Smiles Back on Faces

The first few days after Grim came for Linda were pretty tough on the Bough family. Aspen and Salix held up ok since they didn’t witness Grim’s visit, but Niko, Poplar, and Shug were having a hard time just getting through the day.

Sugar Maple

“You ok, Sugar Pie?”

Poor Niko was so distracted by grief that he caught himself on fire when grilling veggie burgers.


Quick! Put yourself out!

He put himself and the fire out before anyone could come to the rescue or even route to safety, but everybody felt tense and miserable, especially Niko.


Sad and crispy

Aspen was sure there was something they could do, if only she could think of it. And then Sugar Maple rolled the wish to give herself a pep talk, and lo and behold, within a few hours, all her sadness was pepped away!


“There’s gotta be something we can do!”

Poplar was next–and she, too, pep-talked her grief away! Then, after Niko’s turn, finally, the family was able to laugh again. Who knew?

Sugar Maple, who’d only been a kid for a little while, was the most relieved to get to experience something other than sadness. She started noticing beauty.

Sugar Maple

“Hey! Is that a mockingbird singing?”

And Niko was happy to be able to laugh at Sugar’s jokes and to concentrate at chess. Not that it helped him win all that much, but it just felt good to have a sharp mind, rather than a soggy sad one.


“Wait, Sugar. Is it my move again? Already? But I just moved last time, right before you!”

And Salix, now that everybody was feeling better, was ready to make a little progress on her “Friend of the World” aspiration. For her aspiration, she needed to meet people in new places, and she was also hoping to find some new workout clothes to suit her active personality, so we went to Magnolia Promenade.


“I guess I could try shopping therapy!”

We kind of struck out in the clothing department, but Uncle Lamont showed up. He and Salix, who’ve been such good friends ever since she was just a little baby and Lamont and Madrona were still living at Cradle Rock, share a special common interest now that they’re both Romance Sims. Lamont’s taken it on himself to give advice to his niece when it comes to matters of the heart.


“Hold on now! When you’re a romance Sim, everybody notices when you walk in a room!”

Turns out Grim hasn’t left town yet–he just left Cradle Rock. I don’t know why, but I always enjoy seeing him around town, relaxing for a change.


Now here’s somebody that needs shopping therapy!

Salix stopped off at the park, too, for the once-in-a-generation field trip.


“I’d better make the most of this! This is probably like my one trip of a lifetime to the park!”

She had a great time learning about fish from the local expert.

“Not that I ever plan to fish, you know?” she said. “It’s just that I like to know about things! Even if I’ll never do them!”


“Yeah, you know! I’m a legacy kid. We don’t get to leave the home lot much!”

On her way home, she saw her little cousin Irving, still grieving for their grandma. She couldn’t talk him into giving himself a pep talk, but she could do her best to cheer him up.


“Oh. C’mon, little cousin. You know Gran wouldn’t want us moping!”

And it worked! By the time she left, Irving had a smile back on his face.


“Huh! My big cousin’s got a point!”

When she got home, she had plenty of things to smile about herself.


“I’ll say one thing for Aunt Poplar! She’s got her own style!”

First there was Aunt Poplar, who makes the best faces while she’s working out with the punching bag.


It burns off steam, but Poplar actually doesn’t find this much fun.

Then, little Irving followed her home from the park and stopped off to chat with Sugar.

There’s just something about seeing her little sister talking with her little cousin that makes Salix happy. Maybe it’s because, each in their own way, they’re such cute kids. Maybe it’s the crazy things they talk about. Maybe it’s just that they’re family, and seeing family members enjoying each other’s company, making each other laugh and smile, is one of the greatest pleasures in life. At least that’s what Salix thinks.

Sugar Maple

“Do you drink this Zzz-juice? I hear your mom and my mom and Aunt Poplar practically grew up on it!”

As for Sugar Maple, now that she’s done with grief for a while and getting into the business and fun of being a kid, everything is great. Even doing homework while your big buddies keep guard.


Life is serious fun for Sugar Maple.