Author: Deandra PM
Eomer has misgivings about his influence on his children. ONESHOT. Part 82 of the Elfwine Chronicles.Rated: Fiction K - English - Eomer & Lothíriel - Words: 1,418 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 2 - Published: 06-03-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2972645
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Part 82 of the Elfwine Chronicles. The Elfwine Chronicles are a series of one-shots built around the family group of Eomer, Lothiriel and Elfwine. The total number will depend on how many ideas I get for new vignettes.
A/N: With Father's Day just around the corner, I suppose it's appropriate that I seem to be on a father/son kick with the Chronicles, huh?
Also, I annoyed shie1dmaidenofrohan enough that she updated "An Act of Desperation", so you really should go read that. It's been awhile since she posted, but do yourself a favor and reread the whole thing! Since I beta-read ch. 27 for her, I did that to refresh my memory and I STILL love her story! I plan on continuing to nudge her to finish it, too! And now that I'm done being beta on that ch. I will go back to writing Adv. of Theodred and try to get the next chapter up soon.
(Jul, 12 IV)
Unintentionally, I had entered the Golden Hall so silently that no one there had noticed me. Several people moved about the room, caught up in various occupations, but my attention was drawn to the table where my wife and son sat. Their heads were bent together as Lothiriel patiently explained something in one of his lessons. My children would not suffer for education with such a knowledgeable woman as their mother. In some ways, I almost thought my heir was more learned than I was for having her provide the instruction. On the other hand, had my tutors been so lovely as Lothiriel, perhaps I would have listened more closely, I mused with a grin.
Without realizing what I was doing, I moved into the shadow of a pillar and stood gazing at the two working together. Elfwine was turning into a fine young man. At eleven years, he was already an accomplished horseman and was quickly developing his ability with a sword. There was speculation he would even surpass his sire in both respects, a notion that both pleased and dismayed me. Not a week went by when someone did not congratulate me on my fine family, particularly my firstborn and heir to the throne.
Standing here now, though, I felt as if a great gulf separated me from my son, from my children. I had never intended to be a distant father, but the requirements of my office as king seemed to keep me too busy to spend so much time with them as I would have liked. It was not me who had taught Elfwine to ride so well, though I had given the first instruction and accustomed the boy to riding on Firefoot with me until he was old enough to be trained. I had play-fought with a wooden sword and shield with the boy on a few occasions, but more often it was someone else, and Thaldur was primarily the one who was teaching him the intricacies of using a blade. Likely someone else would also teach him to master other weaponry as well.
I sighed heavily, only now truly becoming aware of how little I had done for my children, other than provide them with a roof over their head, clothes to wear and food to eat. Probably the greatest service I had done them was in who I had chosen to be their mother, but that had been more luck than anything. I did not think I had any right to boast about winning Lothiriel. She had chosen me, had loved me. It was that simple. All I'd had to do was love her in return and ask for her hand in marriage. Even in that I could take no particular credit.
And now I had three children who sometimes seemed almost as strangers. How many times had Elfwine gotten excited at the prospect of just spending a few brief moments with me, mainly because he rarely saw enough of me to get bored with my presence?
No, I had participated in bringing him into the world, but I could not truly say I had done much beyond that in influencing the man he would be or how he would live his life.
My morose thoughts were overwhelming me, and so I had not noticed that the lesson had ended and Lothiriel had come to stand before me. She studied the expression on my face, then reached up a hand and gently stroked my furrowed brow. "What troubles you, my love?" she inquired softly.
Need I spell it out to her? Was she not already well aware of my shortcomings as a father? Likely she even resented my lack of involvement, placing the burden squarely on her capable shoulders. No matter that she had done a fine job of raising our children; I had not done my part.
Frustrated, I turned silently away and exited out to her garden. I was not surprised that she followed me, though part of me wished she would not persist with this conversation. Yet here she was again, standing before me with a questioning eyebrow raised.
In desperation, I tried to find rational words to explain my behavior and express my regrets, "I...I am sorry to have encumbered you with training our children, leaving you alone to attempt to successfully guide them in life."
My explanation fell far short of what I wanted to convey but, not unexpectedly, Lothiriel heard more than I was able to adequately put into words.
"Do you not see the part you have played, Eomer? Do you not see how Elfwine mimics the way you move and act? Do you not see him attempting to act as you act and speak as you speak? He adores you, my love, and wants nothing more than to be exactly like you. Perhaps you have not stood over him, giving him specific instructions on how things are done, but you have taught him by your example. He treats servants the way you treat them – with dignity and respect. He shows consideration and compassion for all around him – just as his father does. He steps in to help me with the younger children, following your example. Whether you see it or not – or even wish it – he will be a man just like his father, beloved."
She slipped into my arms, adding, "I know, and he knows, what being king means. Of course we both wish there was more private time to be had with you, but we understand the restrictions you face. It does not make us love you any less, or fail to value the contribution you make to our lives. We always know you are there, loving us, longing to be with us as much as we long to be with you. You have not failed, dearest!"
Her head came to rest on my chest as tears slipped down her cheeks, and I found my own eyes were also wet. Could it be so? Could they truly forgive me for falling short? I hoped with everything in me that Lothiriel was right. She was rarely wrong, it seemed, about anything. I would have to trust she was not now.
Even so, I determined, I would make a greater effort. Even if I found only five minutes more in the day to be with my family, I would do so. I did not wish to be honored as their king or for merely siring them. I wished for them to know and love me. I wished to be honored as their loving father.
Elfwine is 11, Theodwyn 4 and Theomund 2
End note: It is best that you read the Elfwine Chronicles in the order they were written. The more of them that I wrote, the more likely I was to make reference to one of the previous ones and something that happened there. If you want to read them in order, go to the top of this page and click on my name (Deandra). That will take you to my profile page. Scroll down and you will find all the stories I have written. The Elfwine Chronicles are in order from bottom to top since ffn shows them in the order they were posted. A few were posted out of number order, but you can read them in posting order or number order since those few won't be affected in the story content.