The Penultimate Wish


“It’s my birthday!”

Aspen has discovered the fullness of time. From the perspective of a Sim, her lifetime isn’t short–it’s everything there is. She’s had time to experience so much: the nurture that a well-loved infant receives, the support given a child developing her skills and aspirations, the freedom of a teen who explores her interests, and the dedication of a young woman starting a career, choosing a husband, and beginning a family of her own. And now, having experienced so fully each preceding life stage, she felt fully ready to move into the responsibilities of adulthood.

On her birthday, she came home from work with muscles that ached from playing so hard against the opposing team. She took a bubble bath, and when she got out, decided that, even though it was after 10:30 p.m., she’d have a party anyway!

She wore her outfit that I love–the one she got married in–that crazy pink shirt and her inspired chicken hat. I like to believe that she wears this just to make me happy, but I think that it’s her favorite outfit, too, which makes me even happier, for it means we’ve got the same taste in fashion. What-nots to the end!


“Yeah, we’ll party all night. Can you come?”

She invited all the regular crew, all those boys she met at the park back when she was a child working on her social butterfly aspiration. And they all showed up, young men with a range of traits: mean, insane, childish, and creative. It wouldn’t be a birthday without the wiener-head boys.

She took a moment to form a good wish. This was her next-to-last birthday wish–only one more, at the transition to her final life stage.

When she had so much, she found it hard to think of a wish for herself. But when she thought of her family, so many wishes rolled to her that she had to look at each one, hold it in her fingers, and see which would be the wisest choice.


“I know what to wish.”

She didn’t tell her wish, and though I think I can read it in her eyes, I can’t tell it, either. A wish loses power when spoken–keep it alight in the mind, reverberating with all the energy of magic and birthdays.


It’s raining confetti!

The guests cheered and twirled their noisemakers and sang the birthday song!

The party lasted all night. It was like every other party, with dancing and food and music and stories and jokes. And though the mean-hearted wiener-heads yelled at Aspen’s mom and tried to pick fights with each other, everyone was too full of birthday spirit to let anyone else’s cantankerousness get in the way of the fun of an all-night birthday party for the Gen 5 legacy heir.

Lamont never made it to bed that night, and Madrona got up a few hours before work. Though they’d been married for a few days, Madrona and Lamont have been waiting to share connubial pleasures in order to avoid the uncomfortable moodlet that the woo-hoo glitch produces. But since we don’t know when the patch will come out, and they’re getting tired of waiting, they decided to have some fun in the observatory, instead. I guess they had a great time, for Lamont’s knees buckled when they first stepped out, and then once he could stand up straight, he kicked his heels!

I was too amused by how happy they were to get a photo of him kicking up his heels, but you can see here that they’re glowing as brightly as the canyons in sunrise.


I think they’re going to enjoy being married.

Before leaving for work, Madrona danced in the morning air, with a sense of peace and harmony that ran all through her.


She looks like a natural woman.

With Madrona at work, and Aspen asleep, Lamont and Niko had the kitchen to themselves–a good opportunity to see about patching up their relationship.

Romance is still a little complicated between the sisters and the mailmen. A look at any of the foursome’s whims will likely show the wish to kiss the spouse and flirt with the in-law. We haven’t been indulging in-law whims.


“It’s a good thing you can’t see those whims above my head right now, bro!”

We’ve managed to get their relationship out of the red and we’re slowly making progress along the green bar.

Niko’s more eager to befriend Lamont than Lamont is to make friends with Niko, but even so, it’s hard to resist the rise of friendly feelings when faced with Niko’s childish, geeky enthusiasm.


“Hang on! I never said that Deep Space Nine was dopey!”

I’m encouraging the brothers-in-law to get along. At present, I don’t have plans to move out any of the siblings, and so if they’re going to be sharing Cradle Rock, it’d be more fun for all of us if they were friends.


“What I said was that Enterprise didn’t meet my expectations.

An hour or two before school, Linda found Salix in the courtyard, finishing up a drawing.

“It’s a picture of a house,” Salix announced. “And inside lives a grandma, two aunts, one uncle, a dad, a mom, and a girl. That would be me.”


“You’d never guess we could all fit in there!”

“You remind me so much of your mom when she was your age,” Linda said. “That was a long time ago.”

“Was she as little as me?”

“Oh, yes,” said Linda. “Her dad used to carry her in his back pocket.”


I wonder if Grandma is nuts. A girl can’t fit in a pocket!

“I’ve got big plans, Grandma,” Salix said. “Maybe space. Maybe sports. Maybe art.”


“I wanna do something important when I grow up!”

“I’m sure you’ll be great at everything you do,” Linda said. “You come from a long line of amazing women. Just remember, even more important than what you do, is who you are, ok?”


“You’re a sixth generation Bough!”

Later in the day, when Aspen cleaned up the last of the dishes from her birthday party, she thought about this new role she was moving into: matriarch. It felt good, and it felt like something she could handle.

She had a whole family around her now: a husband and a daughter; a brother-in-law and her sister, and likely a niece or nephew soon, too; a younger sister and a mother. It was a clan–a whole tribe that extended all the way back and now was extending forward and sideways.

And with all those individuals–all those aspirations and traits and whims–it seemed like they were all finally starting to get along, feeling how each fit a specific spot and each brought something that could only be provided by them.

“It feels healthy,” she said, clearing up the kitchen so it would be ready for Niko to prepare the next family meal.


“I like this feeling of harmony. Seems my wish is coming true already.”