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She giggled a little. “My comrades at the weaving halls brought meals by through the first month to give me and Jaeger, and a chance to play with the baby. Once Nod was a little older, I brought him to work with me, and he would nap while I wove, and once he woke up, I went home. Lots of mothers did the same thing, and there is childcare for the healers and weavers. I didn’t drop Nod off there often, not unless Jaeger and Ronin were both on duty or the weather was bad.”

"Rhea and I made good use of her maternity leave and my paternity leave. Though, with my job, I work alone so often, it was okay for me to take her to work once Rhea went back. She didn’t handle the late-night crying well. It set her on edge the same way work did, but we fell into a sustainable routine after awhile. She napped during the days when she was off, and I kept Tess entertained while her mother caught some extra sleep," he explained, raising the blanket again to check his progress. It was coming along nicely. It was a tight pattern—good to keep the warm in for the winter—and it would be bigger than her bed, in case she needed to bundle up.

"Nod wasn’t too fussy. He slept through the night almost immediately, and when he did wake up he wanted a change and something to eat, and he would sometimes fall back asleep during either. He was such an unproblematic infant and then such a mischievous child I wonder if the universe was balancing him out in a way. By the time he was a year old, he was already walking, or running, really. He tried to run before anything else.”

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She laughed out loud. “Partners that play together off duty make for a good unit in the field. Jaeger had his unit in the waiting room when Nod was born, and he bathed in the adulation like it was him who had been working so hard.” She shrugged. “As long as no one gets hurt, I never minded Jaeger playing with his team.”

"Rhea wouldn’t have any of that," Crag stated, remembering her fierce refusal when he’d brought it up. "She said they’d see her child after the two of them had gotten plenty of sleep. She’d put too much work into not looking like walking death on duty to have it all undone."

He laughed, “But what we didn’t quite realize is that Tess’ arrival meant that neither of us slept much in the first two weeks. So, her troop just had to wait. I’ve never seen grown adults pout like that.”

She giggled a little. “My comrades at the weaving halls brought meals by through the first month to give me and Jaeger, and a chance to play with the baby. Once Nod was a little older, I brought him to work with me, and he would nap while I wove, and once he woke up, I went home. Lots of mothers did the same thing, and there is childcare for the healers and weavers. I didn’t drop Nod off there often, not unless Jaeger and Ronin were both on duty or the weather was bad.”

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She smiled a little. “Yes, I know it’s been good for him. I don’t think he’s ever felt as comfortable with any of his units until this one. Does that same logic apply to Tess? Does it keep her out of trouble?” She fiddled with her needles—oh bless it, she’d dropped a stitch. She went back, too focused on the problem to look up at Crag.

"I’m not totally sure. They’re a good bunch, from what I’ve seen. I made dinner for a few of them once, when they were all starting out on the border," he remarked, picking a bit of fuzz off his nose. "They keep each other safe at work, but they sound like trouble when they aren’t on watch. There was an incident involving one lady and watering the birds; one of them started a back and forth with pranks that ended with one being played on their lieutenant, Irya—they all got a month of latrine duty for it; and I remember Tess coming home once covered head to toe in flour. No explanation."

"But they’ve covered each other’s backs more than a few times. Everyone’s taken a punch for someone else."

She laughed out loud. “Partners that play together off duty make for a good unit in the field. Jaeger had his unit in the waiting room when Nod was born, and he bathed in the adulation like it was him who had been working so hard.” She shrugged. “As long as no one gets hurt, I never minded Jaeger playing with his team.”

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