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Micah Ross is 26 years old, and Janie Ross is 26. Declan is one week old. Janie is in the third year of an Economics and Criminal Justice degree at Grand Pass College at Redmond. Erle and Bee Radcliff are 70, and Oz is 11.
They brought Declan home a week ago. It seemed like forever, as if time had stopped in an eternal cycle of sleep, food, snuggling, and cleaning.
With the winter lull in farming and the winter holiday for Janie, Declan was the center of this world. One moment, calm and gazing at them with the wisdom of a guru, and the next, screaming with his little face red.
Micah was thrilled to bits with his son.
They were practically inseparable.
Even when he put Declan down, Micah would linger over his crib, watching him breathe.
Janie was happy for him, of course, but she found parenting a little more disconcerting. Janie wasn’t quite sure what to do with this little person sometimes.
Part of her was worried if she got too attached, how would she cope when the next semester started? She didn’t know how she could balance his needs with the demands of her degree program, helping Micah, and running the roadside market.
The little guy was so dependent on them. It was a lot of responsibility.
Micah was doing most of the cooking, encouraging Janie to rest up and take it easy while she could.
As the end of her break loomed, Janie felt overwhelmed.
She’d always felt capable and energetic but now, she didn’t even know herself anymore. instead of using the time when Declan was sleeping to rest or to read ahead on her syllabi, she found herself feeling listless. She couldn’t concentrate, and she couldn’t relax. She was afraid she would fail but she didn’t even have the energy to care. That probably worried her more than anything.
And it didn’t feel right to tell Micah how she felt, because, what if he thought she regretted starting a family?
- Micah and Janie don’t have any extended family but he’s noticed that Janie needs support and he has a plan.