May. 22nd, 2010

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Acqua had always liked the pre-dawn hours. When she was younger, it had been one of the best times for picking pockets – when purses were still full and their owners still half asleep. Now she liked them because they were quiet, with the children still asleep, and she and Mat could sit, talk and take care of household chores.

This morning Acqua was putting the final stitches into a rag doll of Letha's that had been in desperate need of repair. Though Acqua would never be a fan of sewing, the sheer amount of clothes five children could manage to tear meant she'd had to become at least competent at the chore.

“Letha will be happy,” Mat remarked, glancing up from the guild reports he'd been reading. “You'd have thought her best friend had died when that thing's head came off.”

Acqua giggled and flashed her husband a warm smile. “There's nothing wrong with a little girl being attached to her toys,” she pointed out.

“Until she leaves them where the puppy can eat them,” Mat commented dryly.

For awhile the couple sat in silence, but Mat was eyeing the doll so thoughtfully Acqua finally had to ask, “What is it, Mat? Don't tell me I missed a hole somewhere?”

“No, you've got them all,” Mat replied. “I was just thinking about how glad I am that our children are free to fuss over toys rather then worry about where the next meal, is going to come from, or where they'll sleep or who's going to hurt them next.”

Acqua nodded in agreement, resting her head on Mat's shoulder. “I'm glad of that too,” she murmured. “We may not be perfect parents, but if the test of a good parent is being able to give your child a better life then you had, well, we're not doing too badly.”

Mat nodded and the couple fell back into a relaxed and easy silence, enjoying the only hours of the day they'd have to themselves.



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Ann Rosa Starr

May 2012


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