Epilogue

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Epilogue

So what would you think of me now, so lucky, so strong, so proud?

-Jimmy Eat World

I was trying to set the dining room table but it was hard with a toddler running around, constantly pulling on the bottom of my dress. I sighed, "Colin, you need to let me set the table, sweetheart."

"No." He said stubbornly, pulling on my dress again.

Roman emerged from the kitchen with cutlery in his hands. "Rome, could you please give me a hand?" I looked at him pointedly.

He came over and knelt down in front of Colin. "What's going on, buddy?" Colin ignored Roman and pulled on my dress again. Rome laughed. "I tried, babe. He wants you."

I rolled my eyes and picked Colin up. "What do you want?" I looked into his precious sea green eyes. He curled his little arms around my neck and hugged me tightly. My anger melted like a popsicle on a hot summer's day. The amount of love I had for this child was immeasurable. I glanced at Rome and found him watching us with deep fondness in his eyes.

"DADDY!" We all jumped when Maya screamed. She ran into the dining room with a red face and tears trekking down her cheeks. "Brian won't stop pulling my hair!"

Roman picked her up and wiped her tears, his face concerned as he smoothed her light, chestnut brown hair. "Brian!" He called sternly.

I watched Maya's face turn giddy. I shook my head; she always got her way when it came to Roman. He couldn't stand to see his little girl cry. Brian stomped into the room sulkily, his jet-black hair so long it fell in his stormy grey eyes. He refused to let me cut it. "How many times do I have to tell you to leave Maya alone?" Roman scorned him.

"She was touching my car collection! I've told her ten thousand times not to touch it. It's mine." He was very territorial about his things. I couldn't help but grin. Roman was finally being fed a taste of his own medicine. Brian was practically a replica of his father. Moody, rebellious, angry, possessive.

"Then come tell me. Don't pull her hair." Roman said strictly. "And your mother told you to change into your white dress shirt half an hour ago. Why haven't you done it yet?"

He crossed his arms across his chest. "I was busy."

I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. He was so much like Roman. I loved watching Rome struggle to discipline Brian. It was like watching him wrestle with himself. I put a hand on my husband's shoulder to calm him. After all, I knew how to handle my moody men. "Brian, please go change into your white shirt for me. And no more pulling your sister's hair. You know that if she does something you don't like that you come and tell daddy or me about it. And Maya, you're not allowed to touch Brian's things. If he tells me you've touched something of his without his permission again, you're grounded."

Brian seemed satisfied by my solution so he nodded and left the room. Maya pouted because she'd gotten in trouble too. Maya was a spitting image of me. With her tiny face, frail frame, large grey eyes and chestnut hair. It wasn't until I had my daughter that I realized just how beautiful I was. I'd struggled with insecurity for the majority of my life but Maya made me see my positive qualities as they shined through her.

Roman kissed her pouty mouth. "Don't look so sad."

"But daddy, mommy yelled at me too!" She glared at me making me roll my eyes. She was such a suck-up. She knew exactly which parent to run to when she wanted to get her way.

"She didn't yell at you. She was just trying to be fair. You know it's not nice to mess up your brother's things."

"I wasn't messing them up!" She protested. "I was just playing."

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