the packing later?" Jonathan asked. They were leaving in two days, the day after Amy's party and the day before her actual Birthday.
"I think it's more or less done thanks. Is everything ok at Willow Pond?"
"Yes, the house is opened up and aired, the beds are made up and Amy's bedroom was re-decorated and re furnished."
"What did they do with the nursery furniture?" Jennifer asked, smiling as she remembered the nights she'd sat with Amy in the rocking chair in her Nursery. Her little warm body held against Jennifer's, her sweet breath against her neck as she slept on her chest, that had been the best feeling in the world. She was growing up so fast and if Jennifer could have had another baby then she would have done. Amy was by far her greatest achievement, their greatest achievement.
"They just moved it in to one of the other rooms so we can decide what to do with it when we're there."
"Daddy!" He turned to the sound of his daughter yelling "Come see what I can do."
They both got up and walked over to where Amy was dangling from the monkey bars, getting herself from one side to the other.
"Well done sweetheart!" Jonathan said standing by the bars "That's excellent!" Jennifer grinned as Amy laughed.
Amy woke up on the day of her party full of excitement and Jennifer knew they'd need to keep her calm or she'd be exhausted by lunchtime. So after breakfast Jennifer went in to her room where she was playing with her dolls.
"Amy, you come and have a shower with me then you can go with Daddy to collect the cakes while I start getting things ready here."
"How long until my friends come?"
"The party starts at two sweetie so there's still nearly 5 hours yet. We have lots of time to get ready. Come on, come and have a nice shower." Jennifer put her hand out and Amy got up and went with her taking one of her dolls along too.
The shower cubicle in the main bathroom was a double one so Jennifer and Amy quite often had showers together, it was easier doing it that way in the morning. While Jennifer washed her hair Amy sat under the warm water soaping her doll, she watched her as she rinsed the shampoo out.
For many years they'd thought they'd never be parents and having Amy had been a dream come true so Jennifer was finding it hard to deal with the fact that she was so sad about not being able to give Amy the sibling she wanted. Because it definitely couldn't happen naturally she hadn't really thought that much about it until now, but being faced with explaining it to a four year old had brought it all to the surface and she hoped that she could explain things to Amy without getting emotional.
Jonathan and Amy headed out to the Bakery to pick up the cupcakes, it was a ten minute walk from home so they wandered along slowly, chatting about the party and their trip on an aeroplane the following day. Amy was used to travelling but this was a longer flight than they normally did so she had helped her Mommy pack her cabin bag with books and games and colouring in stuff as well as her favourite soft toy, and she was taking her baby doll with her too. Flying First Class meant they had seats which reclined fully in to beds so she could sleep or just lie down and watch movies. They were taking her portable dvd player and a pile of dvd's so she wouldn't get too bored, but they were hoping that she would be too excited to be bored!
The cupcakes for the party were boxed and put in bags which Jonathan carried and Anthony at the Bakery had made a special little Birthday cake for Amy and he boxed and bagged it for her to carry, which she did with a wide smile, after thanking him.
Jennifer was in the dining room when they got back and she knew she was going to have to think of something for Amy to do as she was so excited and it was still more than 3 hours until the party started.
They were almost ready for their guests, because they were leaving the following day Jennifer had hired caterers who would set up and then clear away everything so she decided that she and Amy would go to the park for a while to pass some time, and leave Jonathan to catch up on some work before the party.
Amy took the doll's pram with Baby Annabel, her favourite baby doll in it, and they walked along and in to Kensington Gardens then walked up past the Palace to the playground. They chatted about their holiday and Jennifer told Amy about their house at Willow Pond as she'd only been there twice since they moved to London and didn't remember it.
"Did I sleep in my own room when I was a little baby like Harry?"
"Not at first you didn't, you slept in Mommy and Daddy's bedroom for a few weeks and then you slept in the Nursery and Mommy came to get you when you needed me for anything."
"Like if I did a poo in my nappy?" Amy laughed, using the British terminology, and Jennifer laughed too.
"Yes, or if you were hungry or just wanted a cuddle."
"Did I want lots of cuddles?"
"Yes you did. I loved sitting with you during the night when it was just you and Mommy and the house was all quiet. It was our special time." Jennifer smiled but she had the feeling she knew where the conversation was going.
"All babies like cuddles don't they Mommy?"
"Yes I think they do."
Amy stopped walking and turned to Jennifer. She looked so grown up with such a serious expression on her sweet face and Jennifer waited for her to speak.
"Why have we not got another baby Mommy?"
Jennifer looked around her and saw the nearby bench.
"Come and sit down here a minute with me sweetie." She said walking towards the bench with Amy following her.
They both sat down side by side and Amy looked up at Jennifer.
"A long time ago I had an operation on my tummy and afterwards the doctors told Daddy and I that we might not be able to have any babies of our own. We were very sad about that but we worked at jobs we liked and we visited lots of places in the world so we had lots of happy times together. Then one day I wasn't feeling very well and Daddy took me to see the doctor. His name was Jack and he told me that I was going to have a baby."
"Yes." Jennifer smiled and reached down to pull her daughter on to her lap. "Daddy and I were so happy, it was a dream come true." Amy nodded and Jennifer kissed her head. "You were born a few weeks early and had some problems, and Mommy had to have another operation. Both you and I were fine afterwards but the doctor told us that we couldn't have any more babies and we would only have you."
"Were you sad again Mommy?"
"No baby, we weren't sad, we were so happy because we had you. You are a very special girl."
"So you can't grow any more babies in your tummy?"
"No, I can't. I'm sorry that you can't have a baby brother like Harry, or a baby sister. I know you would have liked that but it just isn't possible." Amy looked thoughtful for a moment and then nodded.
"Ok Mommy." She said softly.
Jennifer stood up from the bench with Amy in her arms and kissed her again before putting her down.
"We better start walking home now so we can get ready for your friends coming."
"I hope all my friends have fun today." Amy said as they started back through the park.
"I'm sure they will, and I hope you have fun too. You're the Birthday Girl!"
"Anthony made me a special cake and he said I was to have it on my proper Birthday so we need to pack it in my case to go on the aeroplane!"
"We'll do that after your party and you can check that you have everything that you need to take with you."
"Ok dokey!" Amy smiled and Jennifer returned it, relieved that the explanation about no more babies seemed to have gone better than she'd feared. She knew Amy was smart enough to understand what she'd told her, she also knew she might ask more questions, but she would know now that she wasn't going to get a baby brother or sister of her own.
Back at the house Jennifer gave Amy a snack while she went up and got changed, and then she took Amy upstairs to get her ready.
Amy's favourite party dress was navy blue which with her colouring really suited her, and she put her red party shoes on. Jennifer brushed her daughter's strawberry blonde hair and put the red slides that Amy chose in, then stood back to look at her.
"You look beautiful." Jennifer smiled.
"Thank you Mommy."
Just then the doorbell rang and Amy grinned as Jennifer checked her watch. It was only 1.45 but before she could say that it might not be one of her friends Amy was off down the stairs and Jennifer had to tell her not to run.
Jonathan was opening the door as Amy slid to a stop beside him and he grinned at her thinking how pretty she looked. He saw her expression change from delight to polite acknowledgement as she looked out and saw it was the Magician.
"Hello Birthday Girl!" He said as Jonathan motioned to him to come in.
"Hello." Amy replied as Jennifer appeared behind her and greeted him.
"Come in to the living room." Jonathan told him as they walked through with Amy following them.
He was getting everything set up when the doorbell rang again and this time Amy got there first. Jonathan had unlocked it so all she had to do was turn the handle and when she did and saw it was Sophie who was there her whole face lit up with excitement. She took hold of Sophie's hand as Jennifer held the door open for Laura who was carrying baby Harry in his car seat.
"Are we first?" Laura asked "Sophie was so excited, she'd have been here hours ago if I'd let her."
"I took Amy to the park earlier to try and calm her down." Jennifer laughed
"It's so sweet isn't it?"
"Yes it is. I just hope she calms down enough to sleep tonight!"
"Of course you're flying out to LA tomorrow aren't you? Sophie is really going to miss Amy."
"She'll have Harry to distract her." Jennifer smiled looking down at the sleeping baby who had caused Amy to ask for a brother of her own. "Come on through and get a seat."
In the living room Jonathan had the girls helping set up the Magician's things and he turned and smiled at Laura as she walked across to one of the sofa's and placed Harry's car seat on the floor next to her.
Everybody arrived in quick succession and there were lots of Birthday gifts which Jonathan took and put in the conservatory. It was a fun and laughter filled afternoon and all of Amy's friends seemed to have great fun just as she had wanted them to.
They had the Birthday tea after the Magician left, then they brought out the cakes and at the end of the afternoon they handed out the party boxes and everybody left happy.
Laura, Sophie and Harry were the last to leave as Harry had woken for a feed while the children were having their cakes. After he'd been changed Laura handed him to Jennifer to hold while she packed up his things, and Amy and Sophie were through in the conservatory looking at all the brightly wrapped parcels so Jennifer walked through to join them. Looking up at her Mommy with Harry Amy smiled and pointed to all the presents.
"Can Sophie help me open them Mommy?"
"I don't mind, but we need to ask Laura, she might need to take Harry home now."
"Harry will be fine with you holding him. Mummy won't mind." Sophie said as Laura came in to the room.
"Mummy won't mind what?"
"If I stay to help Amy open her presents."
"Ok but not for too long Soph, Jennifer and Jonathan need to get organised for their holidays tomorrow."
"You need to open them fast Amy!" Sophie laughed and Amy laughed too as they started lifting up the packages
"Hold on a minute until Daddy gets the pad and pen so we can write down who gave you what for the thank you notes." Jennifer told Amy as she and Sophie started to open the biggest parcel.
"We'll just open this one Jennifer, ok?" Sophie flashed her a smile
"Ok!" Jennifer agreed with her daughter's friend and watched as the girls ripped off the Disney Princess wrapping paper.
Jonathan came back with the pad and the girls handed him the gift cards as they opened each present. Laura helped them as Jennifer stood with eight week old Harry cradled against her, remembering how nice the weight of a baby in her arms felt. For a moment Amy stopped and looked at her and Jennifer saw her serious expression so she moved towards her and reached out with her free hand to touch her cheek.
"Are you ok baby? You've got lots of lovely presents from your friends." Amy nodded and after a moment went back to the unwrapping.
When it was all done and Jonathan went to get a bin bag for the wrapping paper Jennifer handed Harry back to Laura who put him in his car seat and told Sophie it was time to go.
Jennifer and Amy went to the door with them and the two girls hugged each other before saying goodbye.
Jonathan was in the conservatory when they went back through and he'd cleared up and put Amy's presents in to piles. She had toys and books, DVD's and games and the doll that she'd liked that cried and wet its diaper, Laura had bought her that from Sophie and Harry.
He lifted her up in to his arms and kissed her cheek and Jennifer smiled as Amy put her arms around his neck and hugged him.
"Are you tired sweetheart?"
"It's been a busy day Daddy!"
"It has. Did you have a good party?"
"Yes... it was excellent. My friends all had fun and they liked their party boxes."
"That's great. You got lots of lovely presents, there are some new books there, maybe we can read one at bedtime?"
"Why don't you come and get changed out of your party dress then we can sit and watch one of your new DVD's." Jennifer said, knowing it would be a Disney one she'd chose.
Ten minutes later they were sitting in the living room, curled up together on the sofa, while Jonathan headed up to his office to catch up on Business.
After the movie Amy helped Jennifer to finish packing her cabin bag, including her Birthday cake and one of her new books, and then she had a bath and was in bed and fast asleep by 8 after a story from her Daddy.
Jonathan had called for a takeaway for them and after they'd eaten Jennifer finished their packing and Jonathan took the cases downstairs and left them in the dining room. Their flight was at midday and they were being picked up at 9 as they wanted Amy to experience the excitement of being at the airport and going on holiday.
When he came back upstairs Jennifer was in the shower and he joined her.
"I checked on Amy and she's sound asleep."
"That's good, hopefully she'll get 12 hours."
"I'm hoping for 8 hours myself." Jonathan smiled as he reached for the bar of soap.
"Well considering it's not 10 O'clock yet I'm sure you'll be fine." Jennifer smiled back at him and he leant across and kissed her lips.
"Ah but I wasn't planning on going straight to sleep!" Jennifer laughed as he kissed her again.
"Want me to wash your back?" She asked holding out her hand for the soap. He nodded and handed it to her.
"My favourite answer."
They were lying in each other's arms after making love and Jonathan kissed Jennifer's head as she draped her arm across his chest.
"What a day... I'm so glad we had the party for Amy, she had a wonderful time."
"It was definitely excellent, just like she wanted!" Jonathan agreed and they both smiled.
"Did she tell you about the chat we had in the park?" Jennifer asked as she drew circles on his chest with her finger.
"Yes, she didn't say much though, just that Mommy had told her that she'd had an operation on her tummy and couldn't grow any more babies in it."
"Was she ok?"
"Yes she seemed to be. She wasn't upset and we changed the subject on to our holiday so it was fine."
"That's good. She's going to love Disneyland and it'll be nice seeing what she thinks of Willow Pond."
"I hope she's ok on the flight."
"She'll be fine, she has all her things we packed in her cabin bag to keep her occupied and she'll have had a good night's sleep too."
"Speaking of a good night's sleep..." Jonathan said yawning. Jennifer lifted her head from his chest and he reached over to kiss her lips.
"Good night Darling." She said and then added "I love you."
"I love you too." He replied kissing her again.
Jennifer woke up as Amy climbed on to the bed and she lifted her head to look at the clock. It was 5am so they still had another couple of hours until they needed to be up.
"Are you ok baby?" She whispered as she lifted the covers for Amy to get in beside her.
"Yes. I just wanted to see you Mommy." Jennifer was a bit surprised as Amy rarely woke up and wanted in with them, but it had been a big day for her so she put her arms around her daughter and they snuggled down again.
Jennifer left Jonathan and Amy sound asleep when she went for her shower two hours later and she'd dried her hair and was dressed before Jonathan woke up. Like Jennifer he was surprised to see Amy in their bed, she almost never woke up and came through to them during the night.
He slipped out of the bed and went through to have a shower, catching Jennifer's eye in the mirror as she was putting on her makeup.
"Good morning." He smiled kissing her cheek as he passed. Returning his smile Jennifer watched him in the mirror as he went to switch the shower on.
"Is Amy still asleep?"
"Yes. I didn't even hear her come through, is she ok?"
"She said she was, she came through about 5 and said she just wanted to see me!"
"I'm sure she'll be ok."
"I'll wake her up in a minute and she can get in the shower after you."
"Ok." Jonathan went for his shower and Jennifer finished her makeup then went to wake Amy.
They were all ready and waiting when the car came to take them to Heathrow and the traffic wasn't too bad so they were there, checked in, and on their way to the First Class Lounge in plenty of time for their flight.
They were there until the announcement for their flight to LAX, although Jennifer had taken Amy out to have a look at the shops and she'd bought a new Barbie in Hamleys.
They got to the gate and Jonathan took their bags leaving Jennifer to take Amy's hand as they walked through the jetty to the aircraft. First Class was upstairs and she was really taken with the seats being like individual little cabins. Jennifer sat opposite her with Jonathan behind them.
It was a long flight and Amy played with her toys and watched a Disney movie on her DVD player. After her meal Jennifer read her a story and she watched one of the in-flight movies then Jonathan reclined her seat and made up the bed and she slept for a couple of hours. She did some colouring in when she woke up then had a snack and watched another Disney DVD. The last two hours were the longest and Jonathan read Amy a couple of stories as she sat on his knee, then they chatted about Disneyland and she dozed off again in his arms so he placed her back in the bed and she slept until they had to wake her for landing.
By the time they got through Immigration and collected their luggage Amy was wilting, although it was mid afternoon in LA, her body clock was on London time and it was way past her bedtime. They had a car waiting for them and it didn't take too long to get home.
As they drove up Willow Pond Road, Jennifer smiled at Jonathan. As much as she loved London, it felt good to be back at their first home together as a family. They approached the big white gate with the "H" emblazoned on it and the car stopped so Jonathan could get out and put in the security code. He watched as it slowly swung open then got back in the car and the driver passed through and carried on up to the house.
The driver helped Jonathan take the luggage in to the foyer then left them.
Jennifer took Amy's hand and they walked up the main staircase together, with Jonathan right behind them.
"This room was yours when you were a baby." Jennifer told Amy as she opened the doors to the room opposite theirs and turned to see her daughter's reaction as she looked at her newly decorated bedroom. "Daddy had it redesigned for you since you're a bigger girl now."
"Do you like it Amy?" Jonathan asked her.
"Yes it's very pretty Daddy." She told him as he walked to her and lifted her in to his arms. The room was painted pale pink and the feature wall was decorated with Fairies and Flowers and Butterflies. The bedding matched the wallpaper and the furniture was all white wood. The carpet was cream and there were a couple of rugs that matched the colours in the wallpaper. It was a beautiful room.
"It's lovely Jonathan." Jennifer smiled as she looked around. "It looks different to when you last slept in here Amy."
Amy nodded and put her head on her Daddy's shoulder
"Are you sleepy?" Jonathan asked her
"Is it bed time Daddy? It's still sunny outside."
"That's because it's a different time in California than it is in London. If you were at home you would be in your bed because it's night time there. Here it's still afternoon."
"Why don't you have a nap sweetie." Jennifer said standing next to them. "You sleep for a couple of hours then Mommy will wake you up and you can go for a swim in the pool with Daddy if you want to." Jennifer was keen to get everyone used to the time difference as quickly as possible but she could see Amy was exhausted so she decided a few hours sleep would be a good idea. "Daddy will bring you through to your bathroom first." She added walking towards Amy's en-suite bathroom.
Five minutes later Amy was climbing in to her new bed and underneath the Fairy comforter as Jonathan closed the blinds.
"Do you want Mommy to stay until you fall asleep?"
"No it's ok Mommy."
"We'll leave your bedroom doors open and we'll be downstairs if you wake up and need to come and find us."
Amy nodded and Jennifer leaned over to kiss her. Jonathan kissed her too and they left her to settle down under the covers.
Jennifer walked down the stairs slowly, reliving a lot of memories as she did. The interior had been rebuilt to the original blueprints so it only looked a little different than how it had before the fire.
It didn't feel like they had been away for three years, the house still felt lived in because the housekeeper came once a week to make sure everything was as it should be. They had sent her a shopping list of things to have in for their arrival and they knew it would be taken care of.
"Coffee?" Jonathan asked as Jennifer sat herself down on one of the sofas.
"Oh yes please!" She replied.
"How does it feel to be back?" Jonathan asked as he walked towards her.
"It feels good. I think we're going to have a lovely holiday." Jennifer smiled at him.
"I think so too." He agreed and leant down to kiss her before heading for the kitchen to put on the coffee.
Jennifer sat back and looked around her. The original house had been so special to her, it had been her first proper home since she'd left Hillhaven and Jonathan and Max had made her feel at home straight away. They'd had so many great times together over the years and had all been devastated when the fire burned it to the ground, but they had moved to the rented house and they had been happy there because they'd been together.
They'd thought about rebuilding but didn't get around to it before Max got sick. After Max passed away they'd spent time in Montreal and then they'd taken the trip to Europe when she was doing a series of articles on American Ambassadors so they hadn't discussed it then. They finally got round to having the plans drawn up and the building work started after they discovered they were expecting Amy, and it had felt so perfect bringing her home to Willow Pond.
That first year had been lovely but they'd both really missed Max being there with them and when Jonathan had suggested moving to London for a while Jennifer had been delighted. Three years on she loved their life in the UK, but she had to admit it felt great to be back here again. They would need to discuss moving back at some point because if they stayed in London another year Amy would start school and that might make coming back harder as educationally she'd be ahead of her peers who wouldn't have started as early.
Jonathan came back with their coffee and sat next to her after handing her the cup.
"Thank you darling."
"You looked deep in thought there."
"I guess I was, I was just remembering the good times we had with Max, and thinking how nice it feels to be here." Jennifer smiled and Jonathan nodded.
"We have lots of great memories... But memories aren't everything sweetheart, we have a great life in London.
"I thought you might like to come back to California full time at some point though."
"Hart Industries is doing well with Nick at the helm here, and it's great for me spending so much time with you and Amy. I'm not sure I would be able to do that if I took back the reins here, and I'm not sure I could be back here and not do that."
"See how you feel once you've been into your office again." Jennifer smiled at him and he returned it.
"Well that's not top of the agenda. Top of the agenda is our little girls' Fourth Birthday tomorrow, and her breakfast with Winnie the Pooh!"
"I can't wait to see her face when we get to Disneyland."
"It'll be excellent!" Jonathan told her as they both laughed.