The day after Grandparents Day, the Jedi Order allowed initiates in study groups for Grades 1-8 to bring a grandparent to class. This year, Ahsoka was nervous about the tradition. So, she discussed the day with her husband.
"Honey, what are we going to do about tomorrow?" Ahsoka asked nervously.
"What do you mean?" her husband asked in return.
"Well, Sarah's grandparents don't even know she exists. It's safe to say they won't be coming tomorrow. I don't want Sarah feeling left out. "
"Every year, we have students who can't bring grandparents for whatever reason. In those cases, another relative is welcome to come instead."
"Who's going to go with Sarah tomorrow?"
"I figure she can choose one of us. Thankfully, both our schedules allow for that," he replied.
"True," Ahsoka said before kissing her husband good night.
The next morning, Ahsoka shook her head. Even after uncovering Sarah, she remained curled up in bed.
"Sarah, get up. It's time for school," Ahsoka stated firmly.
"I don't wanna go!" Sarah yelled before curling up into a tighter ball.
Sarah's reaction worried her mother. "Did someone do something to you?"
Sarah shook her head no.
"Why don't you want to go?" Ahsoka asked.
Sarah slowly rolled over to face her mother, before softly replying, "I don't have grandparents."
Ahsoka nodded and then went across the hall.
"Honey, you need to talk to Sarah," she told her husband.
"What's wrong?" he asked as he attached a lightsaber to his belt.
"Sarah thinks she doesn't have grandparents. It's better that you talk to her about it. I don't think I could be quite so diplomatic about it as you would."
"I suppose your right," he replied with a sigh. He then went to Sarah's room, where she looked over at him.
"Sarah, you don't want to go to school?" he asked her.
"I don't have grandparents," she repeated.
"Actually, you do."
Sarah's eyes widened in disbelief.
"Why don't I see them?"
Her father took a breath to make the conversation less awkward. "Well, they don't like your mommy and me. They don't even know you exist," he explained.
Sarah didn't know how to react.
"Do they hate me?" she finally asked.
"I don't think so ... at least I hope not. But you need to get dressed for school."
"But who can I take?" Sarah asked, half-pleading with her father.
"Well, two of your classmates will be bringing someone else because they can't bring a grandparent. So, you can choose your mommy or me."
Sarah thought over her choices. As much as she wanted to choose her father, having her mother with her might be better around people who never met either of them.
"I want mommy to come," Sarah stated.
"Very well, I'll tell her while you start getting dressed."
Ahsoka looked forward to spending the day with Sarah. She also hoped that the rest of the class would behave better with her as one of today's guests.
After an introduction to the class by Madame Andrews, the guests and students went to a meditation chamber.
"I know most of you aren't Jedi," Madame Andrews said as she quickly looked over at Ahsoka, "but please remain quiet for now so the students can concentrate."
Everyone nodded and let the students focus on their meditation. Ahsoka closed her eyes and used the time to sense everyone's emotions. The students were focused on their meditation. The guests seemed to be a bit curious about Ahsoka herself. One of them – she didn't know who – seemed taken aback by her appearance. Ahsoka opted to do nothing. There was no point in overreacting or causing a scene in front of the students.
Later, when the students practiced their telekinesis, the guests looked on in awe.
"That's pretty bizarre," Molly's grandfather said.
Ahsoka decided to share her thoughts.
"It's a lesson in learning the little things so they can do more advanced things later," she replied. To prove her point, Ahsoka unhooked her shoto from her belt. She used the Force to levitate it in front of her chin.
"You're a Jedi?" David's uncle asked? David's grandparents lived too far away to visit, so David chose to bring an uncle instead.
Ahsoka nodded. "And someday, Force willing, Sarah will be, too."
"You must be proud of your granddaughter."
Ahsoka's head-tail stripes darkened in embarrassment. "Actually, I'm her mother. I'm too young to be a grandmother."
"Oh, I'm sorry," he replied. He looked as if he was going to say more, but appeared flabbergasted.
"It's okay," Ahsoka reassured him. "It's probably hard to tell my age from just looking at me. Sarah's grandparents couldn't make it, so she asked me to come instead." She tried to describe the situation as objectively as possible.
"You must be very proud of her," Molly's grandfather interjected.
"Very," Ahsoka replied.
The signal for lunch time chimed and everyone was off to the dining hall. While the students sat on one end of the table, their guests sat on the opposite end. It wasn't tradition, but it just worked out that way.
"Is everybody enjoying the day so far?" A male voice asked. Ahsoka knew it was her husband from the sound of his voice and the weight of his footsteps in her montrals.
"Hey, honey," Ahsoka greeted her husband as they shared a quick kiss. "Everyone seems impressed so far," she told him.
"That's good. Does anyone else have any thoughts?"
Madison's grandmother looked at the Grand Master curiously. "The girl Sarah is your daughter?" she asked in disbelief.
Ahsoka looked on curiously. She was the one whose uncertain feelings she sensed earlier. However, she was curious to see how her husband handled the question.
"She's my pride and joy," he answered as looked down to where Sarah was finishing her lunch. "She looks just look me, huh?" he quipped. Ahsoka gave a slight grin, but tried not to show her sharp canine teeth too much.
Madison's grandmother was speechless. How could he be Sarah's father? More importantly, why would he say she looked like him when she didn't?
"I need to go greet our other visitors, but enjoy the rest of your day," he said in parting.
Back in the classroom, the class was joined by their home-school only classmates. The visitors were given datapads with an audiovisual presentation on the Jedi Order. The datapads had ear buds for them to listen to the presentation without disturbing the students. Ahsoka, who lacked ears, used a set of headphones against her side head-tails.
Ahsoka looked up and noticed Becca sitting behind Sarah. She was slowly moving her hand up as if she was going to touch or pull Sarah's rear head-tail. Ahsoka, not wanting to see Sarah get hurt, gave in to her protective instincts. She stretched out the fingers of her right hand and quickly flicked them. Becca's hand fell down to the desk and made a slapping noise.
"Becca, do you need something?" Madame Andrews asked.
"No, Ma'am," Becca replied.
"Than please don't slap your desk. It's time to study quietly."
"Yes, Ma'am," Becca answered respectfully.
A few minutes later, Ahsoka noticed Becca repeating her action. Again, Ahsoka used the Force to quickly move Becca's hand away. Again, it slapped the desk softly, but loud enough to draw Madame Andrews' attention.
"Becca, if you do that again, I'd have to dismiss you from class," Madame Andrews admonished.
"I'm not trying to!" Becca replied truthfully.
"Then don't do it again and finish working on your assignments," Madame Andrews said.
Becca nodded, still unsure what had happened. However, she obeyed her teacher and worked on her lessons. She made no more attempts to touch Sarah's rear head-tail. Sarah appeared to have been so engrossed in her studies, she never knew what Becca was doing.
Eventually, the day-ending signal sounded.
"Okay, everyone, I'll see you tomorrow. And thanks to our grandparents and other relatives for being here today. I hope you enjoyed observing your students," Madame Andrews said.
Everyone slowly filed out. Ahsoka watched Becca give Sarah a funny look before leaving.
"Are you ready to go home, Sarah?" Ahsoka asked.
"Yeah, mommy, did you like it today?" Sarah replied and asked in return.
Ahsoka nodded. "Your classmates seemed to be nice for the most part."
Sarah nodded back as they headed for home.
"You did what?" Ahsoka's husband asked when he heard about Becca's actions.
"What did you want me to do? Let her pull Sarah's lek?" Ahsoka asked emphatically.
"Soka, you know we're really not supposed to use the Force like that. Couldn't you have said something instead?" he asked her.
Ahsoka thought for a moment. "I guess I could have... or should have. But I've always been protective when it comes to younglings," she reminded him. She recalled the time she led a mission with six Jedi Initiates. She didn't anticipate defending the group from Hondo and his dirty, sleazy pirates. She was captured and mistreated for a brief while, but at least the initiates were never harmed.
"True, but you also know I'm trying not to be overprotective, too," he replied.
"I guess I have to work on that now, too, huh?" Ahsoka admitted.
"Let's hope everyone is nice to her tomorrow," Ahsoka said before she and her husband headed upstairs for the night.
The next morning's Jedi studies went smoothly. As the class sat down with lunches in hand, they were surprised to see a cake come out.
Sarah's day was going smoothly so far. She had just finished her lunch and was enjoying the ceremonial cake and ice cream. This year, however, there was no teasing and Sarah ate her dessert proudly.
At the end of the day, Ahsoka picked Sarah up to take her back home.
"How was your day so far, Sarah?" Ahsoka asked.
"Everyone was nice this year," Sarah replied happily, "But..." she began before being interrupted.
"Someone was mean to you?" Ahsoka asked with concern.
Sarah shook her head. "No, mommy, but I think that new girl wanted to grab my tails."
Ahsoka felt her own head-tails twitch with nervousness. "Did she try?"
"I don't know. I felt her hand move by them, but she moved it back instead."
"That's good. If she does grab them, remember to tell Madame Andrews. Don't do anything else back," Ahsoka reminded Sarah.
At home, Sarah once again enjoyed her traditional birthday treat of orange sherbet. She counted all six candles on the cake before blowing them out.
"Happy birthday, Sarah. You're six years old now," Ahsoka said.
Sarah counted out six on her fingers. She smiled as her father slid a small plate of cake and orange sherbet over to her. After she finished, Ahsoka handed Sarah two wrapped gifts.
Sarah eagerly opened the first one up. It was a Stellar Battles coloring book. Her next gift was the storybook version of a recent set of episodes, The Cosmic Quest.
"So, do you like your presents, Sarah," her father asked.
Sarah nodded happily. "Thanks, daddy!" she replied.
"Mommy helped picked them out too," he told her.
"Thanks, mommy," Sarah added.
"You're welcome, Sarah," Ahsoka answered.
"Go finish your academics, Sarah. You can read and color this weekend," her father said.
"Can I color after I watch Stellar Battles?" Sarah asked anxiously.
"Sure," her father said.
Sarah smiled as she went up to her room to study.
"She seems happier," her father stated.
"Her day went a lot better than last year," Ahsoka replied. "I just hope she has no trouble this year, especially with the new girl," she added.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"Sarah thinks the home-school girl wanted to pull on her tails. She didn't, but we may want to address that to be safe," Ahsoka explained.
"I'll mention it to Madame Andrews tomorrow morning," he promised.
Ahsoka nodded before being surprised with a kiss.
"You're a good mother, Soka," he told her.
"Umm, thanks," she replied, not quite sure what prompted the kiss and comment.
"I know I was a bit surprised about yesterday. I just wanted to let you know I appreciate you being a good mom. We just can't let ourselves be too overprotective. That won't help Sarah in the long run," he said.
"It's hard not to react, though," Ahsoka replied.
"I know. But parenting – like being a Jedi – is never easy," he shared.
Ahsoka nodded as she and her husband cleaned off the table and started to do the dishes. ▄
Clone Wars Commentary: This section discusses the episode Sabotage from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Please do not read further to avoid spoilers.
I enjoyed last week's episode. However, I had no strong opinions about it. I think the episode did a good job setting the stage for the more exciting events that are yet to come. I'm still confident Ahsoka will be exonerated. Still, I wonder if she's going to be severely injured in the process or see her reputation suffer. Thoughts on the upcoming episodes are welcome.
Personally, I'm convinced Palpatine will be involved in Ahsoka's frame-up this week. Then again, I originally thought Letta was a male before viewing last week's episode. So what do I know?