PROCLAMATION EDUCATIONAL DECREE 02 This page is a homearchive. Please do not edit the contents of this page. Direct any additional comments to the current talk page or contact an administrator for aid if no talk page exists.
She'd nod slowly. "Sure...but it seems like they have an awful lot of resources to be doing something like this...and to still not have been caught." She'd pause. "Did you see in the profit where the Auror Head stepped down?"
That's not what she'd meant...but she responded anyway. "Yeah...but I mean it's really easy to hide with magic and if they hadn't found him for this long it means they didn't have much to go on. How can you catch someone if you don't know who they are and they haven't done anything since?" She'd pause. "...but that's not what I meant. I meant the whole...environment feels off."
She'd shrug. "I guess maybe...people are just scared? Our games have had less of a crowd...Diagon Alley seems less populated...I don't know. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it, but I guess it sort of feels like something...bigger...something bad is coming." She'd frown, knowing she wasn't explaining very well.
"I know you have a desire to... save the world, for lack of a better term," he said with a gentle smile. "But I also think you jump in with both feet... sometimes a bit prematurely. Why not wait until... you know for certain that it's not going to just blow over?"
She'd consider that. Realistically if she waited, there was no way she'd actually be able to help the aurors since getting retrained and integrated would take time. She'd smile, her voice teasing. "I thought you were the courageous lion, not me."
He glanced up at the wall, where there was a picture from their wedding day hung, with the two of them smiling, and then embracing, the wind gently playing with the ends of Elle's hair, and skirts. "You were radiant," he said, before flicking his eyes back to her. He tucked a stray hair behind her ear. "Always are."
He could hear her tone... but he did want to be a Dad at some point. "I'd be ready whenever you are," he said, trying to sound casual, so as not to freak her out too much, since he knew she wanted to wait.
She'd frown, her voice slightly heated. "...but it's our child Thomas. I want you to have some say in this too...or would you rather I just make up my own mind and inform you when we're going to have the baby?"
She'd shake her head. "No...that's not how it works Thomas. That's not how it should work anyway. This is a partnership...you and I. You have as much say in the decisions that affect me as I do...and you'll be a dad. That means you don't get to step back and let me do everything...I'll be counting on you to be just as big a part as I am." She'd was clearly frustrated.
"Elle, honey," he said gently. "I've told you... I'm ready. And I will stay ready until you decide that you're ready. That's not something I can decide for you. And I don't want you to.... compromise on when you are, because that wouldn't be fair to you." He frowned slightly. "And... I'm not sure where you get the notion that I'd step back and watch you parent. I'm fully aware that's not how that works. I want to be a parent."
She'd calm down a little. "Your attitude Thomas. That you said you think that's just...how it works that I decide these sort of things for us. That sometimes your opinions on things seem so...laid back that I can't help but wonder if you even care."
"Elle... I believe I stated in there several times that I want children. However, biologically speaking, I do not get to decide when you get pregnant. Obviously I care... but as the man... I get very little say in when it happens. I can say I'm ready... and then you tell me when you're ready to start trying. But I can't decide for you when you're ready... mentally, and I can't decide when it's going to happen physically." He let out a breath. "But believe me. I want to be a parent, and I look forward to it. So I'm not going to sit back on that... I promise."
She'd shake her head. She was irritated that he felt that way...physically he was as much a part of it as she was...why couldn't he understand that? She wanted this to be a joint decision and effort...but instead he was putting all the pressure on deciding and everything on her, and that made her feel...alone. Still...she didn't want to turn this into a big fight when at this point it was still only theory.
He frowned, now feeling backed into a corner. "Elle, the only way I can think of to make it 'our' decision is to forgo sex completely until we decide to try, or for me to.. actively try to not.... finish... when we do."
She'd frown. "I've been taking a birth-control potion since we started getting intimate Thomas. When we decide to have kids, we can make that decision to try together. ...and it's not like just because we decide that I can suddenly...make it happen." She'd pause, gathering her thoughts (and temper). "What I need from you is your support and participation in the decision Thomas...not your permission to try whenever I want, but for you to be an active part in helping decide when you want a baby. When you think we're ready....at a point in our lives we can focus on a baby, financially support it, and everything else that goes with it. The sex and actually having a baby is all just...a result of those decisions."
"And I am telling you, I think that we are in a financial place... that won't ever be a burden to us. I can use paternity leave... and work out whatever I need to with Mark to care for a child, and I'm willing and ready to do that." He frowned. "I'm getting the feeling that you aren't ready... for whatever reason... and that's fine. But I can't read your mind, and I will not decide for you when you're ready to be a mother."
She'd shake her head. "I don't want you to decide for me...I just want you to be an equal participant in deciding when the time is right. I understand you can't read my mind...but the question was how you wanted the timeline to work out...I was looking for input and feedback on when you thought the timing might be good...not for you to try to figure out my head and when I thought we might be ready." She'd take a deep breath. "Let's try something else then...do you see us living here in this apartment forever? When do you think a good time to move might be? What type of new place would you want to look for? What things would you specifically look for in a place for us and a family?"
He'd already told her that... but apparently his answers weren't good enough, and there was a slightly sour expression on his face that he did his best to clear. "No, I don't want to live here forever. I guess, I'd want to find a house... either after you're pregnant, or when we start trying... and the size of the house I would think should depend on the size of the family we see ourselves raising." He paused. "The where doesn't matter as much to me, since we can Apparate wherever we need to... but I'd prefer to stay nearer to our families."
He felt trapped again. "There's no way of predicting that, Elle. So I have no preference. I'd want at least one boy and one girl, I suppose... but the order doesn't matter, because we have no control over that." He gave her a somewhat pointed look. "What do you want.... house, family size, boys, girls....."
"Yes, I want a house...no I don't know when yet. I want at least two kids and I think I'd like to see where that puts us on having more. I know we don't get a choice, but I think having a boy first would be the easiest since it's always been easier for me to deal with boys than girls." She'd shrug. "That's all I wanted Thomas. Conversation on your opinions or on how you want things to be, regardless of if it's something either of us can control or not." She'd frown slightly, gently running one of her hands over his. "Why don't you like sharing those things with me?"
"Because... in the past... whenever I've stated my opinion on something you just... nod and decide that's how we're going to have it be. And that... makes me feel as though I'm making all the decisions, and I really don't want to do that. I spent my whole life having people make decisions for me, and I hated it. And a decision about something that affects you way more than it does me feels wrong and awful of me to make, or even have... say in." He paused. "And I don't want to... make a decision over something I have no control over... like when you're ready. Whether or not I want a boy or girl first. It colors the perception of things. I'd hate to... inflict any... subconscious bias on a first-born daughter, just because we wanted a boy first."
She'd sigh. "Well...then I suppose we both need to work on our communication skills. I want you involved in helping make decisions and your thoughts and opinions...and I'll make sure I do the same so you don't feel like I'm just agreeing without meaning it. Just...understand that I don't mind people having input into my decisions...and you're my husband, so I don't have a problem with you making some decisions for me. If I disagree or don't appreciate it...believe me I'll let you know...loudly. I'm not a wallflower Thomas, and you don't need to worry about running me over." She'd smile slightly. "As for things we have no control over...just because we don't, does that mean you won't even talk, speculate, or discuss them with me? I mean...once I'm pregnant, you won't have a conversation about what you think the merits of having a boy first or girl first are?"
She'd shrug. "...because they do. I want to be able to talk with you about those things. ...about how cool having a boy first would be because our other kids would have someone to look up to...or how having a girls first would mean any younger kids would have someone to nurture them. I want to be able to fantasize with my husband about how things could be even if they may never be."
He wasn't sure what to say to that. He took a long moment. "I guess... to me that feels like setting up expectation for a kid before they even arrive. What if we have a boy who's far more nurturing than into sports and Quidditch? What if we have a girl who's exactly like you, and is far more interested in sports than... I don't know, setting an example or being in the kitchen all the time?" A somewhat pained look crossed his face. "I grew up in Charity's shadow... and in burden of taking care of Mark-- which I was happy to do. I don't want to ever inflict something like that on my kids because it's fun to think about. I want them to grow up who they're going to be... and I don't want to be... disappointed because of some backwards expectation I had for who I thought they were going to become."
"It is, because... I know I felt the expectation as a kid. And even if we alter our expectations to suit who they are... if we have expectations, kids feel that. It might be harder for them to recognize that our thoughts have changed, than it is for us."
She'd consider that, looking unsure. "....but isn't that just part of parenting Thomas? I mean...encouraging kids and helping them find and figure out their skills and talents? You have to have some idea what they might be interested in...which comes from your own opinions. Or teaching them morality or ethics? That comes from how you view the world and what you believe is right and wrong. As their parents, they look up to you and want to be like you...I mean don't get me wrong it's a huge responsibility...but..." She'd pause, looking apologetic. "...I guess...I just don't think there is a way to not put your own ideals, expectations, and such on kids. Of course being a good parent also means letting them choose their own paths when they're old enough...but you can't just...not have an influence on them."
"I guess... teaching them right from wrong is very different from... what you expect them to be like, and what personality you want them to have... and whether or not you want them to be a boy or a girl."
"I get the last one since that's sort of set in stone...but how is it different from what you expect them to be like or their personality? Aren't those shaped as much by the actions and beliefs and values of the parents as anything else?"
He frowned. "But that's not what you were saying. You were talking about a boy kids can look up to, and a nurturing first-born daughter. Those are... personality traits that we don't have any control over. And I don't want my son to think he has to be the prime example for everyone, because then when he falls short, he'll feel as though he's disappointed us, and that can lead to... dangerous perfectionism, or something worse. Or a girl to think that she has to be nurturing, when she's not any good at that... and the same idea."
She'd nod slowly. "Those were just examples...and maybe my thinking is just...I don't know...old-fashioned...but I feel like a child should be held up to some standard of their proper gender role. While a boy might be more sensitive or not a strapping athlete like his dad...that doesn't mean he shouldn't be taught to defend or protect women or be a gentleman and pull out chairs for them. A girl might be more interested in quidditch than cooking...but I still think she should learn how to put on make-up or how to dress like a lady. I feel like it helps them figure out who they are, and as an example if my daughter doesn't want to wear make-up or wear dresses...that's her choice...but I feel like she should know how."