The music played on, uninterrupted, and she sighed before turning and moving away.

At the end of the hall, the living room lamp glowed, soft and inviting, like the promise of rest. The illusion lasted as long as her walk, but she enjoyed it for those few seconds. She closed her eyes as she reached the living room. Maybe a glass of wine and a bit of chocolate would make the mountain of laundry sitting on the couch less frightening.

The phone rang, and she opened her eyes.

She picked it up before it could ring a second time. “Hello?”

“Rosie, something came up. I'm going to be a little late getting home. How are things over there?” Don's voice crackled over the line, bright and cheerful.

She made a concerted effort to forgive him for that. “Not bad. Only an hour to get him to sleep tonight.”

“Good. I'll be there as soon as I can.”

“Okay.” She hung up the phone and glared at the pile of diapers and baby clothes for a moment before moving on to the kitchen.

And stepping on a block.

She bit her knuckle to muffle the curses that spilled from her lips. The worst of the agony passed, and she limped to the refrigerator. The wine bottle contained one generous serving, which she fully intended to enjoy.

She took a sip and surveyed the kitchen. Her feet ached, the wounded sole still throbbing. Deciding the dishes could wait until morning, she made her way to the couch, shoved the laundry aside and sat down. Her eyelids drifted shut, and she set her glass down on the end table.

A key scraped in the lock, startling her out of sleep. Familiar lips brushed her forehead, and she opened her eyes.

“What are you doing still up?” Don smiled down at her, blue eyes laughing.

She gestured vaguely to both sides. “Drinking wine and folding diapers.”

He shook his head and she scowled up at him.

“How are the guys?”

“Good,” he answered, “Jason's got a new job.”

She stifled a yawn, and nodded. “That's good.”

“Come on.” Don helped her to her feet, hushing her protests. “Off to bed. I'll clean up out here.”

“Are you sure?” She asked. The tedium of diaper folded usually got the best of him. But when he shooed her away, she didn't argue any further.


Sunlight shone between the curtains when Rosalee opened her eyes. She stretched and glanced over at Don's empty pillow, wondering if he'd come to bed at all last night. The door, not latched, swung open a little wider, and she smiled when the sound of little hands slapping the floor reached her ears. She rolled over to look at her son, who promptly pushed himself to sitting and began clapping.

“Mama, mama!”

The exclamation made her laugh.

Don called down the hall, begging the boy to be quiet, and Rosalee laughed louder.

“You're up. I'm sorry he woke you,” Don peeked through the doorway.

She propped herself up on her elbows. “It's okay. I was mostly awake already.”

He smiled and stepped into the room, balancing a small tray on one hand. “Scrambled eggs and potatoes,” he announced, placing the tray over her lap once she'd pushed upright. “Happy mother's day.” He dropped a lingering kiss on her lips, then scooped up their son and waved one pudgy arm in farewell.

The door latched shut.

On the tray lay two cards, one from her husband and one, signed by a child's inked and enthusiastic palm, from her baby boy. Under the cards, she found a new novel.

Smiling, she blinked back tears. Breakfast and a book. Heaven.