I held Mia closer to my chest and rocked the rocking chair a little bit harder. Lucas was pacing back and forth across the nursery. “How do we do this, Artie?” There were tears on his cheeks but he didn’t sound like he was crying anymore. He sounded angry, and he needed to vent. I held onto Mia tightly, ready to get up and leave if Lucas started to yell. “That beautiful little girl, that angel of a child, is going to have to fight a war. A war! My grandfather, that sweet little things own flesh and blood, is going to start a war right now over a prophecy. She’s six months old, Artemis, six months old, and a war is already starting around her. When is she going to have to start fighting this war? Will she even be an adult before this war collapses on her head? Will she even be a teenager? In the double digits? How do we prepare her for that? How do we live our lives knowing this is where her life is going?” Lucas stopped pacing and stood right in front me and the rocking chair.
I stood up carefully and handed the sleeping Mia over to Lucas. Lucas held her tightly but kept his eyes on me. “Look at her,” I whispered. Lucas looked at me almost pleadingly, his lower lip quivering. I gave him a look that said I wasn’t kidding, and he lowered his eyes slowly down to look at our daughter’s face. “Do you love her?”
“Yes, of course, I love her,” Lucas said with an exasperated tone.
“Will you protect her with all your heart and strength?”
“Of course, I will.”
“Even if your grandfather wages a war on her?”
“Even when my grandfather wages a war on her.”
“And will you try to keep her safe for as long as possible. No matter how long it takes for war to show up on our doorstep, or how long that war wages over the doorstep?”
“I will always keep this little girl safe. No matter what. I will keep her safe, and I will do my best to protect and prepare her for anything that comes her way.” Lucas admitted, crying again, and lifting Mia up to kiss her very softly on the forehead.
“That’s all I can say, Luke. We must try to protect her and love her and prepare her as best we can. We must be good enough for her. Whether she’s six, sixteen, or twenty-six when that war comes to our steps, we need to stand by her, and we need to be able to protect her and to help her protect herself.” Lucas passed Mia back to me, and I placed her down into her crib. I turned back to Lucas and let him wrap his arms tightly around me.
“I don’t think I am ready for this,” he muttered into my hair.
“To be perfectly honest, I’m not either. I don’t think we could ever be ready to be parents, even if our daughter wasn’t the focal point of a war. I think we just have to do the best we can with every situation that arises.” I said against his chest.
Lucas leaned down and kissed me on the top of the head.
“How do you stay so calm?” he asked.
“One of us has to be rational at all times. Just you wait, tomorrow Mia will have an earache or something, and I’ll be beside myself with panic, and you’ll be the one with the level head to talk me down off a ledge.”
“I look forward to being the rational one again. It’s hard being crazy, how do you do this all the time?”
I hit him lightly in the stomach, and he let out a little bit of an oof, and then laughed.
“She’s a great girl, our little Mia.”
“She’s a great girl, and we’ll make sure that she becomes a great woman.”
“Of course. I promise.”