That seemed to be the only thing that made sense. Beth Ann had been having a terrible pregnancy! She was hungry and tired all the time... feeling on the verge of death!
She hated him for it! Without the money the crops brought in, they would be more destitute and she had argued bitterly with him for that. But, he'd remained adamant that they would survive as a family without a few crops or gold pieces, but that they could not survive without her.
"Why is she acting funny," he asked suspiciously. "Is she crying?"
Debbie had put her arm around Braden's shoulder and hauled him from the room. "No, child. She's just so overcome with happiness! Let's leave her be for a time.."
Orb's Year 910
And now Braden was old enough to help, so more hands made lighter work.
Orb's Year 911
Beth Ann remained firm. "Your father had to stay home from school and work in the fields. Is that the life you want for yourself? Don't you enjoy the books your dad reads you? Once you learn your letters, you can read them for yourself!"
Braden did like the sound of that! He stared back at his instructional book and began practicing the letters.
Her mother, Amy, swore that it was just because she was a girl. "Girls start breaking their mother down early," her mother had advised. "It'd be best to be stern with her early to break that habit!"
Orb's Year 912
"Not in the least," Amy interjected. "Little boys are always so much easier than little girls..." Amy began a long-winded lecture when she was interrupted by Beth Ann.
"Mother, that is enough," she said sharply. "Deanna is no different than any of my boys. She is just as special and dear to me."
Amy pursed her lips. "Well I wasn't saying she wasn't," she grumbled. But, thankfully, she remained silent.
Able felt his heart swell with pride. "Aye, son. They're looking quite well." Clamping his hand on his sons shoulder, he said, "You've done well, son."
Braden smiled up at his dad.