October 20, 2016

In Which Dora Is Still Sad and So Happy

September 12, 1202

"Mama!" Ceidrid nearly bounced himself out of Dora's arms as she struggled to pick him up. He was so heavy now. It wouldn't be long before she couldn't lift him at all. "You all right? You look sad."

"Oh. Oh, no. No, I'm not sad. Quite the opposite." She'd thought she'd been right to be worried, to dread it. Who would take such a thing well? She hadn't taken it well, when she'd remembered--and it was her!

But... she should have known. She was a mother. And nothing in the world would have made her stop loving her baby, not for a second.

"I'm... actually very happy."

"But you're crying."

Was she? Dora took her hand off her son's back for a second, just long enough to wipe her eyelashes. She had cried earlier, rather a lot. Her mother had too. There might have been a few tears left over. "Oh. Yes, I was. But they were happy tears. There's nothing in the world quite like happy tears."

"Happy tears?"

Dora nodded and stroked at Ceidrid's hair. So soft, so thick. So like her mother's. "You'll understand, one day. Sometimes, happy things happen because sad things have gone away--or, at least, have become less sad. And those happy things are only happy because you were sad before."

Ceidrid's head rolled to the side. He didn't get it. He hadn't lived long enough to get it. To Dora's great relief, he'd never been sad enough to get it. She hoped it would be many years yet before he had been.

Sad things, less sad. Still sad. She'd still left her mother in several years of unknowing purgatory. Her mother would fight with keeping it from the rest of the family, everyone else, even though her heart wanted little more than to burst into joyous song for all the world to hear. She still had to figure out who to tell, how to tell them, who would be better off not knowing, how to pretend for their benefit. How to let Ceidrid and any future siblings he had have their grandmother, how to let her mother have her grandchildren, without acknowledging the relationship.

If Ceidrid need to know. If Adonis needed to know.

Still sad.

But less sad.

And, given that--so happy indeed.