July 12, 2015

In Which Isidro's Logic Is Obsolete

January 31, 1193

"So," Riona broke the silence of the past half hour or so as she bounced the whimpering little bundle. "We have a grandson."

"So we do." Isidro eyed the pale head with a wary curiosity. Some might have judged him for it, but his main concern throughout the entire pregnancy and birth had been his daughter. The baby's welfare had been entirely secondary in his mind, and he couldn't say he regretted it. Shahira was irreplaceable. The baby had been an abstract concept, an amorphous idea. Why the hell should he care more about the baby than his beloved daughter?

But, now that the kid was here--now that he knew Shahira was safe--he supposed the baby would grow on him. Especially since he and Riona would be the primary caregivers until Aldhein graduated.

"You've barely even seen him, have you?" Riona lowered the infant from her shoulder. It was true--Isidro had been at Shahira's side until Aldhein had arrived, and now the two of them rested together, far more interested in each other than they were in reclaiming the baby from his grandmother. "Take a look."

He did as he was told, hoping the sight of the child would pique his interest somewhat. He was pleased, at least, to see Riona's eyes on the boy's face, even though he otherwise didn't think it a handsome infant. The dark brows and wispy black hairs made for an eerie combination with his far-too-pale-for-a-newborn skin.

God. He'd thought his feelings logical before the pregnancy had reached a favorable conclusion, but he struggled to justify now, with Shahira in excellent health, why he still looked at this baby and just saw something they'd pulled out of her, something that might have killed her and only by sheer luck hadn't. His thoughts were obsolete, yet they remained.

He just wasn't ready to be a grandfather.

"Will you hold him?"

Isidro stiffened. How he'd hid his tension well enough for Riona to miss it, he couldn't guess. "Uh... you don't want him for longer?"

"I've had him a while now. He needs to meet his grandfather." She held him out and waited for Isidro to extend a reluctant arm. "Don't worry; he's quite calm."

"With you, maybe." Infants did tend to know when they weren't wanted.

Riona snorted and lowered the ball of blankets into his arms. "Just hold little Izzy for a while."

Isidro raised an eyebrow. "...Seriously?"

"Aldhein has a ton of older siblings. He said there were already enough Florians."

"I guess." He raised the baby to his shoulder. It was a little easier if he imagined it was nearly seventeen years prior and it was Shahira he was holding. "I suppose at least you'll reserve that name for him now."



Van said...

Bah. The weather can't decide whether it wants to be scorching or thundery...

Alix said...

The rain down here seems to just bring humidity with it. Scorching and wet...

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think this chapter was really well-written, and it isn't a perspective I've ever seen dealt with in fiction previously. It reminded me of how my father was when I was having a baby. He was really stand off-ish all throughout my pregnancy and to the baby even after the birth. I wonder if it's a common thing for people when becoming grandparents before they're even in their 40s, since it's such a huge age marker normally. Or maybe some people just don't immediately bond?

I feel bad for Shahira, though, because it's something that really stood out to me, and I was very hurt by it.

Van said...

Thanks, Alix. It was a tough place to go, so I'm glad to hear that you found it worked. In Isidro's case, I think it's a mixture of not being ready to be a grandparent, plus concern for his daughter's safety and--like you said--just not immediately bonding. It also doesn't help that Shahira herself is still a little apprehensive about being a mom; Isidro's probably feeding off her reluctance as well. But I don't think it will take either of them long to grow accustomed to the baby and relax a bit. Shahira sort of "easing in" to motherhood, with going between being at the university by herself and at her parents' place with the baby, will probably help a lot.

I'm sorry to hear about the situation with your father and your baby. :( I hope he's improved since then.

Alix said...

Yeah, I felt kind of awkward commenting (I always feel awkward commenting), but you handled it so realistically that I felt like I had to.

It took him a bit, but he definitely seems to be enamored with her cute right along with everyone else now. :) I'm pretty sure that baby head smell that babies always have has some kind of chemical in it that makes people bond with them. Either that, or they're magic.

I'm sure Isidro will eventually be an awesome grandpa. He and Riona are already handling Shahira's being pregnant really well. My parents had me when they were that young, but I couldn't imagine finding out my teenager was having a baby.

Van said...

I often feel awkward about commenting on other people's stuff as well, so don't worry about it. :)

That's good to hear! Yeah, that baby smell is pretty powerful. The cute pheromones tend to get most people eventually.

Isidro... yeah, he'll take to it eventually. He and Riona did handle Shahira's pregnancy quite well, largely because they'd been there at that age. It would be a stressful situation for anyone.