It was a great day for flying kites. There was a gentle breeze blowing and the late summer weather that day was not too intense for such an activity. Four-year old twins Sky and Sunshine shouted with glee when their Grandpapa Arturo and Lolo Tatay Andres successfully made their kites soared with the wind, higher and higher, while they jumped up and down. They were so happy watching their kites, an eagle-shaped one for Sky, and a sunflower-designed kite for Sunshine, danced with the breeze. Their two-year old sister, Emerald Therese, named after their grandmothers, and nicknamed Misty gleefully looked on with her nanny.
The proud parents happily watched their brood while resting under one of the century-old acacia trees in the Lim property in Tagaytay. Maya was half-lying on her husband’s broad chest, finding the position the most comfortable with her current condition. She is seven-month pregnant with her and Richard’s fourth child, a boy!
Life couldn’t be better for Richard and Maya, five years after they were married. Today is their fifth wedding anniversary. The whole family, together with the grandparents, went to Tagaytay for the celebration. They just wanted a family get together like this, no grand celebration. Good thing, it coincided with Maya’s parents’ vacation. Mama Esme dragged her Mommy Tere to a spa today, while Grandpa Arturo opted to stay and spend time with his grandchildren. Since the weather is good, they decided to have a picnic in the property, near the pond. Richard surprised the kids with the kites. They were so happy to see their beautiful kites. When he saw Misty pouting, so like his wife sometimes when she didn’t get her way, he had to explain to her that she will have hers too when she is older, but for now, she can watch her ate and kuya fly their kites. Tatay Andres offered to help, while Nanay Ibing and Fely started preparing the food and other picnic paraphernalia. They all happily trooped to the spot they will have their picnic, and the best spot for flying kites.
Fifth anniversary! Richard and Maya, said to each other. Amazing! It seems like yesterday, they were standing near this tree, looking forward to getting married and building a life together. They really have made a lot of good memories in this place – from the first time they have stayed here, the proposal, the first time they made love, their wedding reception, their five blissful days of stay before they embarked on their honeymoon abroad, and so many other wonderful memories.
Maya and Richard first went to England and Scotland for their honeymoon. Richard showed Maya his world before he met her. They had fun exploring all the tourist attractions of London, and enjoyed going to the theater some evenings. They took the train to Scotland, explored Edinburgh and Glasgow. Maya wanted to see Rebus’ Scotland as described by one of her favorite authors of detective stories, Ian Rankin, in most of his John Rebus’ novels. Then they flew to Denmark, explored Copenhagen, and the nearby areas, and then off to the last leg of their honeymoon trip, to Sweden via a train ride from the Copenhagen central station. They wanted to go back to the place there which had the most meaning to them, Stockholm. Indeed, it was a sweet trip down memory lane to go back to the places where they had wonderful memories together, especially Skansen, and of course, the botanical garden. They spent the whole afternoon in the garden. Exploring the place again, having coffee, just soaking everything, with loving glances and touches for each other. They also visited Rafi, Magnus and Philippa before they went to the manor house that Richard rented for the rest of their honeymoon. It was a lovely period house and it was huge. The grounds was beautiful, and they explored it and the surrounding areas, but most of their time was spent in the master’s bedroom of the house, making love, exploring each other, discovering each other’s body more and what gives them the most pleasure. They stayed there for a week, blissfully, and lost in a world of their own making.
Three months after they have returned to the Philippines, Maya discovered that she was pregnant with the twins. Yes, Sky and Sunshine were honeymoon babies! Their joy was boundless with the news of her pregnancy, so were the grandparents, especially Maya’s parents, as they would be their first apos. Maya cut back on her working hours as head of the foundation when she was closed to giving birth, and left everything in Emman’s capable hands. Richard, on the other hand, successfully steered the family corporation into new directions with the help of people already in the organization and new ones he had hired. He delegated responsibilities to so he can spend time with his wife and take care of her while she is carrying their twins, they discovered, much to their joy! Maya and Richard’s first wedding anniversary was celebrated with their newborns. It was the best wedding anniversary present they have.
Life went into a pattern of loving each other, taking turns in taking care of their twin babies, of compromises, of adjustments, of not letting little arguments fester, of open lines of communication, trust for each other, and their own ‘Maya and Richard moments’ where they updated each other on what their day have been, or just enjoying each other’s company as they have cups of coffee in the veranda of their white, two storey house, near where Mama Esme lives. Richard also encouraged Maya to still have a ‘life of her own’ within the marriage – meaning pursuing her interests like reading books, watching movies, study languages, see her friends, and for her life not only to revolve around him and the children as she is a person too, not just a wife, and not just a mom. Richard explained that it does not make her less of a mom or a wife. He insisted that Maya needed her ‘Maya time’ too. At first Maya didn’t understand it, but she got Richard’s point when he lovingly explained it to her. She told Richard that he should have his own ‘Richard time’ too. Richard said, he knew that’s what she was going to say, and thanked his wife. They promised that they will always have time for their ‘Richard and Maya moments’, no matter what. Their lives became richer, their moments more loving, and if they thought it was not possible for their love to grow more, as it was already overflowing when they got together and married, they were wrong, it got deeper, more meaningful, and more loving. Their union was further blessed with the coming of their third child Misty, and now it would be doubly so, with their fourth child on the way.
“Sweetheart, are you okay? Are you comfortable enough?” Richard asked his wife solicitously, as he moved a little bit to make her more comfortable. “How about you, little buddy?” He asked his unborn son, as he touches Maya’s big tummy, gently, lovingly.
“We are okay, Daddy.” Maya said, smiling at her very loving husband, then giving him a quick kiss. “Thank you, my dearest sweetheart. I love you very much.”
“I love you too, my dearest wife. Thank me for what..?” Richard took hold of his wife’s hand and kissed it tenderly.
“Lahat ng ito.” Maya made a sweeping gesture, towards their kids happily playing together, then to where she and Richard are, half-lying on a blanket, with the picnic basket infront of them, resting blissfully. “For all the love you have showered me the past five years that we have been together, for being a very good husband and father to our children. Just for everything. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have found you. You and the kids made my life so complete. I couldn’t ask for more. Happy anniversary to us!”
“I’m the lucky one sweetheart. Because of you and the lovely kids we have, and the little one we are having soon. We are both lucky to have found each other and share this wonderful life together. Happy anniversary.” Richard touched his wife’s face lovingly. Then he settled her on his chest closely and hugged her, as they watched their children played with abandon. They ran around their grandfather, Tatay Andres, teased each other, climbed trees. But from time to time, they went to their mom and dad to give them the sweetest hugs and kisses. Maya and Richard were so overwhelmed with all their love. Gettings hugs and kisses from their children, the product of their love for each other, the feeling is indescribable, both of them said to each other. It felt like they can do anything, can face anything together for their kids, for the family they have built.
The kids didn’t want to go home when it was time to go back to Manila the following day. But their parents promised them that they will be back there soon, with their baby brother.
Two months later, Maya gave birth to an 8-pound baby boy, whom her husband insisted looked like him, just like Sky. Maya said it was a combination of both of them, like Misty. They both agreed, when the twins were born, that Sunshine was the spitting image of Maya, and Sky, Ricky’s. They named the baby Robert Arthur, Robby for short, in honor of his grandfathers. Richard knew his Papa would be happy with the name. Daddy Arturo was certainly a super proud grandpapa when he learned his latest apo’s full name, the same way Mama Esme and Mommy Tere were when they learned that their third apo was named after them.
Richard hugged his wife from behind when he saw her standing at their youngest child’s crib and looking at his sleeping form with so much love. It was several months after she gave birth. “I love you sweetheart, the best wife in the world, and the best mom.”
Maya turned and faced her husband, touched his beloved face. “I love you too, my Mr. Lim, my dearest husband. Walang pagsidlan ang kaligayahan ko. Sobra-sobrang blessings from God. I’m so very thankful.”
Maya and Richard started kissing each other, the passion still very much there. They just have to touch like this and they ignite.
Maya whispered something in Richard’s ear. He grinned big time. He carried his wife to their bedroom, locked the door, and dimmed the lights.
Note: 🙂 🙂 🙂