It’s Apparent

Aspen

Yes, that is a baby bump!

It’s official! We’ve got our next heir, the woman with a face the shape of an aspen leaf.

Aspen must have realized that heirship would fall to her, for since I’ve been back with the legacy, her focus has been all things heir.

First up: Meet a mailman. Better yet, meet two!

Aspen

“Am I seeing double in blue?”

Next order: Make friends with both, try a few flirts, and see which one lights you up inside. It’s the heir’s choice!

Third task: Get married. It’s optional: but if desired, enjoy!

Wedding

Love an animal-hat wedding!

Fourth project: Make a baby. Let’s hope it’s as spectacular as its conception! (My Sims are starting to get the hang of the hidden woo-hoo skill, thanks to some mentoring from the Wolff side of the family.)

Aspen

“Wanna give it a go?”

Aspen completed all these steps before Poplar’s young adult birthday, just to be prepared and waste no time should the claim to heir be hers.

While Aspen has been single-focused on heirish preparations, Madrona has been leisurely exploring romance.

Madrona

“You’re earnest. I like that.”

She likes Lamont. I realized during Aspen and Niko’s wedding that I’d been reading Madrona all wrong–hers is not a Katharine Hepburn/Tracy Lord “hearth-fires and holocausts” lit-up kind of love, like Aspen’s. It’s a slow melt, an Elizabeth Taylor “eyes so liquid with life” gaze.

Like Aspen, Madrona also wanted to try a flirt with another man–one of the wiener head boys–just to be sure. I’ve decided to trust these women.

Madrona

“I don’t want to be the type that settles for the first guy that comes around, you know?”

And sure enough, not long after, she decided that Lamont should become her boyfriend. While Madrona and Lamont have enough green in their relationship bar to be best friends, if they chose, the pink bar’s been progressing more slowly.

When Madrona asked Lamont to become her boyfriend, it looked like he was going to say no.

Lamont

“Uh… You sure? I thought you weren’t really into me…”

We were so relieved and excited when he said, “Sure! It’s what I’ve always wanted!”

Lamont

“Yes!”

We’re getting closer to my fairy tale! Now, if only Poplar likes Blue Skullhead!

Somehow, the two mailmen, though they seem pleasant-enough together, have taken a disliking to each other. I have a suspicion it’s because they’re each secretly in love with both sisters, and they view each other as rivals. Through time, we should be able to patch up the relationship between the two men, especially if they both end up living at Cradle Rock.

Niko steals my heart with his every autonomous moment. He rolled the wish to start a career, and tossed up the thought bubble of a book, so we had him become a writer. His first book, “My Pretty Pony Meets the Hand,” brought him such glee to complete.

With the combination of geek and childish, Niko enthuses about everything! He doesn’t just take a photo of his food, like most foodies do, he shouts and yells and claps and squees, and then he takes the photo. He and Aspen totally geek out at any and every opportunity.

Geeks

Just geeking out together

The very moment that Aspen found out she was pregnant, she autonomously went to tell Niko–that’s a first for me. Previously, I’ve always directed moms to share the big news. Aspen is so self-directed–she’s been leading this whole thing.

Lamont

“Ha! Us! Parents! That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard!”

The morning of Poplar’s birthday rolled around, the day for us to find out if we will get a goofball heir to carry on the exemplar trait.

Poplar called school to take a vacation day, and then decided to do her extra credit.

Poplar

“You don’t have to do that, you know!”  | “Shush, Madrona! I like extra credit.”

Poplar thinks homework is fun.

It was a tough party.

Grim came calling for Kourtney, and I’ve so had it with his bony plum that I was about ready to boot him off the lot.

Kourtney

“You look so tiny off in the distance there, Mr. Reaper!”

He wouldn’t even listen to Madrona’s pleas. Who but Grim could turn down those liquid eyes?

Madrona

“She’s the last of our great cousins! And it’s Poplar’s birthday! And you were just here for Willow!”

Madrona

“Crum. I tried. I’m sorry.”

We’ve broken down and hired a maid again, even though the billing system is so messed up, because we’ve got this weird thing going on where no one will do the dishes. They’ll pick them up, maybe gather them in a pile, maybe not, and then set them down anywhere, often someplace I can’t find. Then they gripe about the stink.

But our maid had his own ideas. He decided to toss out the birthday cake we’d made and left the pile of dishes on the patio floor.

Cake

No, buddy! Leave the cake and grab that pile of dishes!

The caterer, who’d done such an awesome job for the wedding a few days before, broke the fridge, left the white cake in the oven, and decided it would be better to chat with the wiener heads than cook or clean.

Caterer

“You guys throw the best parties! Thanks for inviting me!” | Um… actually, we hired you. But glad you’re having a fun time!

We did have amazing entertainment.

We hired Willow. Somehow, her tombstone has disappeared, and I’ve had this fear that we’d never see her, so when she showed up as an employable entertainer, we snagged her.

Willow

Wow. Her audience is actually laughing! And applauding!

I was hoping that we’d be able to ask her to move in so she could be our first playable ghost, but the option didn’t appear. We’ll keep trying.

She performed some amazing comedy. I guess post-modern humor improves after it passes through the crucible of death.

Aspen

“Guh! Somehow the delivery is so great when you’re tense-orange!”

With the party timer ticking down, Linda whipped up a chocolate cake, Poplar blew out the candles, and rolled… Creative!

Not a bad trait, if I do say so myself.

Our founder was Creative, and so was Poplar’s dad, I-dub. (He was also hot headed, just like Poplar.)

Poplar

“My time to shine.”

The guests gathered in the kitchen, eating left over scrambled eggs from breakfast, Poplar’s killer taco casserole, and the extra white cake that Madrona rescued from its forgotten spot on the middle rack of the oven.

Aspen, who’s been spending extra time in the bathroom during pregnancy, had a few moments to catch up with Willow. We’re naming the baby Salix, in honor of his or her great aunt.

That sweet Aspen smile, as she told her aunt about the baby we’re expecting, eased my still-sore heart. Seeing the two together like this, even after the one’s had a shift of form, and the other’s bringing in a new life, helps me feel the continuity of family lines. Look at those matching profiles. Look at that wide grin.

Aspen and Willow

I’ve got my dad’s eyes, my grandma’s nose, my mom’s feet, my sister’s smile–we’re like a kaleidoscope, every member of every human family. And every member of every Sim family. And it’s not just my near family members whose bits and pieces are replicated in me–toss out in any direction in several generations–look at anybody Irish, English, Norwegian, African American, Chickasaw-Choktaw–and you’ll find bits and pieces that echoe in me.

Look at yourself, your family, your tribe–take it further. Look at all of us. Two eyes, two hands. We all walk this earth, if we’ve got two legs.

It’s a kinship of form, and we can take it out as far as we want. No need to stop with the two-legged. Keep on going, tracing down the bits and pieces through our cousins, distant and near. We’re all made from the same stuff. And it’s the same spark that illuminates each.

Aspen and Willow

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