like father like son -h2-

    Share
    avatar
    Nils Selway
    Tiny Squid

    Posts : 15
    Age : 39
    Location : Nadar

    like father like son -h2-

    Post by Nils Selway on Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:38 pm

    Nils felt like he was going to throw up. His heart was beating too fast and his mouth felt like a desert. On some days, he could pretend to handle these social events in which the most powerful and important clio on Amelia came to visit with his equally powerful and important wife. Today wasn't one of those days.

    Paisley had squeezed his hand and given him a little smile that said, Go. It's okay. He knew what that smile meant because she'd given it to him multiple times before. It made him feel a strange mixture of relief and guilt, comfort and self-loathing. He was so grateful that she understood and was okay with his issues, but so ashamed that he had those issues in the first place.

    Oh well. When it came down to it, he would rather take the shame of hiding away in his study than the shame of having a panic attack in front of all those clio. He sighed and rested his forehead against the closed door of his study, wondering why he had to be this way, before opening the door and going inside.

    After closing the door behind him, he turned and saw that he was not alone. Sitting in the corner of the study with a book in his lap was Nils and Paisley's son, little Henri. He looked terrified, as if he'd just been caught doing something heinous like setting the curtains on fire. He was supposed to be at the party, but then again, so was Nils.

    "What are you doing in here?" Nils asked, offering his young son a small smile so that he wouldn't think he was in trouble. He figured he already knew the answer.
    avatar
    Henrik Selway-Sommers
    Squabby Bobby

    Posts : 61
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:21 pm

    Henri shrunk down into the cushions he was sitting on when he heard the door start opening. Oh gods. Oh gods. Was someone looking for him? They'd noticed he was missing and they were coming. They were going to drag him back. He was gonna have to go back there. To all those clio he didn't know, that had invaded his home. He knew he wasn't supposed to be in here, but he couldn't help but escape once he was given the chance.

    When the door opened, Henri watched as his dad came in and closed it softly behind him. He squeezed his eyes shut tightly, hoping that his dad wouldn't see him, but when he opened them (being unable to help himself), he saw his dad looking at him.

    Dad wrote:What are you doing in here?

    "I...I just," Henri said quietly, feeling like a trapped mouse. He sighed. "I wanted to finish this book." He was reading about the Persian sleeping tree (Albizia julibrissin) and how it fared in tropical climates.
    avatar
    Nils Selway
    Tiny Squid

    Posts : 15
    Age : 39
    Location : Nadar

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Nils Selway on Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:39 pm

    "Oh yeah?" Nils asked, walking over and sitting down besides Henri. He glanced over and was able to see that Henri was reading one of Paisley's botanical textbooks. It was beyond Nils' reading comprehension (he couldn't even begin to pronounce the name of the tree on the page), and yet his eight-year-old son could apparently understand it. "Mind if I join you?"

    He, of course, knew the real reason Henri was here was the same reason Nils was: The party had gotten too overwhelming. Little Henri was a lot like Nils, and a lot unlike his namesake, in that way. Nils wasn't quite sure how he had passed on all his anxieties to his son, but he'd managed it somehow. Sigh.

    "You could tell me about your book," he offered. "Or if you just want to keep reading, I have some writing I can do."
    avatar
    Henrik Selway-Sommers
    Squabby Bobby

    Posts : 61
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:15 pm

    Henri thought about it for a minute, quietly. "You're not mad that I left the party?" he asked. He kept his eyes on the pages of his book, not wanting to look at his dad if he'd disappointed him. He picked at the edge of the book's (Fantastic Plants and Where to Find Them) cover as he waited for a response.

    He wouldn't mind sitting with his dad, if his dad really wanted him there.
    avatar
    Nils Selway
    Tiny Squid

    Posts : 15
    Age : 39
    Location : Nadar

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Nils Selway on Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:38 pm

    "Of course not," Nils said. He leaned over, as if he were going to tell Henri a secret. "Want to know something? I left the party, too." He sat back up and smiled at Henri. At least one good thing about his son taking so much after him was that he was able to understand him really well. He had a harder time understanding the girls, especially when they picked on their brother or fought with each other. He had no idea where that kind of behavior had come from.

    This, though, he understood completely. "These parties can sometimes be a little bit too much, huh?" he said.
    avatar
    Henrik Selway-Sommers
    Squabby Bobby

    Posts : 61
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:27 pm

    Henri couldn't help but smile as his dad whispered in his ear, like it was a secret just for him that they were so similar. He looked up at him as his dad drew away.

    Dad wrote:These parties can sometimes be a little bit too much, huh?

    Henri nodded. "I don't like them," he admitted quietly. And Poppy pulled my hair, he wanted to add but didn't.

    "I do like Persian sleeping trees, though." He shrugged and smiled up at his dad. He proceeded to point to the various diagrams and explained about the coolest things about the tree--the leaves that opened and closed depending both on the time of day and the weather, and the flowers and how pretty the entire thing looked like. He wished he could see one in clio, which was why he was trying to figure out if they could flourish in tropical climates. "Aren't they just so pretty?" he finished.
    avatar
    Nils Selway
    Tiny Squid

    Posts : 15
    Age : 39
    Location : Nadar

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Nils Selway on Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:25 pm

    I don't like them either, Nils thought, but he didn't say it out loud.

    He listened to his son talk about the Persian sleeping tree with so much passion and enthusiasm that it actually made Nils proud. Little Henri was so smart for his age, and he took after his mother in his love for all things green. "They are pretty," he agreed. He had never seen a tree like that before. "I wonder how the leaves do that, without a Nadar clio wielding them." He knew some plants could move on their own, like flytraps, but he had no idea how it worked. Maybe Henri had read how in this book.
    avatar
    Henrik Selway-Sommers
    Squabby Bobby

    Posts : 61
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:25 pm

    Sam is too lazy to look it up to explain it in any detail, but Henri excitedly told his father all about how the leaf thing worked. "I wonder if you and Mom could plant one here," he said. As soon as the words left his mouth he immediately felt self-conscious about the thought.

    He was horrible at gardening, no matter how much he studied. For some reason he just couldn't get the hang of it. But he loved the garden, loved spending time out there with his parents. It made him feel so awful every time he killed something. His mom and dad always reassured him that it was okay and they weren't mad, but he always felt like he was ruining something precious whenever something inevitably went wrong. "Maybe not though," he said. He closed the book.

    "I like the new red jade vines you guys put around the gardening shed," he said, trying to change the subject. "They look nice."
    avatar
    Nils Selway
    Tiny Squid

    Posts : 15
    Age : 39
    Location : Nadar

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Nils Selway on Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:03 pm

    Nils listened and smiled and pretended to understand anything that Henri was saying to him about how the leaf movements worked. He wondered how long it would take for little Henri to realize he was smarter than his dad. At least he had his son's respect for the time being...

    Lil Henri wrote:"I wonder if you and Mom could plant one here...Maybe not though."

    "Well, that would be a question for your mom," Nils said. While Nils was good at the physical gardening work, Paisley was the brains behind the operation. She knew which plants thrives together, which ones competed against each other, and what kind of care and climate they all needed. Nils had learned a lot from her, but nowhere near enough to compete with her vast plant knowledge.

    He noticed Henri's slightly crestfallen look as he attempted to change the subject, but decided not to press the issue. "Your mom and me were thinking of working in the flower garden right out front tomorrow," he said. "You wanna give us some help?"
    avatar
    Henrik Selway-Sommers
    Squabby Bobby

    Posts : 61
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:44 pm

    Dad wrote:Your mom and me were thinking of working in the flower garden right out front tomorrow,
    you wanna give us some help?

    Henri shifted uncomfortably. "Maybe I can watch," he told his dad. He had sworn off gardening last year when he'd killed a peperomia plant he'd tried to grow in his room. Poppy'd told him he had a "red thumb" when she found out. Since then he'd stuck strictly to textbooks and the like, hoping to gain more knowledge. He really, really did not like killing plants, and he also really, really did not like disappointing his parents. They always tried to tell him that it didn't matter to them, but he knew deep down it really had to.

    He sighed, feeling suddenly very defeated. "Dad, I just am not good at anything." He couldn't talk to clio, he couldn't be brave, he couldn't garden. He was a mess.
    avatar
    Nils Selway
    Tiny Squid

    Posts : 15
    Age : 39
    Location : Nadar

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Nils Selway on Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:58 pm

    Nils looked at Henri in dismay. He knew exactly what it was like to feel hopeless at everything he tried, and he never wanted any of his kids to have to feel the same way. "Henri, that's just not true," he said. "You're good at so many things. Like reading, and learning. In fact, that book you're reading is actually supposed to be for grown-ups." Henri was like a little knowledge sponge, constantly soaking up information. Nils was often blown away by how smart he was for his age.

    He pulled Henri into a side-hug. "And you're good at being kind. Believe it or not, there are a lot of clio out there who aren't very good at that."
    avatar
    Henrik Selway-Sommers
    Squabby Bobby

    Posts : 61
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:21 pm

    Henri looked down at the book he'd been reading. He knew it was more advanced than something his sisters would pick up...but how could something like that just be for adults?

    "Being good at reading and being kind aren't exactly things clio are known for, are they?" he asked sadly, leaning into his dad when he hugged him. He buried his face into his dad's side, hoping that by hiding his face he'd be able to stop his face and eyes from feeling much too warm. His face always felt like that before he started to cry. "I just...I wish...I wish I could do something that other clio would like me for." No one wanted to be his friend. He wished he could make friends. It was so hard to talk to them when he knew they weren't going to like him. Senna and Poppy were always so happy and excited to see their friends and Henri couldn't even bring himself to look clio in the eye. He knew what they had to say behind his back. Sometimes they didn't even do it behind his back.

    "And I wish I could help you with gard-d-d-en-ing," he said, starting to lose his composure. "I want to be li-li-like you g-guys."
    avatar
    Nils Selway
    Tiny Squid

    Posts : 15
    Age : 39
    Location : Nadar

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Nils Selway on Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:52 pm

    Nils was about to tell Henri that being smart and kind were, in fact, things that some clio were known for, when all of the sudden Henri buried his face into Nils' shirt and started crying. Nils felt his heart break in half. It was actually, physically painful. "Hey, hey, shhh, c'mere," he said softly, pulling Henri into a tighter hug. It took every ounce of willpower for him not to start crying, too.

    It was such an awful situation. Nils knew that there was nothing he could say that would magically make Henri get over his shyness, or make it easier for him to make friends. "Me and your mom, and your sisters, we all love you," he told him instead, rubbing his shoulder. "Anyone'd be lucky to be your friend. And you can always help us with gardening. We love having you garden with us."

    It was all true. Nils and Paisley didn't care that Henri struggled to take care of the plants. The only thing they didn't like was seeing him upset. The absolute last thing either of them wanted was for Henri to stop trying.
    avatar
    Henrik Selway-Sommers
    Squabby Bobby

    Posts : 61
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:18 pm

    "I-I-I k-know," Henri choked, still hiding in his father's side. "I j-just wish I c-could be better." He couldn't help but wish he could be like Senna and Poppy, who had a million friends and loved exploring and always seemed so happy. And if he was more like them--maybe they'd like him more, too. And of course he wanted to be better at gardening. He knew his dad was right; his parents were always encouraging him to come out and be in the garden with them, but he just hated killing everything he touched. It was heartbreaking and embarrassing and sometimes he would go out to the garden alone and cry.

    "C-can I just w-watch?"
    avatar
    Nils Selway
    Tiny Squid

    Posts : 15
    Age : 39
    Location : Nadar

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Nils Selway on Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:20 pm

    "Of course, of course you can," Nils said, still struggling not to get choked up himself. He wished Henri didn't feel like he needed to be "better" than he was. "Just know that your mom and me love you exactly the way you are. And if you decide you want to give us a hand in the garden again, don't be afraid to ask."

    Maybe Henri wouldn't be so hard on himself if he knew that Nils had struggled with something he loved to do, too. "You know, when I first started writing, I wasn't very good at it," he said. Henri was still too young to know about Nils' worst struggles in his life, but he could know about something small like this. "So I practiced every day, and I got a tutor to help me get better. But it took a long time. Sometimes things take a long time to learn."

    He wasn't sure exactly what Henri did in the garden that somehow killed most of the plants he tried to grow, but Nils knew he could get better with practice. No matter how smart he was, he was still only a kid.
    avatar
    Henrik Selway-Sommers
    Squabby Bobby

    Posts : 61
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:19 pm

    Henri nodded, lifting a hand so he could wipe his nose on his sleeve. He pulled away from his dad slightly and mopped at his eyes, trying to clear his face of remnants of his crying. He hiccuped and hated himself for it...he was such a baby.

    "Y-you are a good wr-writer," he told his dad between deep, breathy hiccups. He loved reading the things his dad wrote--he'd even tried reading one of his adult novels once, but while he understood the text, he couldn't get into the mature themes. The middle grade stuff he'd written was so good though. Henri loved rereading them all the time, and his personal copies were well worn.

    He was quiet for a few moments and then asked (his voice much more stable now, but still soft), "It really took you awhile to get good?" It was hard to imagine his dad not good at writing. That was his job!
    avatar
    Nils Selway
    Tiny Squid

    Posts : 15
    Age : 39
    Location : Nadar

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Nils Selway on Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:10 pm

    "A long while," Nils said with an affirming nod. "I had all these ideas, but I wasn't very good at grammar or spelling." In truth, before getting a tutor a few years ago, Nils had no formal education at all. Any knowledge he'd gained had been picked up on the streets, where grammar and spelling weren't exactly high priorities. Early on, Paisley had suggested he get an editor, but he wanted to actually learn for himself how to write like an educated adult. She'd enthusiastically supported him when he tentatively brought up the idea to get a tutor, instead, and now here he was. A professional. It still felt a little weird, to be honest.

    "It wasn't easy. It took a lot of work," he said. "Just like gardening can take a lot of work."
    avatar
    Henrik Selway-Sommers
    Squabby Bobby

    Posts : 61
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:01 pm

    Henri sighed. He wished his problem was being bad at grammar and not killing beautiful plants. But if his dad had been able to overcome it...if he'd been able to get better...maybe that meant he, too, could someday get better at gardening.

    "I think for now I just want to watch," he said. "Is that okay?" Maybe he would try again. After he read some more books, and studied his parents some more.

    He leaned back into his dad, not burying his face, but just wanting to be close to him. "Thank you," he told him genuinely. He loved his dad, who seemed to just get him.

    Sponsored content

    Re: like father like son -h2-

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:18 pm