You woke up in the middle of the night, thinking you heard something. Groggily lifting your head, you looked over at your husband, but Francis was sound asleep. Taking a glance around the room, you figured it must’ve been your imagination and lay back down.
“Mommy!” You sat back up. That sounded like your five year old son, Matthew. You stayed in your bed for a moment, rubbing the sleep out of your eyes.
“MOMMY!!” At his fearful cry, you hurried out of bed and down the hall to his room. When you went into his room, all you could see was a small little bundle of blankets in the middle of his bed. You flicked on his bedside lamp to see better.
“Matthew? Honey, what’s wrong?” You sat on the bed and lifted the covers a little bit. As soon as the covers lifted from the mattress, your son launched himself into your stomach. You grunted as air left your lungs but wrapped Matthew up in your arms as you pulled yourself further into the bed.
“I had a n-nightmare, Mommy,” he whispered, clutching your nightgown in his little fists. You sighed and stroked his hair.
“It’s alright Matthew. Nothing’s going to get you while I’m here.” You pressed a kiss to his forehead and started humming a lullaby to get him to relax, handing him his beloved stuffed polar bear. You heard a yawn come from the doorway and looked to see Francis standing there.
“Chéri what is ze matter? I woke up and you were not zere.” You scooted over to give him room to sit down.
“Mattie had a nightmare and was calling for me,” you explained, leaning into your husband. Matthew reached out a hand for his father, who picked him up and pulled him onto his lap.
“Ah, my little son needed comfort, non? So of course he would call for his Maman.” You chuckled and continued stroking your little one’s hair. Matthew sighed contentedly and reached out to stroke your own hair in return. You smiled at him before reaching out and tickling his sides.
“M-Maman!” Matthew shouted, giggling madly. Francis grinned before lifting Matthew’s pajama top and giving him a raspberry on his tummy. Matthew shrieked with laughter and squirmed under the attention bestowed upon him by his parents. After a few more minutes of agonizing torture on Matthew’s part, the three of you settled down in his bed and cuddled.
“Hmm? What is it mon fils?” Francis asked.
“Can you tell me a bed-time story?” You tapped his little nose.
“Of course sweetheart. What would you like to hear?”
“How you and Papa met.” You and Francis blinked, a little surprised. Matthew had never asked something like that before. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but it came as a surprise.
“Alright my polar bear cub. Let’s see. Hmm, it seems like such a long time ago.”
“Oui, it does. It was back in high school, wasn’t it?”
“Oh yes! I had just transferred in and didn’t know anyone.” Francis looked down at Matthew.
“But you see, peu Matthew, your mother was ze most gorgeous fille to ever enter our school, so everyone knew who she was.”
“Oh stop it!” you laughed, shoving Francis’s shoulder. “Your father is exaggerating Mattie. He’s only saying that because he himself was captivated by me.”
“Which is ze truth.” You rolled your eyes at him.
“Anyway, I had just transferred into your father’s high school, and was very shy. I had never been to a new school before so I was extremely nervous around everyone.”
Matthew reached over and patted your hand.
“It’s ok Mommy. I get nervous too.” You smiled at his adorable attempt to make you feel better over your past nervousness.
“Thank you sweetie. So I didn’t know anyone and was too shy to approach anyone either. I was at that school about a month before I actually made a friend.” Matthew gasped.
“A month? But Maman! You’re so nice!” You and Francis laughed.
“Your Maman is very nice, isn’t she petit? But it took a little while for ze children in our school to see zat.”
“I would’ve been your friend Maman.”
“I know you would have, my little darling. Thank you.”
“Anything for you, Maman. So who was your first friend?”
“Your Uncle Gilbert.”
“Really??” You laughed at his amazement. You knew he knew about how much more obnoxious his uncle was as a teenager.
“Yes really. At first, I didn’t know what to make of him, but he kept pushing to be my friend, so eventually I accepted.”
“Did he get you to meet Papa?”
“No actually. I didn’t meet your Papa until about half-way through the school year.”
“I am still amazed at ‘ow Gilbert managed to keep you from me for so long.”
“It was probably a good thing he did. I might have been too intimidated by you if I’d met you any earlier. And then where would we be?” Matthew gasped, causing you and Francis to look back at him.
“So…if Oncle Gilbert hadn’t been so smart…I wouldn’t have been born?!” The two of you stared at your son before bursting into laughter.
“Honey I don’t think Uncle Gilbert was being smart by not introducing me to your Papa. I think it was just chance,” you explained, wiping a tear out of your eye.
“I should probably thank him anyway.”
“You can thank your Oncle tomorrow, Mattieu, but for now, let us continue our story, oui?”
“Très bon. Now, when I met your Maman, I thought she was absolutely beautiful. More beautiful than any other fille in ze world. But she didn’t seem to care for me at all.”
“But in reality, I thought he was incredibly handsome and charming but was so worried that I’d make a fool out of myself in front of him that I acted a little more aloof than I meant to.”
“Maman what’s ‘aloof’ mean?”
“It means that I acted distantly towards your Papa and wasn’t very friendly.”
“Oh. I see. Ok, keep going.”
“So your Papa took a leaf out of Uncle Gilbert’s book and kept pushing to get closer to me. And just like with your Uncle, I eventually gave in and let me be my friend.”
“But of course, we did not stay friends for very long. Before that school year was over, I had asked your Maman to be ma petite amie.”
“What did Maman say?” Matthew asked, his eyes practically glowing in curiosity.
“She said yes, little Mattieu.”
“Then what happened?” You laughed softly and rested your head on Francis’s shoulder.
“We lived happily ever after, Matthew.”
“Am I a part of happily ever after?”
“Having you made happily ever after even better sweetheart.” Matthew yawned, sleep finally finding a way into his small body. You and Francis stood and started tucking him back into bed.
“I’m glad you and Papa met Maman.”
“So am I Mattie. So am I,” you said, kissing his forehead. Just as you pulled his covers up to his chin, he grabbed your hand.
“Will you and Papa stay here?”
“I don’t think your bed is big enough sweetie. But you can come sleep with us if you’d like.”
“Yes please.” At that, Francis picked him up and the two of you walked back to your bedroom. By the time the three of you were situated, Matthew had already fallen asleep. Sighing happily, you reached over and lightly grasped Francis’s hand. He looked over Matthew’s head and smiled at you. Leaning over you gently kissed him before laying back down.
“I love you Francis.”
“Je t'aime trop (Name), my ‘appily ever after.”