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Happy Mothers Day! I bring fic.

In honor of Mother's Day here in the U.S., I bring you SG-1 as their mothers saw them.

Title: In A Mother's Eyes
Season: Pre-series
Spoilers: None
Warnings: .........Nope. Not a one.
Disclaimer: I'd adopt them all in a trice, but unfortunately, they're all the brainchildren of the producers, writers, etc., and parental rights have not been terminated. Nor am I receiving any foster care or adoption benefits.




In A Mother's Eyes



Chulak The Year of Apophis' Great Victory Over Laran

She stood with the other mothers of the beginning students, although none would speak to her. She was used to this, and it did not bother her. If conditions had been reversed and she was once again among the followers of Cronus, and one of them had come seeking asylum from the wrath of Apophis, she would not have spoken to them. They were wise not to risk the wrath of their god by appearing to welcome one who had been apostate. It was enough that they would speak to her son, who would be a warrior of Apophis one day.

It was easy to spot Teal'c among the ranks of the youngest boys, all finishing their first day of service to their god, Apophis, and her heart swelled with pride at the sight. Ronac had named him well. Though he was one of the youngest there, he stood half a head higher than the rest, a gift from his deceased father, and his as yet underdeveloped boyish muscle showed promise to develop a bulk and definition that was a gift from her own father. Strength indeed.

This was the last time that the women would meet like this. To accompany a son to the training grounds or home from them was only allowed on that first day, when it was possible that some might not know the way. After this day, the boys must make their own way, and if their young bodies, too young yet for a prim'ta were too sore and battered, they would stay there, in one of the tents, where the masters would teach them to meditate through the pain, to master it, and to prepare for the day when they would need to assist their prim'ta to heal the more grievous wounds of battle.

The group of Young Ones was released now, and they crossed the fields to their mothers. Some of the victorious ones were running, their child-sized wooden staffs held horizontally by their sides, some with wide grins showing the gap where their front two milk teeth had been lost. Others, to their mother's shame, came limping, using their staffs to help them hobble. Teal'c did neither. He walked calmly, with his father's athletic grace, showing the natural gravitas that had marked Ronac young as a warrior of great steadiness, worthy of the notice of his god. It was what had first drawn her eye to Ronac, and what she most feared about her son. The notice of Apophis could be deadly, and although it was an unworthy thought, she hoped that her son might avoid it, and lead a life more ordinary. Ronac had scaled the heights, and he had died. Teal'c was all she had left of him, and she could not bear to lose him too.

As Teal'c approached, and she lead him away towards home. The way would be long for them, because they would have to walk half way around the city to the North Gate, while most of those there would be heading for the Palace Gate. They were lucky that they even had a lodging within the city, rather than down among the camps of the kreshta that lay here and there outside the city walls. She had that much honor still.

"Tell me, Teal'c" she said, "Of your victories. What have you learned today?" and the boy smiled, and began to tell her of drills and of routines, of masters and of the foolishness of the unwary, who brought down the wrath of the masters with their boasts or their clumsiness.

"And I suppose you never set a foot wrong, O Mighty Warrior?'" she teased.

His face grew solemn. He drew himself up in a moment of dignity that so echoed his father that her heart ached, deeply, heavily.

"I strive to bring honor to my father's house, and to you. I am not a mighty warrior yet, but some day I will be, and I will take care of you as you now care for me. I will bring you glory, and a fine house, and a daughter-in-law to keep you company when I am off in battle."

Ah! she thought, That is not what I would wish for you. Great glory is bought with great pain, and sometimes the price is death. No, I want you to live!" But she smiled, and told him that if that was what he wanted, then that is surely what he would do. Time enough for him to grow and learn the ways of the world. For now, let him dream of glory and triumph. She blessed him, as all Jaffa mothers bless their children.

"Teal'c, my son" she said, "You will surely die free."


Minnesota 1963

She heard him before she could see him, of course. The front door still creaked, in spite of the fact that every time she heard it she made a mental note to go out to the garage and get the oil and take care of the hinges. Then again, if it didn't creak, how would she know someone was coming in? There were other more pressing matters, like getting dinner on the table.

There was the thump of his knapsack hitting the floor by the front stairs, and then there was silence. Deep, dense, skulking silence. That is until the third step squeaked, as it always did. Silence was not the boy's usual way. Something was wrong, and she wanted to get to the bottom of it.

"Jonathan J. O'Neill, you come here!" she called, and she was confirmed in her suspicions that something was up, when all attempts at stealth were abandoned and he came clumping down the stairs. Bounder, who was getting a little deaf in his old age, and had missed Jon's entrance, now realized that his beloved Boy was back, and with a speed reminiscent of his lost youth, went scrabbling around the corner in search of his pride and joy.

"Ow!" she heard. "Bounder! That hurt! Darn it! You get off me! Down!"

Deaf to her commands that dog might be, but never to his Boy's, and the frantic thumps of his leaping stopped, and the small clicking of doggy toenails pacing over the pine floors towards the kitchen could be heard. Bounder came in, and then realizing that Jon had not, turned back towards the doorway.

No Jon.

"Jonathan! You show yourself!" she admonished. What was the boy hiding?

He peeked around the door, and then stepped slowly, reluctantly into the warm kitchen.

"Oh, Jonathan!" she said.

Brown puppy eyes (and she didn't mean Bounder's!) looked at the floor in guilt, and then slowly up to hers to judge the depth of his disgrace. He certainly looked disgraced. His new striped shirt was covered with streaks of dirt, and what might have been a few drops of blood, and torn in the seam by the collar. His normally wayward hair reminded her of nothing so much as what was left of the Swenson's barn a few years ago after it was hit by the tornado, spars and rafters standing out every which way, with no sense of order or connection. And his eye! His left eye was swollen, clearly working its angry way to a black eye.

"I can see your eye. Where else are you hurt?" she said. First things first.

"I'm fine."

"I'll be the judge of that, young man! Take off that shirt, and put it in the laundry. Maybe it can be mended."

He didn't move.

"Now, Jon!"

"Yes, ma'am," he said, and with foot-dragging reluctance, he complied, vanishing down the stairs to the basement, and returning slowly, already wearing his dark navy blue t-shirt from the piles of laundry she'd left folded down there, but hadn't gotten around to putting in his room.

"Off with the shirt!" she said.

"Yes, ma'am."

There were bruises darkening on his shoulders and his chest, but none on his abdomen, and when she pushed on his collar bones and ribs, carefully avoiding the bruises, he didn't flinch. No permanent harm done.

"You can put this back on," she said handing him clean shirt, turning it right-side-out again unconsciously as she did so. "Fighting again? What am I going to do with you?"

"Aw, mom! I'm sorry, but I just had to!"

"No! No you didn't! You could have walked away! You could have gone and gotten a teacher and asked for help to work it out! You could have used words. Talked it out. Don't tell me you had to fight!"

"There wasn't a teacher. We were on the ball field and it was just kids." He hung his head and scuffed the floor with his Keds. "I couldn't find words. I was mad, too mad for words. Dickie Nelson was holding the littlest Sullivan kid upside down and shaking him for fun and making him cry. He was scared, Mom, really scared. I couldn't just stand there! I had to do something!"

She looked at him for a moment, and then sat herself weakly down in one of the ladderbacked chairs around the kitchen table. This put her down at Jon's level, and she could see the tearing in his right eye, and the worry.

"Mom? Are you okay?"

"You fought Dickie Nelson." It was neither a question nor a statement but somewhere in between.

"I won."

He must have because it was neither a boast nor an assertion. It was a simple statement of fact.

"But he's a ninth grader!"

"I think I took him by surprise." A little sheepish now.

"Dickie Nelson."

"Yep."

"Holy Mary, Mother of God! You fought Dickie Nelson. What were you thinking? He could have killed you!"

"I wasn't. I was too mad."

"And if he had? That's no excuse, young man. You're a smart boy, with a good head on your shoulders, and a goodly supply of common sense! Next time you think before you swing, and if you don't well then, by God! you'll see what happens when I get too mad for words do I make myself clear?

"Yes, ma'am. Sorry." He actually managed to look a little sorry around the edges.

"We'd better feed you and get you up to bed with an ice bag on that eye before your father sees you. You don't want him to see you've been fighting again!"

"No ma'am," he said, and took the chair she'd vacated.

She went and found the ice bag on the shelf above the brooms in the cleaning closet, and opening the fridge, pulled back the small door to the freezer compartment, and got out a tray of ice. As she put it on the counter and pulled up the lever to free the ice cubes, she reflected And I don't want you to see how proud your father will be when he hears that his little boy beat up a great big bully like Dickie Nelson!


A village near Luxor, Egypt 1973

It had been at Melburn's insistance that Daniel had been enrolled at the boy's school at the village near the dig. She'd wanted to have him do a correspondance school, so he could keep up with his classmates back in Toronto, but he'd pointed out that since he was taking the position at the Museum in New York, and she was lecturing at N.Y.U. when they got back, it hardly mattered what his Toronto classmates were doing. He wouldn't be seeing them again, most likely. Boston, Berlin, Cairo, Chicago, Giza, Amsterdam, Toronto, Luxor, New York, all in eight short years, it was a wonder the boy knew which language to say good morning in when he got up. And it was time he started to lose that Canadian accent he'd picked up last year. But Melburn had been right, and Daniel had done just fine, learning to recite his Koran verses with all the other boys, and mastering the squiggles and dots of the Arabic script with far less difficulty than he'd had with English cursive, probably because there was less fussing about getting the distances from the line just so.

"Marhaba, Im'Daniel!" a woman called in greeting.

Clare squinted a bit to see who it was, at a distance, and with the woman properly covered for an appearance out in the street.

"Marhaba, Im'Ibrahim!" she said, with a small sigh of relief. This one was easy to identify, with her one milky blind eye. Blindness was distressingly common among the people here, from parasites and medical neglect. Education and trained health aides were cutting that down, slowly but surely, and afflicted children were becoming a rare sight, but among the older generations it was still startling to the Western eye.

Ibrahim's mother, and the other mothers broke into an excited chatter of delight. No matter how thickly accented her Arabic was or how slow, no matter how many times she erroneously used the masculine form of the verb instead of the feminine, they were always excited and delighted that she made the effort. They were still more delighted, she knew, that she was wearing long pants and long sleeves and a scarf on her head in deference to local custom, despite the afternoon heat, rather than parading around in shorts and a t-shirt like those tourist hussies, showing their legs where any man could see. It was a mercy that Daniel was a boy child, and would not have to face the strictures that the girls in the girl's school on the other end of town would face.

Soon the boys came trooping out the door of the school, and across the playground, its packed earth surface as hard as asphalt under the Egyptian sun, with its two sets of posts to act as soccer goals, and one lone see-saw that was more a source of splinters than a useful piece of playground equipment. They were all alike in their school uniforms, although Daniel was easy to pick out from the crowd, with his paler skin, for all that he was brown as a Daniel could be after a few months here, and with the red highlights glinting in his light brown hair. It had bleached in the sun some, and the stark light made his hair seem almost as red as Claire's mother's hair had been in her youth, although it would appear brown again once he was indoors.

Daniel scratched at something on an knuckle of his left hand, and then frowned, and popped that knuckle in his mouth. Instantly he was surrounded by a wide-eyed circle of boys, gesturing wildly, and talking amongst themselves. Daniel stopped, and they stopped with him. His head tilted to one side, and he peered at the boys around him myopically with some puzzlement. When Claire concentrated, she could just make out what the rapid floods of Arabic were saying.

"Ooooh! Look what you did!" said one of the boys. She thought it might be Nabil.

"We don't do that!" This was Ibrahim.

"Do what?" asked Daniel. "What don't you do?"

"This!" said Mutasim, lifting his knuckle to his own mouth in imitation.

"Suck your knuckles?" asked Daniel, puzzled still.

"Suck blood!" This was Amir.

"Oh." Daniel thought this over for a minute. "Why?"

"Allah does not like it, the eating of blood. It is why the meat must be cooked until the pink is gone."

"Oh," said Daniel. "Sorry. What do you do when your mosquito bites bleed?"

"We wipe them on our pants, like so." Mutasim demonstrated with imaginary blood.

"Oh. I'll do that next time," he said. "So. No Arab... vampires... then." The word vampires was in English, because he didn't know the word in Arabic.

"I don't think so. What's a ... fam-bire?" asked the one she thought was Nabil.

So Daniel told them, as they all walked back towards the center of town, boys in front, mothers following, babies in their arms and toddlers walking alongside.

"Your boy is very smart," said I'mMustafa, the mother of Amir, who was her third son. "He knows many things."

"You should sent him to school in the city, in Luxor. He will learn more there. Here is only a small village school. We don't know as much as the city folk." said Im'Ibrahim.

Clare looked at her son, surrounded by boys hanging on his every word, fascinated by the gory wonder of his tale of vampires, peltering him with questions when he paused, seeing him learning and analyzing as he went, and thought of all the things he would miss in the school they'd visited with the American consul to see where his children and most of the other American and European children in Luxor studied.

"No," she said, pausing briefly to consider the verb form and be sure it was correct, "Daniel learns much wherever he is. It's good he can have his school here."


Base Housing, Vandenburg AFB, California 1978

Having finished cleaning the breakfast dishes, she dried her hands, and went off to see what the kids were up to, or more precisely what Samantha was doing. Mark had already asked for and received permission to go and see if Colonel Bratches' son Michael, a few doors down was up and ready to play. He could see the end of the Christmas holiday bearing down on him like a freight train, and he wanted to get all the play time he could before that happened. Unfortunately it didn't look like this time there would be many girls in the neighborhood for Samantha to play with, so she'd have to wait for the holidays to end and school to start to find other girls her age.

She found her in the living room, sprawled over the couch, her fair hair falling around her face as she perused Jake's latest copy of The Air Force Times. What could possibly be in there that would interest a nine year old? Jake liked to say that his Sammy was the smartest Air Force brat in existence, and when it came to math and science, he might well be right, but for all her brilliance, she was just a kid, only turned nine a few days earlier, and The Air Force Times was not likely to be a page turner for her.

It turned out that even mothers could be wrong. Sam was reading an article with all the intentness she usually reserved for trigonometry problems and biographies of famous scientists. She didn't even notice that she wasn't alone in the room. She got to the end of the article, and looked up, finally noticing her standing in the doorway.

"Mom! You've gotta read this!" she said hopping up, and waving the paper under her nose at a distance that was totally inappropriate for a grownup's more farsighted eyes, even had the paper been still for a moment so she could read it. "N.A.S.A. has put out a list of the new astronauts. Group 8. There are girls in it! I wanna do that! I wanna fly a ship out into space! I wanna be an astronaut. Maybe I'll go to Mars, or even to another planet."

"Want to. Not wanna. You've been hanging around your brother's friends too much." she corrected automatically, taking the paper and skimming through the article.

"Want to," said Samantha, dutifully. "I really, really want to" special emphasis here "fly spacecraft. That would be sooo cool! Imagine how fast they go! So cool! One small step for Samkind, I'll say, and step out onto a whole new planet. Do you think Daddy can ask General Pinkney to let me in the Air Force, 'cause I want to fly the ship. That's got to be the fun part. Do you think he can?"

"Slow down, Samantha." she said, her heart heavy at what she would need to say. "Look at this list. It's in two parts. The first part is the names of the pilots. There the people who actually fly the ship. The second part is the mission specialists. They help out with the other things that need to be done. All the pilots are men. A few of the mission specialists are women. You might not be able to fly it."

"Oh." Sam's face fell. Then she was thinking, and thinking hard, anyone who knew her well could see it in her face. "Daddy says I can do anything I set my mind to. You say I can learn to do anything Mark can. I want to fly it, and I'm going to figure out how. I might have to be the first."

She looked down at her daughter, with her long flaxen hair, and her scattering of pale freckles across her straight, fine, child's nose and cheekbones, and tried to imagine her in a world of big, tough men in uniform, in Jacob's world. She couldn't imagine it, couldn't see why she would want to, but then she remembered their trip to Johnson Space Center when they'd taken that family trip to Houston, and the wonder and joy on Sam's face as she looked through the grubby finger-smudged glass at an actual moon rock. She imagined her stepping off onto Mars, that same look of wonder and delight lighting up her face behind the glassed-in helmet.

She hoped she'd never have to see that, sitting in her living room, staring at grainy pictures sent back to Earth from unimaginably far away, living in fear until Samantha was once again home, safe, earthbound once more. That would be just as terrible as sending Jacob or Mark off to war, worse because if anything went wrong, she would get to watch it, helpless to act, helpless to keep her safe.

Roots and wings! she reminded herself. Roots and wings, children need roots and wings. Her daughter wanted to fly, needed to fly. She would not hold her back.

"You talk to your dad, sweetie," she said. "Get him to help you make a plan. If anyone has the brains and the determination to be the first woman to walk on another planet, it's you Samantha. It's you."

The hug she got around her waist, fierce and intense, was all the thank you she wanted, and all the proof she needed that she'd said the right thing.



******************


A very happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, and a very happy Mother's Day to all the rest of you who have or had Mothers!

I'm celebrating something else today, my 32nd wedding anniversary. Here's a story I told recently (in a comment on LJ) about why I so love this man.

We live in rural Vermont, and if we drive a bit, there's a University town within reach. My husband loves his medical practice. He loves the hard working farmers, and the small town neighbors and co-workers. He loves caring for the patients over a long period of time, getting to know them, seeing the arc of their lives, helping them through their crises, and witnessing their triumphs. When one of his patients dies, as we all do in the end, he helps console the family, and helps them understand the medical whys, and he attends the funerals. He doesn't ever want to leave here, where government works because it is on a human scale, and civility, community spirit, and consideration are the rule rather than the exception.

One day, when our two eldest were young, a professor of mine came to give a symposium over at the University. I arranged for my Beloved Husband to take some time off to watch the kids so I could attend all three days, and invited my professor home one night to eat dinner with us, see our house, our kids, and meet the dog. After the dinner which was a big success (the dog being a major, major success - she adores dogs), I drove her home.

I was a little melancholy afterwards. My husband asked me what was wrong.

"I miss academia sometimes," I said. "Sometimes I wish I could go back and get that Phd."


Without missing a beat, he immediately offered, without a moment's hesitation, to pull up roots, find a position near my college, and move down there so I could take courses and go back to school, if I wanted to do that.

My heart nearly burst with love, and my eyes filled with grateful tears.

"No," I said. "I love it here, I love our life, I stand behind the choices we made, because they were the right choices, for our family, and for me too. It's just sometimes, having grown up as a professor's daughter, having always expected to be a professor, I miss it. There's a bit of a tidal pull. Thank you for loving me so much that you'd do that without hesitation!"

"I love you. I want you to be happy," was all he said.

He gives me roots, and wings, and all the love in the world. Damn, I'm lucky!

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
sjhw_tolerance
May. 13th, 2012 11:12 am (UTC)
What great stories and wonderful reminders of the role mother's play for all/most of us. Happy Anniversary as well, you have a wonderful husband. ((hugs))
thothmes
May. 14th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
I have been very, very lucky in love, and I truly do believe that it is just that - luck - happening on the right person at the right time. I am so grateful for that.

I'm glad you enjoy the stories. They came to me (more or less like Athena from the head of Zeus) while I was running on Saturday.
aurora_novarum
May. 13th, 2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
Lovely stories! I especially liked Teal'c's most of all.

I hope you have a wonderful mother's day, thothmes!
thothmes
May. 14th, 2012 03:56 am (UTC)
Thank you. I had a wonderful Mother's Day. There were hand-made cards involved. How could I not?

I'm glad you enjoyed them.
wanderingsmith
May. 13th, 2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
Love daniel's mom for her down to earth realism. And sam's for knowing her daughter must fly

And your hubby for being the reason we all keep dreaming our fic dreams...

Happy mother's day, tm :), you most earnestly deserve it
thothmes
May. 14th, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)
I had a lovely Mother's Day (there were hand-made cards), and, yeah, I seriously lucked out in the husband department. He's a keeper.

Yeah, I always got the feeling (based on nothing much, but it's mine, and I like it!) that Sam's ability to hold her own in a man's world and make it her own world is as much the result of the grounding her mother gave her, the safe base to start from, as it is from the urgings and drive that Jacob gave her.

As for Clare Jackson, she'd be likely to be pretty down-to-earth. The logistics of planning an archaeological expedition certainly would develop that in a hurry if you didn't come with it!
rdamel
May. 14th, 2012 03:18 am (UTC)
Happy Anniversary--you definitely have a wonderful husband! I hope you had a good Mother's Day--I miss my mother on days like this, but I was lucky to have a good one for a great many years.

And thank you for this enjoyable series of stories--very good, all of them.

Melissa M.
thothmes
May. 14th, 2012 04:10 am (UTC)
I'm delighted that you enjoyed them.

Yeah, that's the thing about moms. If you were lucky enough to have a good one, then there isn't enough time to rejoice in them, even if they live to be Methuselah-type old. But on the other hand, so much of them goes into us, that we are never without them, wherever we go.

My husband is life's greatest gift to me, and considering the way that I'm fortunate in that life's lemons always seem to convert themselves to lemon merangue pie without much effort on my part, that's saying something. He is a delight.

But then, I hear that your own is no slouch!
rdamel
May. 15th, 2012 12:05 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you have such a special husband--you are both, clearly, very special people!
bluewillowtree
May. 14th, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
Oh, what lovely stories! Each of them is so right, so true to the character. I just loved reading them.

I also loved reading that story about you and your husband! A very happy anniversary to both of you! *hugs*
thothmes
May. 14th, 2012 04:16 am (UTC)
We had a lovely anniversary, with delightful weather, and genuinely cheerful and helpful (Middle Daughter cooked so neither of us had to) children. My husband is a joy and a delight, and I am very, very lucky to have found him, especially in view of the fact that he is deluded enough to think that he got the better part of the bargain!

I'm glad you enjoyed the stories and thought they were in character. They just sort of wrote themselves Saturday while I was out on a run, and then it was just a matter of putting the movies in my head into words.
not_a_zatarc
May. 14th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
Awww, love it. First I've ever read of Teal'c's childhood. Very interesting and sweet. :D And little Jack already sticking up for the little guy! :D

Happy (belated) Mothers Day! :) Sounds like you've got yourself a good man. :D
thothmes
May. 14th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
If you are interested, I did write another piece set in Teal'c's childhood, as a comment fic, which I reposted on my journal here>, called Of Honey Cakes and Honor.

I'm glad you enjoyed these, and I had a delightful Mother's Day, complete with hand-made cards. I am very, very, lucky in finding a truly wonderful guy. The best part about it is that he erroneously believes that he got the better part of the bargain. Silly man!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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A Few Words from the Wise

Speak to him, for there is none born wise.

-The Maxims of Ptahotep

~~~~~~~~~~


In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.

- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

~~~~~~~~~~


But your embraces
alone give life to my heart
may Amun give me what I have found
for all eternity.


-Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Song #2

~~~~~~~~~~


To Know the Dark


To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.


-Wendell Berry

~~~~~~~~~~


Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.

-Robert Burns

~~~~~~~~~~


Visit to the Hermit Ts'ui


Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.


-Ch'ien Ch'i

~~~~~~~~~~


Mistress of high achievement, O lady Truth,
do not let my understanding stumble
across some jagged falsehood.


-Pindar

~~~~~~~~~~


Every Gaudy colour
Is a bit of truth.


-Nathalia Crane

~~~~~~~~~~


I counted two-and-twenty stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks.


-Samuel Coleridge

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