Cloud Babies

Cloud Babies

Copyright © 2021 Farley Dunn

“I saw Marjorie in her back yard last night.”

“Waiting, huh? I guess it’s about time.” Marjorie was half of the new couple next door. Well, not exactly new, as they had lived there for five years, but newer than the rest of the retirees filling the street. Our bedroom windows opened to a view of their yard, and Wanda—that’s my wife—had a habit of checking the weather before retiring each night.

“I knew it wouldn’t be last night. I could have told her that. The clouds weren’t right.”

“And you knew that how?” I chuckled. Wanda was the best at knowing the clouds. She could look up and tell if any babies were coming that night. She liked to be asked, though.

“It’s my gift. I can always tell. I guessed Rach’s—” Rachel’s our youngest, “—and Mary Corrigan’s in the next block. With the Corrigans, I kept my eyes on the clouds, and I said it would be that night, and sure enough, the next morning, twins.”

“You did at that. You think tonight might be Marjorie? I’d like to let Craig in on it, if it is.” Craig is the other half of Marjorie’s household.

“How do you expect me to know that, husband? The sun’s shining clear as glass. Not a cloud in the sky.”

“My apologies, wife. You’re right, of course.”

Still, she had her eye on the skies when she went for the mail, and at lunch, which we had on the patio, I saw her watching. Wanda doesn’t miss much. She seemed very pleased, too, telling me that she liked what she saw.

About half past five, Craig’s front bumper caught the sun, sending a welcome home into our kitchen window, and I stepped outside to give him a wave. I caught him opening his car door.

“Evening, Craig.”

“Ah, hello there, Mr. Reynard. How’s your day been?” Craig moved to the back seat where he retrieved a briefcase.

“Fine, Craig. Wanda’s been watching the skies today. Thought you’d like to know.”

“Ah.” Craig looked embarrassed, and he dropped his eyes. “She saw Marjorie outside last night. She’s just excited. I got the changing table assembled after dinner last night, and that set her into the mood.”

“It’s a woman’s thing.” I nodded agreeably. “Wanda was the same when little Jeremy arrived some fifty years back.”

“Speaking of Wanda. What does she think?” Craig glanced up, caught the sun low in the distance where a cloudbank was just starting to build. “Tonight?”

“Wouldn’t be surprised.” Course, Wanda didn’t say, but she had been watching, and that cloud bank said a lot. Some women had a way, and my Wanda was one of them.

Craig laughed, making it into a joke. “Raining babies, right, Mr. Reynard? Might get you one, too, if it does.”

“Nope.” I grinned to show I was in on the joke. “Wanda and I, we’re past the cloud-seeding age. We’ll let you young’uns have your go. Might even be triplets if you’re lucky.” I winked. “Need any help setting up your net?” The babies floated down all soft and easy, but this was Craig and Marjorie’s first, and Craig had gone for the biggest baby net on the market. Cleaning off the cloud residue would be the challenge. Wanda had provided Marjorie with Baby Cloud oil for that.

“After dinner? I could use the help.” Relief flooded Craig’s voice.

“See you then.” I gave Craig a thumbs up and headed inside. I looked forward to a new baby on the block, and I knew Wanda felt the same.