Sweet Child of Mine

Sometimes, I just don’t have the time to write my diary. Sometimes, I am just too lazy, or unmotivated. Occasionally, I suffer, as I am sure most writers do, from a fear of the blank page. And sometimes, like now, I am struggling to put my thoughts into words. Even now, some days after the fact, am still going through it in my head.

I am to be a father again.

Perhaps I should qualify that. I am potentially to be a father again.

That is to say that my lover, Gwyn, is with child.

Under normal circumstances, that would be necessary and sufficient condition for me to say that I am to be a father, but then, since when has my life been normal? There is the matter, in recent months, of her other lover, King Janus. And so the question remains somewhat open.

Which of us is the father?

I had always thought that, as a vampire, I was infertile, and so Gwyn and I never took any precautions. But, after the revived heartbeat from Isabella and the Quickening from Faermorn, now I am not so sure. Janus, on the other hand, is presumably fertile, even if, as I understand it, the fae conceive rarely. So, I do not know, and, I do not know how that could be determined. Perhaps in Gwyn’s time, they have the means to find out such things, but given the nature of the three of us, perhaps that is a question best not asked. Who knows what modern technology would make of us?

Which of us is the father?

I love Gwyn. It does not matter to me who the father is. It does not seem to matter to Janus either, which surprised me a little, but pleased me more. A child is precious, he said, no matter who the father was. For both of us, what was important was how Gwyn was feeling. She was excited, nervous, confused, bewildered, scared. She did not feel she was ready to be a mother. She did not feel she knew how to be a mother. She did not want to be a mother. She did not what to be queen. She wanted to run away to normality, to our cottage by the sea. Even as she said this, she admitted that if she were to run away, she would soon want to come back and be queen again. Most of all, she was not sure she wanted to carry the children, there was so much she needed to do, so much travelling, so many things to take care of, and she was not sure she could do all that while carrying children. I can understand that. Alexandra hated the restrictions that being pregnant placed upon her, even though, in her case, she very much wanted to be pregnant. Was there some way, Gywn wanted to know, that she could be spared the burden of the pregnancy itself? Janus opined that there might be a way, but I was not so sure. A wet nurse is one thing, but somebody else carrying the children? Was that even possible? There, I had no answer, for much of how things work in faerie are a mystery to me.

Janus and I held her, comforted her, and re-assured her. We were there for her, to love her, support her, to be with her through all that was to come. For that, she was grateful, surprised, and supremely happy. We held her and kissed her and comforted her and told her we loved her. Not him, not me, not her, but US. No questions about fatherhood, parenting or anything else, just the three of us together. And that was how we spent the rest of the night, together.

Which of us is the father?

Afterwards, I thought long and hard about that question. While it might not matter to Janus and me, or to Gwyn, it will matter. Gwyn is Faerie Queen. She is mother to the land, to her people. Any children will be seen as heirs to the land. And there, the question of fatherhood could be very important indeed. While I know that the fae have very different views regarding morality and social mores, and care not who sleeps with whom, I somehow suspect they will be less… forgiving… when it comes to the provenance of the children. I know my Arthurian stories, and others, too well. Any question regarding the parentage of the heirs is likely to be a problem, and I would not want that for my children, even if they aren’t mine. I need to talk to Janus about this. Whatever our personal feelings might be, whatever I might feel about being a father again, it might be best if the world thought them to be his offspring. And we can only hope that they are born with pointy ears and not pointy teeth (though I know the latter is not an inherited trait). I must have this talk with Janus, and soon.

As for myself, I do not know how I feel. My love is with child. That is enough for me to be delighted, for I missed out on my own child’s upbringing. I love her for that. And yet, I cannot but help to be apprehensive. I cannot say this to Gwyn; indeed, I do not know who I could say it to, but I am scared. I lost my wife to childbirth. We lost four potential children before that to miscarriages. And I cannot help but think also of what happened to Aislyn. These fears I cannot express to Gwyn and probably not to Janus, and yet they are there. And I do not know what to do about that. It is at times like this that I really miss Mother. She would know what to do. Perhaps, perhaps, I can dream of her again and ask.

 Sweet Child of Mine



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