Mother's Day Challenge

Prayer of a Mother

1. It's Just, It's Only, It's Nothing

My poor Elanor. My poor frightened Elanor. Elanor is always frightened of something. Whether it be a noise from outside or a stranger at the door, my poor dear daughter calls out my name in fright. I come to her. A pat on the shoulder, a hug, a wiping away of her tears, and a whisper of one of three magic phrases brings my daughter comfort, brings her security. It’s just, it’s only, it’s nothing.

She will smile at me in that way, that reassured hopeful way, and she will drift back off to sleep, or go timidly outside to play with the other children, or will wander off to her room to draw pictures with Sam’s good quill. She will rest assured that she is safe, because Mum said so.

One day, however, my dearest Elanor will have to learn that there are some things Mum cannot make alright, and that maybe I am not the brave Hobbit woman she believes me to be.

But not yet.

Elanor is still a child, only ten years of age. When I had Frodo, and Rose, and Merry, and Pippin, and just very recently dear sweet Goldilocks, we told Elanor that she would have to be brave. “Be brave for Mum, Elanor.” “Be brave for the new baby, love.” “You have to be strong.”

Elanor is not strong, not yet. She is only a child! She calls out my name in the night, wanting a hug, a wiping away of her tears, and whisper of one of the three magic phrases.

It’s just, it’s only, it’s nothing.

There is no magic in me to make her safe. There is no magic in me that gives her the strength needed to be the older sister of five and more to come. I have no powers of bravery! I am only a Mother.

When you are a Mother, you are a mother for life. You cannot turn back. You cannot suddenly wake up one morning and say “I am not going to be a Mother anymore.” You may think you can get out of it by leaving, or by death, or by illness, but you can not.

A Mother must be part nurse, part cook, part educator, part physiologist, and part actress. They must pretend to their young children that they have all the bravery in the world, until they are old enough to see that their dear Mother has flaws. That she is worried, scared, tired.

I am worried.

I am scared.

I am tired.

But I must keep a smile on my face, must keep reassuring my children in the dark, in the cold of the night. It’s just, it’s only, it’s nothing. The Mother‘s prayer. Repeated over and over, every night. It’s just, it’s only, it’s nothing.

I will have courage for the both of us, Elanor, until the time comes when you are brave enough to be brave. It is the job of a Mother to do so.

It’s just, it’s only, it’s nothing.

But how long must I whisper into the ears of my children the prayer of the Mother? How long will this so-called “bravery” for myself and my family last?

It’s just, it’s only, it’s nothing.

It will last until my final day, until I breathe my last. I will be there with my children, soothing them, easing them, comforting them. It’s just, it’s only, it’s nothing. ‘Tis the job of a Mother.

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.


In Challenges

Story Information

Author: Nienna

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 06/12/03

Original Post: 05/14/03

Back to challenge: Mother's Day Challenge

Go to story: Prayer of a Mother

Keyword Search

Search for key terms in Challenge, Nuzgûl & Oliphaunt titles and descriptions.

Results are ordered alphabetically by title.