So since we haven't had much content here, I decided to do some digging and find something I wrote but I don't think I've shared anywhere. I actually wrote this over three years ago when Push and I would get bored and give each other random challenges to spark some random writing ideas. This one was simply, "Leia sings." That's it. No time frame, nothing else. This was also one of very few experiments I've done in writing in first person. I find it incredibly difficult to pull off and in the end most stories are best told in third person, but I left it as is. So, here is my little contribution:
It had been an unbelievable couple of weeks. I woke up a month or so ago next to my very pregnant wife lying next to me, complaining about how she was sick and tired of lugging around our unborn children and she just wanted them to come out. Well, they must’ve heard her, because a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, they decided to make their first appearance into the universe. It was more than a little scary for me since they decided to do surgery to get them out, but everything turned out fine in the end.
Just like that, I was a dad. I had no idea exactly how to be a dad, having had no such example of my own to follow. Well, you know, aside from the conception part of things, because I had that aspect pretty well covered. But what in hells are you supposed to do with these little things once they let you take them home by yourselves? Did these medical professionals have any idea how clueless we were?
I suspected that Leia was just as nervous as I was, but the minute we laid eyes on those squirmy little people we’d created, we were both completely in love with them and it didn’t seem to matter anymore that we didn’t know what we were doing. We were in this together, and we were going to make sure that those kids were loved and cared for like no other.
We’d only had them for maybe three weeks or so. We were sleep deprived, malnourished and our personal hygiene had suffered, but really it seemed like it was worth the trouble. Plus, it seemed that every day – sometimes more than once – Leia would do something that would somehow make me love her more than I did before. Seems impossible, but it’s true.
I get the feeling she looks at me that way sometimes, too. Like the other day I went to calm down a fussy Jaina, so I sat on the couch and held her real close. Somehow, I had lain down and fallen asleep with her nearly weightless body resting against my chest. When I opened my eyes some unknown amount of time later, I looked to find my beautiful wife giving me an even more beautiful smile from across the room. “You’re going to make a wonderful Daddy, Han,” she whispered quietly, trying not to awaken the infant in my arms.
I never really doubted that, but it was nice to know that she thought so. Anyway, seeing her as a mother has been incredible. The way she talks to them like they’re actual people who can understand her, the way she soothes them when they’re upset. And I swear it is just unbelievable to watch her nurse them. I’m not jealous or anything, but it’s just incredible that she can actually keep our children alive with that tiny body of hers.
But really, the most beautiful thing I’ve probably ever witnessed happened last night. Leia asked me to clean up the kitchen while she put the twins to bed. I like to be a part of the bedtime routine too, but I’ve also learned lately that I’m better off just doing what I’m told. So I had just gotten the last of the dishes put away when I thought I heard music coming from the nursery.
For a minute I thought maybe it was just a musical stuffed animal or something, but as I got closer, I realized that it was a voice I was hearing. When I slowly pushed the door open to peek inside I damn-near fell over when I realized that it was Leia doing the singing.
I had known the woman for close to seven years at that point, and that was the first time I’d ever heard her sing a note.
Now, I’m not saying that she should quit politics and go sign a recording contract. What I am saying, is that hearing her sing that Alderaani lullaby to our little babies was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard.
I wondered why this was the first time I’d heard her sing. Not that she’d heard me sing before either, but I definitely didn’t sound like that.
She reached into the crib one last time and seemed to notice that Jacen had fallen asleep, then she looked up and saw me spying from the doorway. She looked a little embarrassed at being caught, although I can’t imagine why. It certainly wasn’t anything to be embarrassed about.
Gods help me I think my eyes were watering when I smiled at her right then, and she seemed to relax a little as she smiled back and tiptoed towards me, wrapping an arm around my waist and snuggling up close while I led her to our bedroom.
Once we were safely out of earshot, I kissed her forehead and asked quietly, “How come I’ve never heard you sing before?”
“Maybe if I ever had any trouble getting you into bed I’d give it a shot, but you’re always pretty easy.”
She was still pressed up against my side and I gave her a little squeeze around her shoulders. “Come on, seriously. It was beautiful.”
‘Thanks, but you’re not usually my harshest critic.”
“That’s true, but you’re not answering my question.”
She breathed a heavy sigh and moved to sit down on the bed. “What did you expect? Serenades around the base while we were at war? There wasn’t a whole lot of good opportunity for bursting out into song”
I moved and sat down next to her. “Point taken, but I just feel like I’ve been missing out all this time.” I reached over and grabbed her hand, and I could tell by the way she looked away from me that she wasn’t comfortable with the compliment. She never is.
She added a second hand to clasp mine, and I started feeling a lot warmer. “Thank you, darling. And I’m sorry if you feel left out that I haven’t been singing you to sleep. It’s just that I hadn’t sung that song in a very long time. Not since – “
She shut her eyes then, and I could tell she was remembering Alderaan again. I can tell that look a mile away, and it tears my heart in two every time. I wrapped my arm around her shoulders again and pulled her close, kissing her hair. She willingly accepted my comfort, but thankfully this time the memory wasn’t enough to bring her to tears.
I thought about asking her who had sung her that song when she was a kid, but decided she’d tell me if she wanted to. “The memory can live on in our babies, you know, sweetheart. And someday they’ll be singing it to their babies, too.”
She turned her head to look at me, her big, brown eyes glassy with unshed tears. I was worried for a second until her hand came up against my cheek and she kissed me. “Our kids have no idea how lucky they are to have a mom like you,” I said when she pulled away.
“Or a dad like you,” she said.
I knew I didn’t deserve that one, but I decided to let it slide. “What do you say, ready to get some sleep?”
I felt her hand still rubbing against my cheek before she responded. “Maybe not just yet.”
Leia leaned in and kissed me then. She hadn’t quite been ready to make love yet so soon after having Jacen and Jaina, so I was trying my best to be patient. At least I got well reminded of how good at kissing she was.
A while later she was lying against me, catching a few precious moments of sleep between feedings or random, inexplicable infant awakenings. I thought back to the song she sang for our babies, wishing just a little that she was awake to sing it to me now. I figured though that I was ok if she only sang for them and not for me.
But just then I heard the faintest sounds coming from Leia’s lips and I realized she wasn’t talking to me. She was singing in her sleep. If that was what I was going to have to settle for, I’d take it in a heartbeat.