1. Naptime Blessings
"The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children." —Elain Heffner
It was a softly golden afternoon in Gondor, and it was the time of day when mothers throughout the land try to get young ones down for a restful nap. Though exceptional in many other ways, the Steward's House was no different in this.
"Where is my big boy?" asked Finduilas, putting one hand on her forehead and doing a fine job of acting puzzled. "I was certain that he was in here, but it looks like he is gone." She sighed most sadly.
Off to her left, a pile of blankets moved, and a little shadow flitted behind the big chair. Finduilas buried a grin and deliberately looked the other way. "Oh dear. I believe my little Bori is lost."
"Mummy!" With a mighty leap, the little shadow flew into the air and, despite all expectations, landed safely in his mother's arms.
Finduilas laughed, even as she stumbled back a little. "Bori, dear, someday we will have to forego this tradition, for you are quite big now for me to catch."
"I am the biggest boy in Gondor!" declared Boromir proudly, flexing his little biceps and puffing out his chest.
"Of course," said Finduilas, settling down into the big chair. "But you are my boy first and foremost, are you not?"
"Yes, Mummy," said Boromir, wriggling deeper into her lap.
"And my boy needs to take his nap now, is that not right?"
Boromir did not answer, but hid his face behind Finduilas' encircling arm.
"Big boys need no naps," came the slightly muffled answer.
"Yes, they do, or they will get no bigger," said Finduilas, lifting her arm and leaning down to brush noses with Boromir, who was still trying to hide.
"I am big enough," answered Boromir firmly. "I need no nap."
"I think not," said Finduilas.
"I think so," said Boromir, daring a bit of cheek.
"Oh, you do?" Finduilas' tone was gently dangerous.
"Yes," said Boromir.
"Do you know what I say to that?" asked Finduilas, her blue eyes flashing suddenly.
Boromir shook his head solemnly, before being enveloped suddenly in a quick embrace, and finding himself peppered with gushy mother kisses. He squealed and struggled, writhing in her gasp, but giggling in spite of himself. "Mama! No kisses!" He got a hand free, and pushed her face away.
Finduilas pouted a little. "No kisses?"
"No kisses," said Boromir. "I am too big."
"You would not say that if you knew what a kiss was," said Finduilas mysteriously. "But I suppose you are too little to know that." She stood up, putting Boromir down. "Come, nap time!"
Boromir clung to her skirt, saying loudly: "I am big enough for everything! Tell me, Mama! What is a kiss?"
With a grin, she scooped him up again, looking him straight in the face. There was a pause.
"Tell me!" demanded Boromir.
A motherly eyebrow rose.
"Tell me—please?" And two little hands were put on her cheeks as two sea-blue eyes looked hopefully into her own.
"Only if you are in bed," she whispered, and with a swift move, Boromir found himself flying through the air again.
With a squeal of delight, he landed on the mattress with a bit of a bounce, and then rolled over to get himself under the covers to hear the secret.
Finduilas sat beside him, and leaned in close. "A kiss," she said, "is a blessing."
Boromir's looked disappointed. "A blessing? Blessings are for girlies."
Finduilas shook her head. "For girls? Do you not want to be safe?"
Boromir thought very hard for a minute. "I am the biggest boy in Gondor," he declared. "I will kill anything not safe."
"But what if you meet a dragon?" queried Finduilas, half-curiously, half-wryly.
"I will kill him," said Boromir, growling viciously and making a large slashing motion towards, his mother assumed, the hypothetical dragon's throat. Then he looked up. "Can kisses keep me safe from dragons?"
"Oh, yes," said Finduilas gravely. "They will keep you safe from wolves, and bears, and wild cats, and trolls."
"And dragons," added Boromir.
"Of course. And dragons, too."
"And chins?" asked Boromir, his head tipped to one side.
"Of cou—chins, Boromir?" Finduilas started, and Boromir dissolved into giggles.
She gathered him close and planted a kiss on his forehead, and this time he did not struggle. "Yes, even from chins, if they ever threaten you."
"Then can I have lots of kisses?"
Another rise of the eyebrow.
Boromir sighed, and said again: "May I?"
There was not a mother alive who could say no to that. So Finduilas gave him a kiss on his hair, a kiss on his forehead, a kiss on his left eye, a kiss on his right eye, a kiss on his nose, a kiss on his left cheek, a kiss on his right cheek, a kiss on his left ear, a kiss on his right ear, a kiss on his lips, and a kiss on his dangerous chin.
"Now I am invincible," whispered Boromir, satisfied, and he yawned sleepily.
"Of course you are," whispered Finduilas with a smile. She fluffed his pillow, pulled the covers around him, and tucked them in tightly. "Sleep safely, my little boy."
And Boromir was too sleepy to protest that he was, of course, the biggest boy in Gondor.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.