A New Beginning
The warm gentle breeze of spring
brought renewed life to the tiny pueblo de Los Angeles and with it the
eminent arrival of Diego and Anna Maria's child. The servants at the
hacienda cleaned and scrubbed the main house from top to bottom while
the parents to be prepared the room next to theirs for the nursery. In
the library Leonar eagerly composed a list of things needed for the
nursery while curtains and linens were sewn from the finest fabrics to
be readied in time for the blessed event.
months Don Alejandro managed to hold back the joy of the birth of his
first grandchild. He longed for the playful laughter of a child to
fill the empty walls of the hacienda. Now that the baby's arrival was
so near he unpacked a special gift he wish to share with his children.
Gathering Diego and Anna Maria in the sala, the don with great pride
presented them with a beautiful handcrafted crib.
this is the most beautiful crib I have ever seen," Anna Maria said
hugging Alejandro. "Our child will sleep like an angel."
so pleased that you are happy, my dear," said Don Alejandro beaming.
"This crib is a family treasure. My parents brought only a few pieces
with them from Spain; the crib was one of them. It has been in my
family for generations. Even now I remember when Isabella and I
placed our son, Diego, in the crib. We were so proud and happy."
"Gracias, Father," said Diego. "This is a special gift you have given us. I believe it will find many years of use."
Marie blushed at the words spoken by Diego. How pleased she was when
she looked into the faces of her husband and his proud father! She
hoped that this feeling would remain indefinitely. A knock on the door
brought Benito, the head vaquero, to the sala with a message for Don
Alejandro and Diego. Anna Maria excused herself knowing all to well
that business was no place for a woman.
In the library Leonar
was hard at work on the guest list for the christening and the party to
follow. She planned a wonderful celebration at the hacienda with
lavish dishes prepared by the cook and served on the finest china from
the de la Vega pantry. In addition to music for dancing, Leonar hired
a pair of dancers from the tavern to entertain. This day was to be a
celebration of life and everything was to be perfect.
Maria entered the room Leonar smiled and said, "I have everything under
control. The items for the nursery have been ordered and should be
ready by the end of the week. Also the arrangements for the party
including the invitations are ready. All that is needed is the "guest
of honor" to make his or her appearance."
"It may be anytime
now," said Anna Maria sitting in Don Alejandro's big cushy leather
chair. "I am a little anxious but Diego is very calm. I do not know
what I would do without him."
"Diego is a fine man and he will
make a wonderful father," added Leonar. "There is nothing to worry
about for everything will go smoothly. Now please take a look at the
lists I have put together for the party after the christening. I do
not wish to miss anything."
"The lists look perfect, Leonar,"
Anna Maria said returning the notes to Leonar. "I am grateful for
everything you have done. Now there is something I wish to ask you.
Diego and I have spoken and we agree that you would be the perfect
godmother for our child. Your friendship has meant so much to me,
please say you will do this."
"Oh, I am honored,"
Leonar said overwhelmed. "Diego and you have done so much for me. I
truly believe I would not be this happy were it not for you both. Si,
I am happy to be the little one's godmother."
said Anna Maria taking Leonar by the hand. "I feel so much better
knowing that if something were to happen to Diego or myself you would
be there. Gracias. You have done a wonderful job with the baptism and
the celebration to follow; even the baby's room is ready. You must
see the beautiful crib Don Alejandro gave to Diego and myself. It is
so beautiful. Tell me what I may do to help you with your special day.
Remember the wedding is only three months from now."
Father and Aunt Margarita have everything under control for the
moment," laughed Leonar. "My father and aunt will arrive two weeks
before the wedding which should be enough time to finalize all
arrangements. I cannot believe that in less than three months I will
be Senora Monastario."
"Well, if there is anything I can help
with, please just ask," pleaded Anna Maria. "Wait, I just thought of
something. There is something I can do. I am going to have my
seamstress call on you tomorrow. We will pick out any material you
wish and have the most beautiful dress anyone has seen in Monterey made
"I accept with the greatest of pleasure," Leonar said
excitedly. "With Father and Aunt Margarita handling all the
arrangements I was feeling somewhat left out, not unlike father when
the Capitan proposed. Father is old fashioned and wished for Enrique
to ask him for my hand in marriage but he was satisfied that we
received Don Alejandro's blessing."
"Oh what fun that was,"
laughed Anna Maria. "For a moment Diego and I thought Don Alejandro
was going to deny the commandante's request for your hand in marriage.
That is until we saw the twinkle in his eyes.
"I believe Don Alejandro enjoyed making the Capitan squirm," grinned Leonar. "Until that moment Enrique was always in charge."
The poor commandante was so..." Anna Maria said clutching her abdomen. "Leonar, please find Diego. I need Diego."
"Do not move," said Leonar in a panic. "I will get Diego and bring him right back to you."
dropped the notes that she was holding and ran to the library door
calling Diego by name but no one answered. She moved hastily to the
patio where she saw Don Alejandro, Diego and Benito in conversation.
Excitedly she yelled out to Diego to hurry after her for Anna Maria was
about to have the baby.
While Diego followed Leonar to the
library Don Alejandro sent Benito into the pueblo to bring back Dr.
Avila. Once Benito was on his way Don Alejandro asked Bernardo to find
Constancia and ready the room for Anna Maria then he hurried to the
library to see if he could help.
"Father, has the doctor been sent for?" Diego asked picking Anna Maria up.
"Si, my son," replied Don Alejandro.
"I will take Anna Maria to our room," said Diego. "She will be more comfortable."
will be alright, my children," Don Alejandro patted his son's arm. "I
will send the doctor to you as soon as he arrives."
Alejandro watched his son climb the stares with Anna Maria tightly held
in his arms. Closing his eyes he said a prayer for his dear children.
This time he promised himself things would not end badly for there
would be a healthy child born to this family.