Small Sacrifices



Remus and Kyla Bonaccord are 32; Roman Bonaccord is 30; Dee Ottomas is 32.


March 2025



With a feeling of satisfaction, Remus walked up the path to the front door.  


He glanced at the hall clock on the way past.  He’d beat his previous time on his usual jogging route, again.  Good.  Now that it was spring, he wanted to get back in shape.  All the more so, after his recent health scare.

Time for a shower, then work.   He wasn’t going into the office today, though.  He worked from home a lot now, and he enjoyed it.  


Commuting to the city through the winter, he’d barely seen his home in daylight.  But now, he could plan his time to make the most of the improved weather and the longer days.  It was their first year with their own yard, and they bought a couple of apple trees, and started a little vegetable garden.


Remus noticed that Kyla's dog was enjoying the yard, too. He made a mental note to see what he could do about training the animal.  And to build some kind of fence around his vegetables.

Spring had brought other changes his family.  Cole and Krysti turned five and started school, after much debate between their parents over exactly which school they should attend.  



Remus wanted to enroll them in the private school in the city.  But it was a long way for a couple of five year olds to go each day, Kyla had argued.  She'd won in the end, and they were going to the public school in Richmond.  It was a small sacrifice for Remus, to keep the peace, and Kyla had promised to talk about it again when they were a little older.


As she watched them leave in the morning, she was pleased to still have Brandon at home and another on the way.  It was hard enough watching her babies get on the bus across town each day - how could Remus have expected her to let them go all the way to Redwood City without her?

She went into labour one afternoon while Remus was working upstairs.  


Brandon didn't understand why his mother was yelling, but he wasn't about to stick around to find out.

Baby Liam was born later that evening.


They were relived that the labour and birth went smoothly... more than ever after the drama around the recent birth of Kyla’s nephew.  Her parents seemed delighted with their fifteenth grandchild.


Kyla’s large family fascinated Remus.  His entire extended family consisted of a brother and a sister with one child each.  He couldn't imagine having that many relatives to keep track of.  It was hard enough keeping up with just his brother, at times.  Which reminded him, he'd been meaning to stop by and catch up with Roman for a while now.


He hadn’t been to Roman and Dee’s apartment for some time, and the first thing he noticed, was the wallpaper.
Dee redecorated,” said Roman.  “Isn’t it cool?  If you stare at the bubbles long enough, its like they start to move.”
Remus shook his head a little, and tried not to stare at the bubbles.


The second thing he noticed, was the baby.  Roman’s daughter Lizzie was playing on a mat on the living room floor.


“She’s staying here tonight,” Roman said, as they sat down.  “All night.  This is the first time I’ve had her all night.”
“Nervous?” Remus asked. 
“Not really.”  Roman grinned.  “I’ve been reading these books Kyla gave me.  I’ve learned heaps of really interesting stuff about babies now… we’re gonna be great… “  


He paused to look down at the little girl, then turned back to Remus.  “She’s so smart,” he said.  “Look at how she can chew her toe and play with that thing, at the same time.”

“She’ll be crawling soon,” said Remus. “You’ll have to be more careful about not leaving things like that around.”  He gestured to the beer bottle that had fallen over at Roman’s feet.


“Not for long,” said Roman.  “It says in one of those books that she can start drinking it when she’s two.”
“What… no!”
“Yeah,” said Roman, fumbling through one of the books.  He handed it to Remus.  “It says it right there.”
Remus studied the page for a long moment.  


“It says the body can process alcohol from around age two… that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for them to drink it at that age!”


“Well, if your body’s made to do a thing, you should do it,” Roman said.  “That’s the way I always look at it.”
"I’m sure it is,” said Remus, “but I’d still discuss this one with Helen first if I were you.”

---

Later that night, Remus rolled over in bed and tried to ignore his own crying baby.  He might have succeeded, but he couldn’t ignore Kyla poking him.
“Your turn,” she muttered sleepily.
“I got up last time,” he protested.
“I gave birth,” said Kyla.  “From now on, its always your turn.”
He started to say something, then thought better of it, and got up to tend to Liam.


A short time later, he crawled back into bed, laughing a little to himself.
“What?” asked Kyla.
“I was just thinking of Roman… wonder how he’s getting on with a little baby to look after.  He likes his sleep even more than you do.”
“He’ll be ok.  He loves having Lizzie.”


“He loves playing with her and watching her, but babies are hard work too.  I don’t know that he gets that.”
“Like you really ‘got it’, before we had kids?  I seem to remember – “
“Hey, we started with twins.  That was extreme.  Roman’s going to struggle, with even one baby.”
“He’ll be fine,” Kyla said, “just like we were.”

----

“I thought your brother was never going to leave,” Dee said.


“I’d have made him go sooner if I’d known you didn’t have any other plans,” Roman said, pulling her up to kiss her.  Then he stopped.  “Wait… “.  He let her go suddenly and she made a little ooph sound as she fell back onto the bed.  “Ssshhh," he said.  "I thought I heard something on the baby monitor.”

“She makes noises,” Dee said.  “That doesn’t mean that anything’s wrong.”
“Maybe I should check her anyway…”


“You’ve already checked her four times.  She’s ok.  If she starts crying, you’ll hear her.  Otherwise, don’t worry.”  She pulled him towards her.
“Ok… “ he said, returning the embrace.  Then he pulled away again.
“What is it this time?”


“I just thought… we can hear her through this thing, right?” He gestured to the baby moniter.
“Right…?”
“What if it works both ways… what if she can hear us, too?”
“It doesn’t work that way,” said Dee.
“Have you ever tested it?”
“Well, no, but – “
“We need to test it.”
“Roman – “
“Come on, this is too important to take a chance.  You know that.  You were the one who decided that we stay down here in my room… because Dayle might hear us if we were in your room.”


“Dayle is ten years old.  Lizzie’s a baby.  Even if she could hear, she wouldn’t understand.”
“You don’t know that.  It said in one of Kyla’s books that some people think that babies remember everything… they don’t know that they do, but its all there in their brains somewhere.  There’s some things I don’t want Lizzie to have in her brain…”
“Ok,” said Dee, with a sigh, getting up from the bed.  You talk into the moniter.  I’ll go see if I can hear you.”  She went out to the living room.

“Can you hear me?” she whispered, into the monitor.
“I can hear you,” Roman whispered back. “Can you hear me?”
“Did you say anything yet?” Dee asked.
“I said I can hear you.  Can you hear me?” he asked, louder.
“I can’t hear you,” said Dee.


“Then how did you know to answer?” Roman asked, even more loudly.
“What?” Dee asked, hearing his muffled voice through the closed bedroom door.
“I said, can you hear me,” Roman said, yelling loud enough for Dee to make out the words.”
“No, I can’t hear you,” she yelled back at the door, then clapped her hand over her mouth.  Too late.  Lizzie started to cry loudly.  Roman was out in a second.

“See, I told you she’d hear us…”  he said, between making little coo-ing noises to the baby.


Dee sighed.  “Look, this isn’t going to work.  I think we should just forget about it for tonight and… “
“Forget – what – you don’t wanna…?”
“Yeah… I mean, for Lizzie’s sake, right?”
“But – “
“Hey, you’ve got to make sacrifices when you’re a parent.” She kissed his cheek lightly.  “Sleep well, daddy,” she said, as she started up the stairs.


“Sacrifices, huh?” He looked down at Lizzie. "You know, there are times when it really isn't a good idea to interrupt me... you and I gotta have a talk about that... "
She made a little sound that was suspiciously close to a giggle.
 “You think it’s funny?”


She coo’ed up at him.
“You hungry?”
She hiccupped.
“Me, too.  Let’s go raid the fridge, then see what’s on tv...”







----

This was more-or-less completely based around Remus' wants - to get fit, talk to Roman, plant seeds, buy fruit trees... also, Roman won't have an update of his own until Lizzie is a toddler, and I wanted to drop in and see how he was getting on with the baby :)  He ended up taking over his brother's update, but Remus' family is nicely drama-free at the moment anyway.

They really have got a nice house, now...




Nice mortgage to go with it... but Remus is earning enough in the high levels of the architecture career to manage on one income, which is a good thing because family/pleasure Kyla shows no interest at all in going back to work.  Remus only works 4 days a week now, so I have him draw and sell a drawing or two on the other days - working from home.


The bit at the end is another 'suspend disbelief re baby's age' moment... lol... but how could I not include that picture of them cheering?! :)  I didn't even plan for them to do that at the same time, it just happened that way...

4 comments:

  1. The cheering photo was a good catch, it was a perfect daddy daughter moment :)

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  2. I was just about to comment on the cheering picture! fantastic! The whole thing was fun to read, and the differences between the two brothers are astounding. Looks to me like Roman's got it figured out though. Too, too, too cute.

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  3. Roman is such a cute dad. Who would have thought it, eh? I don't think Remus has much to worry about - Roman will stumble along and figure it all out eventually, just like most new parents do.

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  4. Apple, thanks, I think it's one of my all-time favorite screenshots.

    Billy, Roman is getting it figured out... but I think Lizzie has an interesting childhood ahead of her!

    Carla, Roman always enjoyed playing with Remus and Kyla's kids, and I think like you say, he will stumble along and work out the responsible side of parenting, too... but given that his idea of 'responsible' is quite different to his brother's, I don't think Remus is going to stop worrying any time soon :)

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Thanks for reading and commenting!