he’s all i have ;
dear mom, this is the personal essay i wanted to send, but couldn’t.
it’s titled: once upon a time.
Regal Believer & “Your life was my life’s best part.”
Henry and Regina have a quiet moment, the night after Lucy is born.
It was quiet when she walked into the nursery.
The moon had been up for hours and she was sure that all the castle was asleep except for her. Even her granddaughter.
It still felt strange to say. Yesterday, she’d just been a mother but now she was grandmother. Her son was a father. Even as she’d held the little girl in her arms, she still hadn’t been able to believe it. It just felt… surreal.
Well, it did until she walked into the nursery and saw him there. She’d been hoping for a moment alone with Lucy but it appears her son had beat her to it. She found him, practically tipping over with exhaustion as he sat next to his daughter’s crib.
He sat up, suddenly alert, at the sound of her footsteps only relaxing when he realized that it was her.
“Hi,” she whispered, tiptoeing to his side. Silently approaching the crib, she peered inside and smiled when she saw Lucy fast asleep, hopefully having sweet dreams. Turning to her son, she sent him a sympathetic look.
“Couldn’t leave, huh?”
Henry sighed, shaking his head. “Nope.”
His gaze remained fixed on his baby girl, and even as he smiled down at her, Regina could see a familiar mix of joy and doubt swirling in his hazel eyes. She reached and gave his shoulder a comforting squeeze.
Her son let out a soft breath. “I… I’m scared, Ma.”
“I know,” she whispered. “So was I when they first handed you to me.”
She would never forget that day at the adoption agency. How her hands had trembled and her gut twisted as they placed that small bundle into her arms. He’d been so small and so innocent. And she’d never been so sure that she wasn’t enough.
“I really want to be good at this,” he said. “I want to be good for her.”
“You are,” she softly insisted. “You’ve never shied away from an adventure Henry,” she reminded him. “And this one… it’s gonna be your biggest. It’s okay to be a little scared. It means you care, which is always a good place to start.”
A tired smile appeared on his face. “You sound so sure.”
“Of course I am.” She grinned. “I’m your mother.”
A small laugh escaped him. “You know I never tell you enough how good you were at that. Sort of feels like I should say it more. Especially now.”
She chuckled, rolling her eyes. “Don’t worry about it.”
Looking up at him, a sad smile tugged on her lips. It never gets any easier realizing how far away that day at the adoption agency has become. It all went by so fast, yet sometimes it feels like she remembers every moment.
“Henry, your life was my life’s best part,” she said wistfully. “And now you’re at your best part and I’m just so happy I get to see it.”
He reached out to hold her hand. “You’ll stick with me, right mom?”
“Every moment,” she promised.
She took another look down at her granddaughter and smiled. In that moment she knows even though her son has a baby of his own, he’ll never stop being hers.
#the look of complete and utter shock on Regina’s face seeing her little prince drunk like she can’t even comprehend such a thing could even happen
like…the fluffiest of gen. Whenever I think I can’t possibly write anything as fluffy as that last thing…I get ideas like this.
Henry’s awake late at night, and so is Mom, and little Robin, and his little sister, because no one really sleeps in his house. Henry looking after little Robin, holding a baby and talking to Regina about when he was little.
He’s not really supposed to be up this late. One or two am Mom understands, he’s a teenager, his clock is weird. Three is worth a raised eyebrow and four, a comment. It’s fall break, and he’s a senior. Even when he has class, three of them are online advanced placement. No one cares when he goes to bed.
Other than mom. Who is mom, and will want him up. He’ll deal in the morning. Maybe eventually he’ll learn to like coffee.
Henry usually stays in his room when he’s up late, with his laptop and his headphones, no one has to know he’s awake. Tonight there’s movement in the hall (not unheard of, his little sister often needs to be walked up and down before she falls back asleep) but this is small feet, probably Robin.
He cracks open his door just in time to catch little Robin in front of Mom’s door.
“Water, Henry,” she says, pulling back her hand before she bangs on Mom’s door. He offers his hand instead and she wanders over, both hands up.
Lifting her up, he sighs. “You’re big.”
“You are getting big.”
Robin nuzzles into his chest. “No.”
He chuckles, because big for her is like thirty pounds and big for his sister is what, fifteen? Less? “Couldn’t sleep?”
“I was thirsty,” Robin insists, thumb near her mouth even though she knows better. Giving up pacifiers was rough for her, but she’s ready to be a big girl. No pacifiers, no diapers. He never appreciated what it must have been like for mom when he was this little. Waking up for him, teaching him to go to the bathroom, dealing with every nightmare and earache…