Young Frodo

by Overlithe

Part 5 1368 Child of His Heart

Drogo stood by the bed in which lay his wife and newborn son.  He looked down at the peaceful look on the face of Primula.  She was beautiful even more so now in this horrible yet wonderful time.  She lay huddled closely around little Frodo her lips pressed lightly against the dark curls on his little head.  He looked at his sons face again still in wonder of the beauty of him. He lay quietly in his mother’s arms breathing contentedly.  His long dark lashes feathered lightly against his cheeks, his small thin hand had found its way to his face and his thumb was in his mouth. His jaw worked tirelessly as he gained comfort from the action.

He could not bring himself to wake her.  He had entered for just that purpose, she had been asleep for nearly two hours and soon Frodo would need to be awakened and fed again.  More importantly Bilbo had arrived and was being quite insistent on seeing Frodo.

Drogo motioned to him as he peeked through the door.  Bilbo stepped into the room his face flushed from excitement and exertion.  He had all but flown to Buckland when the messenger had arrived. He silently joined Drogo at the bedside to take his first look at his new cousin.  He would think of him as a nephew as it always was with cousins who were so far removed in age.  He stood speechless staring at the infant…

It was very infrequent that Bilbo Baggins found himself with out words.  Yet as he stood taking in the scene before him he was silent and indeed speechless.  It was the day of his 78th birthday and though it was not customary to receive a gift on ones birthday Frodo was his gift.

He felt tears gather in his eyes as he looked at the two snuggled closely as only a hobbit Mum could snuggle.  The baby was gently stirring as if getting ready to awaken.  Bilbo bent to look closer at the child.  Drogo suppressed a chuckle; cousin Bilbo had always scoffed at the idea of babies and marriage yet Frodo entranced him.

The thoughts traveling through Bilbo Baggins’ mind were confused. The child was absolutely elvish, he thought to himself.  To others he may just appear remarkably beautiful but Bilbo had seen elves.  The baby before him indeed could be compared to the beauty of those immortal beings.  As he stared at him Frodo opened his eyes and looked at his observer frowning lightly. The tiny furrow in his brow became visible as he blinked in the light trying to focus his newborn eyes.  “Now where in Middle Earth did he get eyes that color?”  Bilbo was so surprised he spoke aloud startling both the baby and his Mum.

“Bilbo!” Primula smiled, “How clever of you to get here to see Frodo on his birthday.”

She sat up and hugged him and whispered, “Drogo told you of our daughter?”  Bilbo nodded, “Yes my dear he told me when I arrived, I am very sorry for all of you.”  He kissed he forehead and she layback against her pillows and cushions.

“Would you like to hold Frodo?” Bilbo looked worried but held out his arms to receive the child.

As he took him from his mother’s arms Frodo’s eyes never left Bilbo’s face.  At the first touch Bilbo felt something he could not readily describe.  A connection he did not understand existed between himself and the child.  It was more than just family…They would someday be close…. very close.  Suddenly Bilbo realized what it was he felt.  He had never felt it as acutely as he did now.  He had never felt it with such purity and strength.

It was love.  He loved the child the moment he set eyes on him and the strength of the bond that was already forming was beyond comprehension.  Bilbo wept as he looked at and held Frodo and said nothing of what his heart felt.

 Frodo would always be the child of his heart.

 

1368 ~~24 September~~part 6   Bilbo’s Gift

            Primula watched her husband’s cousin a small contented smile played across her lips.  She had been hard pressed to get the child back from Bilbo once he had taken him from her.  It amused her to see gruff old Bilbo being so gentle and so fatherly to her tiny son.  Frodo never cried while Bilbo held him he simply snuggled in the crook of his elbow fingers in his mouth content.  Every 2 hours she had to forcibly separate the two for Frodo’s feedings it was a task difficult enough without Bilbo making the child so comfy.  Frodo remained a picky eater and often fell asleep after only a few moments of nursing.  Primula had to undress him and thoroughly annoy the child to get him to awaken enough to fill his belly.  A very un-hobbit like thing indeed still he seemed to be getting enough to eat so far.

            Frodo was only 2 days old and already it could be seen that he was going to be an unusual child.  He was uncharacteristically quiet for a hobbit infant and his appetite was certainly unusual.  He little body lacked the layer of fat that most hobbit infants had and so he was quite thin appearing.  These things alone were unusual enough but he also had the rare chestnut colored curls, rare these days as most hobbits had light brown or sandy brown hair.  Some had darker tresses some lighter but Frodo’s hair was unique.  Naturally his parents thought him the best hobbit in the Shire.

            Primula woke Bilbo and his small charge was taken from him.  He smiled at Primula knowingly as she took the child from his arms.  Frodo was sound asleep he stirred slightly and frowned. The little furrow she was becoming so accustomed to formed between his dark brows. Whenever he was disturbed he did this and it was an amusing look of irritation on a two-day-old infant.  Primula took him to her room and placed him on the bed and removed the swaddling.  She touched him lightly and called his name.  The baby began to stretch and fuss at the cold air.  She loved the little squeaking noises he made, she laughed at him.  Primula tickled his foot with her lips the soft soles were a novelty that soon would be gone.  His feet would begin to grow tougher through the next few weeks.  For now they were soft and tender and very sensitive by the reaction Frodo had as she nuzzled him.  Primula cherished every reaction Frodo had, every sound every look and every move was special to her.

            Frodo opened his eyes and looked around vaguely.  He laid there kicking his feet and waving his arms in anticipation.  This was the game that was played before food was offered.  His tummy growled in anticipation.

            Primula waited to offer him his meal just yet hoping that if she allowed him to awaken fully he would eat more.  Frodo’s movements became animated and he began to cry.  She couldn’t stand to hear it he hadn’t cried at all in two days and it broke her heart.  She quickly wrapped him and fed him watching him calm himself against her.

It was the day she had dreaded.  This afternoon she would say her final farewells to Frodo’s sister Primrose.  Her life had ended before it had begun and no amount of prayer wishing or loving would bring her back. Primula was struggling with her feelings she felt almost guilty for feeling such joy over Frodo when his twin had died.  Her little daughter would never know of her love and never see her beautiful brother.  The tears flowed freely down her cheeks and dripped from her chin.  Frodo began to struggle in her arms protesting the moisture gathering on his forehead and running into his eyes.  Primula couldn’t help herself and chuckled at his efforts to escape the discomfort.  Then she took pity and wiped the tears from his face and he settled back to his feeding.
 

When Frodo was fed changed and swaddled tightly she returned him to Bilbo who remained seated by the fire waiting.  He took Frodo gladly from her and snuggled back into the crook of his arm he placed his finger into Frodo’s small delicate hand and watched as the unbelievably small hand gripped his index finger.  He looked up at Primula and spoke quietly to her.  “I wrote something for our little lass.  I’d like you to read it and perhaps I will read it at her burial today.  Whether it is read or no it is how I feel about it and I would like the page to go with her on her journey.” He handed her a parchment with a carefully written verse on it.

Cradled in the arms of the Creator
She has crossed over where
We cannot yet follow
Until at last we see her again.
 She knew no pain, nor darkness.

Only love and light will she ever behold.
We know where it is she has gone
And find comfort yet the sadness
Of those left behind remains until
At last we see her again.

                        

In memory of Primrose Iris Baggins

22 September 1368

Primula burst into tears as she read what she held in her heart so eloquently written on the page.  “Oh Bilbo it’s perfect”! She cried and hugged him.  Drogo heard the commotion and came into the parlor to see his wife in tears bent over Bilbo and Frodo. He heard her words and relaxed.

    All was well Bilbo had given her his gift…