We all have Moms and we all love them. For the elves of DesertWinds it's no different.
So here we go as we celebrate our mothers.
Written By Shima and AmeAme and Shima were preparing spring greens for the next meal, discussing the day's events.
"So, I was going to harvest a crop of sweetroot, but . . ." Ame stopped and looked to her left. Akan was approaching slowly, with his hands behind his back and his Snake Killers trailing behind as usual. She noticed the look on his face and turned to her daughter. "I think this one is for you." She said to Shima.
"What have you done?" Shima asked her son as he came close.
"Nothing." Akan replied, scuffing the sand with his sandal.
"So why are you looking like that?"
"Here!" Akan pulled out his hands and showed one each to Ame and Shima. Grasped in his fists are wilted blue flowers. "I picked them special." He looked up from the ground to see their reaction.
"Thank you, kitling, it's lovely." Ame replied with a smile, holding back a laugh. Getting up on her knees, she gave him a hug and kiss, followed by his mother.
"I think your Grandma's absolutely correct. Thank you very much, kit." Shima noticed he was blushing and uncomfortably shifting from foot to foot. She glanced at her mother before adding, "Why don't you go and play some more. We'll call when it's time to eat."
Akan looked gratefully at them with a smile and ran off, wiping his cheeks.
Ame sniffed her flower and tucked it behind her ear. "I remember when someone else did just the same thing. I think you were around the same age, in fact." She commented, before looking up at Shima.
"Yes. I was sitting, sewing, and you came up. Grinning from ear to ear, and said you had a present for me. Well, I didn't know what to think, but out came your hands, and in them were a bunch of mixed flowers. Had that look on your face, you know, of, 'Look what I got you Mommy!' I was so delighted and surprised. Well, I put down my sewing and gave you a big hug. Do you remember? I'll never forget that day. It was the first present you ever gave me. I wish I could have kept them." She looked at Shima who was blushing.
"I remember now." She replied nodding. "It was First-mothers' Day. You know . . . that day I had father help me. I wanted to give you a present so badly and nobody was around. It seemed the camp was deserted . . ."
Shima was sitting crying, having tried the day before to think of a present to give her mother. However, unfortunately for her, most of the village had the same idea, and were off pursuing their very own gift searching. Kaze too had been searching, and luckily, had already found a gift. He was on his way home, when he came across Shima.
"What is wrong sweeting?"
She sniffed, and tried to wipe her face. "I can't find a gift for Mommy!" More sniffing with huffs followed. " I look'd and look'd and look'd, but can't find anyfing. I wanted it to be spec'al for her." Shima again burst into tears. "Will . . . you . . . please . . . help . . . me?" She asked miserably in between sobs.
Kaze tried not to laugh as he picked her up. "Of course I'll help you sweeting. Now, before we begin, you're going to have to stop crying. Ok?"
"Ok." After gasping hiccups and many sniffs, Shima finally stopped.
Kaze finger combed her hair back and then wiped her face. "Done now?"
"Yes, thank you, Daddy. C'n I get down now?" She replied with a smile.
"Of course you can. Now, what have you already thought of?" He asked, kneeling down.
"Well, I try to make Mommy a pretty necklace . . . Auntie Vindra gave me da pretty beads and a string and everyfing . . . but I pulled it too hard . . . it broke . . . pretty beads go everywhere. Then I try to catch somfin so Mommy could cook it . . ."
Kaze's growl made the child look up. "You went hunting by yourself?" he demanded.
"No, Daddy, I no find nothing," Shima quickly pressed on. "Den, I find dis pretty shiny rock, but it was just a rock . . . der is lots of rocks around here . . . Mommy no need rocks!"
Fresh tears started spilling down the child's cheeks. "I no find anyfing . . . I have no present for Mommy . . . Mommy going to hate me." She crossed her arms and looked as miserable as she could.
"Your mother would never hate you, sweeting. Anymore than I could."
"You get grumpy sometimes . . . you hate me den."
"No, never . . . I just get grumpy that's all."
A look of disbelief crossed the other's face. Then she shrugged her shoulder. "Where I find a present for Mommy?" she asked, changing the subject.
Kaze stood up and looked around. "Perhaps, you've been looking too hard, sweeting. Sometimes the best present is right under your nose."
Shima looked down at her feet and rubbed her nose. "Nofin but dirt, Daddy. Mommy, wants dirt?"
Kaze laughed aloud. "No, sweeting, Mommy doesn't want dirt."
"What does Mommy want?"
"How about a hug?"
"I already hugged her today, lots of times."
"But she really likes your hugs."
"I need sofin' else."
She looked the way her father was looking and her eyes lit up. "I see sofin' . . . go back to camp, Daddy. I want dis to be su'pise!"
** Don't go far! **
** I won't, Daddy! **
Later that day Kaze was watching Ame put the finishing touches on a dress she was making for Shima. "You know you will never get her in that," he told her with a grin.
"We'll see, beloved."
Just then, the object of their conversation came walking up. Her hands tucked behind her back and her eyes focused on her sandals.
"What have you done?" Ame asked her daughter as she came close.
"Nothing." Shima replied, looking up. A big smile lit up her face. "I got present for you . . . here!" Shima pulled out her hands and in each were bunches of colored flowers. "I picked them special, just for you, Mommy."
"Thank you, kitling, they are lovely." Ame laid down her sewing and opened her arms. Shima ran into them and gave her a big hug.
"See, Daddy, told you I'd find sofin!"
Shima looked up and watched Akan retreat with Snake Killers following behind. Reaching up she placed her own blue flower in her hair. Then she gave her mother a hug.
Ame returned the embrace. "What was that for?"
"Just because," Shima said turning her attention back to the greens on her lap.
Ame smiled as she too returned to the task at hand.
Ame sat outside her tent. Darkness had settled over the camp and everyone was settling down for the night. She waved at Althair as he went to take over as sentry. ** Be safe. **
The dark dressed elf waved back. ** I will, sleep well, Ame. ** He stopped and shared some quiet words with the elf coming in for the night. Ame was waiting for this elf. The story they had shared earlier had opened a flood of memories and she wanted to share them.
** You know, your father was right . . . those many moons ago. **
Shima sat down on the rug lying beside her mother. "Right about what, Mother?"
"I never did get you into that dress I sewed. If I remember correctly, it disappeared soon after I finished it." There was a hint of blame in her voice.
Shima shrugged her shoulders and did not look her mother in the eyes. "Can't imagine what happened . . . but, if you recall, about a hand of years later, you did get me into a dress."
"Again, if my memory isn't failing me . . . it wasn't me who got you in that dress . . ."
The child's cry echoed through the small camp. Efren glanced up at the elf standing on the makeshift ladder. "Sounds like your little tiger is showing off that roar of hers again."
Kigen laughed. The child again yelled out her unwillingness. Kigen finished tying the brightly colored banner in place. ** Would you like some assistance, Kaze? ** He lock-sent.
** Yes . . . please! **
Kigen left Efren to finish hanging the banners for the festival and walked over to Kaze and Ame's tent. Inside he could hear the wailing of their daughter, Shima. "Hey, what's all that noise?" he asked loudly as he stepped inside.
Kaze was standing over a huddled figure on the floor. He looked up as the other entered. Kigen smiled at the look of relief on the older one's face. The little one on the floor ceased her crying and getting up, ran over to throw her arms around Kigen's waist.
"Daddy is being mean!" She told him.
"And what awful thing is he doing?" Kigen asked, trying to keep the laughter from his voice.
The small girl stepped back and gestured to the garment that hung haphazardly on her small frame. "He wants me to wear a dress!" she cried out in disbelief.
Kigen had to turn his head and cough to cover up a laugh. ** You mean daddy! ** He privately sent to Kaze.
The other just rolled his eyes. Then looking as his daughter, he pleaded with her once more. "Your Aunt Vindra made that dress for you, just for tonight. Can't you wear it, just for a little while?"
Shima crossed her arms and glared up at her sire. "No! It makes me look like a girl!"
"You are a . . ."
"If I'm a girl then why couldn't I go with the others?"
Kigen placed his hands on her shoulders and turned her around to face him. Then he knelt down and wiped her still damp cheeks with his fingers. "The women all went on the hunt today, that's right. Do you remember why?"
Shima looked down at the ground. "So you could get ready for the festival."
"Yes," Kigen smiled. "A festival that the males are throwing for the females."
"It's a way to say thank you and show them how much we care for them." As he talked, Kigen gently fixed the dress so that it slid over her shoulders. Then he tied the laces on the front. "You look pretty," he told her when he finished. "As pretty as your mother."
Shima pulled at the hem of her dress. "Mommy is very pretty," she agreed.
"Yes, she is," Kaze said. He reached over and removed a rose from the vase on the hutch. Then he snipped the stem and slid the bloom into Shima's curls.
"Perfect!" Kigen agreed.
Shima grabbed the tracker's hand and pulled him toward the doorway. "Come on . . ." she pleaded. "Grandpa Yaramon is cooking!"
"And that's a good thing?" Kigen joked.
"He let's me lick the spoon and everything!"
"Just make sure you keep your dress pretty . . . at least until your Mommy and Aunt Vindra see it," Kaze told her sternly.
"I will . . . promise!"
That evening Kaze and Ame watched their daughter dance around the other elves. In her hands were two brightly colored ribbons. Shima saw them watching her. Smiling she ran over and dropped down on the ground in front of them. Kaze lifted his daughter up onto his lap. Shima's smile wavered as his eyes looked over her dress. She glanced down as well. There was a tear on her sleeve and a large stain on the skirt where she had "helped" Yaramon cook.
** Sorry, Daddy. **
** It's okay, kitling. At least you made it all the way to the dance. ** He ruffled her hair, causing the rose to tumble into his lap.
Shima picked the wilting bloom up and reaching over planted it in her mother's braid. "Now, you look perfect . . . too!"
"Care to dance, little tiger?"
Shima squealed as Kigen lifted her up. He carried her back into the throng of dancing elves.
"Care to dance, beloved?" Kaze echoed.
Ame smiled and nodded. The Lifemates joined their daughter in the laughter and music of the festival.
"That was the last time you wore a dress until we celebrated the Recognition and Lifemating of you and Kigen."
"Aunt Vindra almost fainted when I asked her for a dress." This time, Shima did laugh aloud.
Her mother laughed in agreement. "However, that is a tale for another night." Standing she dusted the sand from her skirt. "Sleep well, Daughter."
"Mm . . . how come we've never had that festival again." Shima wonder out load.
"The men thought it was too much work," Ame replied with a smile. "Goodnight, Shima."
The sound of Shima's laughter was the last noise heard that evening.