“What does it mean… outside of Recognition?”
“Hum?” Lacewing stopped opening the lacing of Newt’s tunic and looked up to her cub. The lad was looking down at her over his shoulder, his huge eyes filled with curiosity. The blond weaver smiled and continued undoing the knots. She knew this question would come sooner or later.
“It means you’re special, my little moon-ray,” she answered simply, a loving smile on her lips.
Newt frowned and pursed his pale lips. ‘Special’… that could mean anything and nothing and it wasn’t really a fulfilling answer to his question.
Lacewing noticed his look and chuckled lightly while she pulled the tight suit off from Newt’s upper body with some help from the boy. “Well, usually cubs are born from Recognition. Eyes meet eyes and soul meets soul. It’s a sign from the High Ones that a male and a female suit each other very well and will make a good cub together,” she explained it a bit further.
“Like Birdcatcher and Glint?” Newt asked back, removing one of the sleeves from his arm.
His mother smiled and nodded. “Yes, like your brothers.”
“So is that why I’m not like them?” Newt asked on. “Is that because you didn’t Recognize?”
Lacewing looked into his eyes, not sure how to answer his innocent question. She never had regretted having a third cub, even one as special as Newt. Finally she gave a deep sigh and patted next to her.
“No cub is like any other, Newt,” she said. “Every cub is special. Look at Glint and Birdcatcher. They both have something about them that’s special, that’s only like them. Like Birdcatcher’s ability to mimic birds, and Glint’s love and care for cubs. They share the same mother, but they both are special. They each have some strengths and weaknesses, originalities and bad habits. It all adds up to their personalities and makes them special. Do you understand that?”
Newt sat down and removed his boots from his feet, thinking hard about what his mother tried to explain to him. “So … being born outside of Recognition is my quirk?”
“One of them,” Lacewing said patiently. “There’s more to it. Your look, your strong will, your ability to keep a secret and comfort others. That’s Newt... all of this.”
Newt smiled up at her and his sweet smile warmed her heart, as always. She was about to drop this topic and help him undress again, but then Newt curled his little nose and Lacewing knew there would be more questions.
“But if it was not the will of the High Ones… am I meant to be here?” he wanted to know, a little shyly.
Lacewing laughed and pulled her youngest cub into a loving hug. “Of course you are meant to be here,” she said, without a moment of hesitation. Tenderly she kissed his forehead and pushed back his moon-pale hair. “The love your fathers and I share was so strong that the High Ones decided that we didn't need to see our souls again. You are born of love and a wish deep, deep down in my heart to have another little one to care about. Your fathers and I didn’t need the approval of the High Ones to get you.”
And suddenly there was pride in Newt’s eyes. “So I’m a cub born of love only,” he stated, beaming all over his young face.
“Yes. You are a cub of love only,” Lacewing nodded and pecked his cheek. “And now, my cub of love… It’s time to crawl into your furs and sleep.”