It was Faberry family tradition. Every year, a couple weeks before Christmas, Rachel would take the kids out for a whole day of shopping and fun. Quinn would stay home and scrapbook.
She took out the book—it had been a present from her mother when they had their oldest, Corbin. Funnily enough, it had taken her a while to use it. It had one of her least favorite Bible verses on the cover: Train your child up in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not part from it. Proverbs 22:6. The sentiment was a good one, but Quinn was intimately familiar with the way people could take it too far. It was the verse her father had quoted when he threw her out of the house. It was the verse parents gave her all the time in family therapy after their children came out. She had issues with it, but she Corbin had taken his first steps, she'd put the picture of him standing in the album.
Since then, it had become a place to document the kids' achievements. She flipped through the pages, smiling down at each one. She laughed when she got to the picture of Corbin, covered in flour.
"Little C, what on earth are you doing?" Quinn asked, trying not to laugh.
Her son was standing on a stool, holding a bag of flour. A bit was in the bowl, but most of it was on him. "I wanted to make vegan cupcakes for Mama," he explained.
She grabbed her camera from the opposite counter and snapped a picture. Then she took a towel and began to dust him off. "That's sweet of you. Why did you want to make cupcakes?"
"She's sad all the time from her new show. I wanted to make her happy. Cupcakes always make her happy."
Quinn smiled down at him. Rachel had been under a lot of stress with the new show. Leave it to their overly perceptive son to spot it…. "I think that's a great idea. Let's get you a bath and then I'll show you how to make them."
Quinn grinned. Rachel had cried when she saw the cupcakes, the words "I Love You Mommy" spelled out on them.
She flipped a few more pages and saw another milestone. The first time Corbin held his little brother, Sasha.
"Come here, baby," Rachel said, patting the seat next to her on the couch.
Corbin shuffled closer uncertainly. "He sure is squishy," he said brightly, looking down at Sasha.
"Yes, but he'll look like the babies you see on TV really soon," Rachel said, laughing.
Quinn watched from the doorway, smiling. They'd had a relatively easy time with getting Corbin used to the idea of having a sibling. She was glad to see that his excitement hadn't waned in the first few weeks of sleepless nights.
"Do you want to hold him?" Rachel asked.
Corbin looked terrified. "What if…what if I break him?" he whispered.
"I'll teach you how."
Quinn ran to get her camera.
The years were passing far too quickly for Quinn's liking—and going through these pictures just highlighted the fact. She stopped on one of the boys' Halloween pictures and laughed. It had been the first time they'd been allowed to make their own costumes….
Corbin played his makeshift drum while Sasha shuffled up to Rachel and held his arms out.
Confused, she picked him up.
"Can't walk," he pouted, leaning on her shoulder.
"That's okay, Goober. Mommy will carry your candy bag, and I'll carry you. Corbin, are you really a nutcracker? Because that's awesome."
He nodded happily and continued to play his drum as Quinn led the way out of the house.
"Me too?" the three year old asked.
"You too, Sasha! You're the best merman I've ever seen."
Since they'd been adamant about making their costumes, the boys had found some green poster board, cut it into roughly the shape of a fish fin, and tied it round Sasha's waist with a bit of string. There had also been glitter involved.
"Sasha! Try to walk!" Corbin pleaded. "I want everyone to see your costume too!"
Sasha clambered down from Rachel and took Corbin's hand.
She got to the end page and put the snowflake scrapbooking paper into the plastic sleeve. It was their latest milestone, and it had happened just last week.
"Are you both done with your hot chocolate?" Rachel asked.
"Give me your cups. We'll go a few more times around the rink, then it's home to get warm."
"Sounds like a plan to me," Quinn said.
Sasha took her hand and looked up at her with the same big brown eyes as Rachel. "Don't let go?"
"Never, baby boy."
They started around the rink when Rachel tapped Quinn's shoulder.
"Look," she said, pointing a bit ahead of them.
Corbin was gliding along on his own for the first time.
Rachel came back later that evening and put both of the boys to bed straight away. "They had dinner on the way home."
"Did someone cave and finally feed them McDonald's?" Quinn asked, arching an eyebrow.
"Of course not! I stopped at Whole Foods and got them some wholesome vegan pizza."
"Only you," Quinn said fondly, leaning in for a kiss.
"Did you get your scrapbooking done?"
"Yep! Corbin's first time skating alone, Sasha's kindergarten spelling bee, their first days of school and Sasha's Thanksgiving play. All in the book of milestones." She kissed Rachel once more, and held her close. "I was thinking today…."
"I think they need a little sister."
Rachel smiled into Quinn's shoulder. "Couldn't agree more."
LbN: Hope you liked it! There's the last poll for a while up on my profile, if you want to vote.