In the topmost room of a narrow but comfortable house on the outskirts of London, the morning is just beginning to make itself known through the curtains. Sylvia's eyelids flutter open and in the dim half-light of the room she can see him sleeping next to her, still lost in the world of sleep. On his chest lies the six-month old baby girl who had woken them both up just a few hours before and who would not be pacified by anything but sleeping with her parents. His head is tilted slightly to the side on his pillow, an expression of utmost peace in both their faces—Ben's and the tiny baby girl's. Her husband and their daughter are a sight to see—so beautiful she could hardly stand it. As the thought really sinks in (for what is maybe the millionth time, but still feels brand new) that they are really hers to keep, joy blooms uncontrollably in her chest and fills her entire being. Emma, her tiny baby girl, has inherited a full head of riotous golden red curls from her father. They shimmer in the morning light as she begins to wiggle awake. Sylvia sits up gently and, as lightly as she possibly can, removes the infant from on top of her father, hoping Ben can maybe catch a few more hours of sleep. To her chagrin, as soon as Emma's warmth and weight are removed from his chest Ben starts awake, looking about groggily to make sure Emma isn't in distress. His eyes find the forms of Sylvia and the baby and he relaxes, rolling onto his side. "Good morning", he rumbles, his voice thick with sleep and a half smile playing on his lips. "Good morning", she replies softly, smiling back at this beautiful man, curls mussed just like his daughter's.
The rest of the morning passes in a leisurely parade of tea and toast and baby formula for the small family in the old house near the big city. As Ben gets ready to head out the door to another full day on set, Sylvia catches him in the hallway, holding the smiling baby girl out to him so she can say goodbye.
"Guess what?" Sylvia asks playfully.
She makes her daughter wave a small fist as she says, "Emma says, 'I love you Daddy'"
Ben chuckles as he leans down to give the baby a smacking kiss on her rosy, chubby cheek, saying, "I love you too sweetheart".
He folds the two of him into his arms and Sylvia, standing on her tiptoes, repeats softly and more seriously, "Guess what?"
"What?", he plays along again, his voice deeper and softer this time.
"I love you too, Ben", she breathes against his lips. She then gives him a luxurious kiss and sends him on his way, looking forward, as always, to when he'll come home to them.