I know you and Xirra have been wondering why I’ve been sleeping so much. It isn’t just to give the two of you time alone to talk. That’s a welcome side-effect.
It’s because I’m tired so much. I’m tired until I wake up full of energy. So full of energy that it shines from inside.
Yes, I think something’s going to come of my last visit with your folks.
I asked Octavius if he wanted another brother.
“Septy good brother,” he said. “Nother brother like him?”
“Like him. Or maybe like you. Only little! How would you like a baby brother?”
“But I the baby!” he protested.
Maybe you can help me, son. You and Xirra. Do you think the two of you can persuade him that a new addition to our family will be a good thing?
I know he wants a puppy, but a baby brother should be just as cute, and almost as much fun.
It’s been gratifying to see you talk with Xirra. All these questions I’ve never known how to even consider, she’s got answers for them all.
You asked me if I minded that you were “hogging her,” as you put it. No, son. I am glad. I’m glad for every moment you have with her, the sister of your bizaabgotojo. I’m happy for you to expand your family.
And frankly, Sept, I am more than a little relieved not to have a lot of time alone with her.
I just don’t really know what to say.
That time we spent together on the ship, when Octy was conceived, that was like nothing I even have words for. It was–well, I didn’t know it was so possible to get so close to someone.
Now, here we are, and… that closeness is there between us, like the elephant in the room.
I am not too sure how to proceed.
“I understand congratulations are in order!” she said this morning.
“Does it show?” I asked.
She laughed. “No, no! Shésti has been singing to me. You made quite an impression on her!”
Where is the rock I can hide under? Please?
She wasn’t jealous. She was happy for us.
“Octy will be such a good big brother!” she said.
Xirra has been so cheerful, I hardly know what to make of it. She even smiles and hums happy songs when she’s cleaning the bathroom.
“You don’t need to clean!” I keep telling her.
“Oh, but I do!” she replies.
I love to watch her with your brother, Sept. The two of them are so peaceful. Octy is nearly always a happy baby. But with his mom. I have seen nothing like it.
I wish you could have had that when you were a little guy, Sept. I know I tried to do my best for you. We had Miko and you loved her, but that wasn’t the same. You and I, son, we’re both motherless boys.
I think of the man that Octy will grow into. It must be something to be a man who has had a mother watching over him.
Our little family is growing again, Sept. And it’s a good thing, my son.