Replay

Aspen

This face warms my heart!

Aspen, it’s great to see you again!

Aspen’s been coming by often to watch the replay of family life at Cradle Rock.

These children don’t know it, but they walk with the same smiles the same paths that their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and all those on down the line have walked. I remember young Acacia, our gen 2 heir, walking through those doors with a mile-high pile of dirty dishes and a confident little grin on her face–though Acacia was a generation before the famous Bough grin entered the family line.

Tamarind

“I love being helpful in the morning!”

For the children, discovering the patterns of openings and endgames on the chess board and scales and arpeggios on the violin introduces the joy of the new. Every child experiences for the first time the same activities that generations of children before them also experienced, for the first time.

I did not expect this gift from a legacy: the gift of noticing repeating patterns, the replay of life through its themes and variations.

So often, I reflect upon my grandmother’s smile while I catch myself smiling at my Sims. We are given, through playing the Sims, a chance to become Mother Time, as we watch, with love, each Sim discover the newness of that which we have witnessed dozens of times.

Tamarind

“What if I move my knight instead of my pawn?”

onezero, however, is forming her own grooves. I don’t think any other kids chose to practice their violin in the little blue bathroom “because the acoustic qualities are so divine.”

onezero

I can feel these notes in my body!

And I don’t think any have looked quite that engrossed as they saw the visual representation of the intervals and vibrations that they heard.

onezero

The connection between movement on a large and small scale is fascinating!

She’s the first one to perch on this stool while examining the molecular structure of clay.

onezero

I can see the tiny holes between the substance–there’s more space than anything!

And she’s the first one to fully explain Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus to this family who generally tends to approach philosophical questions through reflecting on their experience, rather than through logical analysis.

“When he says, ‘The meanings of the simple signs (the words) must be explained to us,'” onezero tells her aunt, “he’s just saying that we need to know what the words mean–what they means to that person. And that as we define our words, we define ourselves, and our understandings.”

“I think it get it,” Sugar replies.

“Yes,” says onezero, “how we see the world–unless we break free from the boundaries of language–is defined by our words.”

onezero

“What specifically does the word ‘totally’ mean to you, and how does it influence your way of understanding?”

Sugar is delighted to continue the family role of Aunt of the House. To see Sugar carry on the role of aunt that Poplar and Willow established before her brings me, an aunt and not a mother, joy. Sugar, who interacts with her nieces and nephews without the slightest condescension, as if they were peers, provides support, friendship, and guidance for these children.

Tamarind

“What’s next on your agenda, Tam?”

She reads the family stories to the children.

“This is a story that your grandfather Niko wrote,” she told Doug Fir. “It’s called ‘My Pretty Pony Meets the Hand.'”

“Cool,” said Doug.

Sugar Maple

“The hand wandered alone through the dark woods, looking for My Pretty Pony.”

Doug has completed his first aspiration, Rambunctious Scamp, in about three days! Doug! We thought you were lazy! He may be lazy–he never runs and moves with the languor of a summer afternoon–but he skills fast. And, Doug has shown us that it’s not a glitch to gain creativity skills quickly through Keyboard Commander! This is the third time that I’ve noticed this: once a Sim reaches physical skill 8, playing Keyboard Commander brings simultaneous rapid creativity skill! Before Doug reached level 10 of physical while playing the typing game, he maxed creativity. This happened with Aspen and Salix, too. I’ll be trying this strategy with Doug’s sisters next.

Doug Fir

“It’s because I make up stories while I type.”

While the kids are replaying in their own fashion the childhoods of those who have gone before, Chandler is faced with his own replays. He keeps seeing in his mind the flashing lights, feeling what it is to be lifted up through the air, sucked into the orifice of the spinning orb, then, some unknown time later, landing in a puddle of light.

Sometimes, he sees faces.

Sometimes, he hears voices–that same strange echoing voice that he hears when onezero speaks.

He feels, too, sometimes, a longing in his heart. A tugging. Had he fallen in love during that dream adventure? But he loves Salix, through every space in his body. But what is it? What pulls at him? What is he missing?

Chandler

It’s tough to find normalcy after a life-altering event.

Salix suggested that he talk about it, when he feels like it. She knows that sometimes, as you talk about what’s happened it helps you to remember. And she hopes, too, that as this strange experience becomes part of their family experience–not just some isolated, half-forgotten event that happened to Chandler–it will begin to seem more accepted and less frightening.

“So I traveled up the beam of light!” Chandler told Sugar. “And then, when I looked around, all was dark. I was in a big dark orb!”

Chandler

“It was both light and dark simultaneously!”

Everyone was quick to agree that though the experience was beyond understanding–and though Chandler was left with both strange fears and unaccounted-for longings–they were beyond grateful that strange event had happened. Look what it had brought them!

onezero

“The word ‘tree’ is a symbol that has little connection with the complexity of the reality.”

While onezero happily drew at the art table, contemplating the word and symbol “tree,” her dad and Salix were enjoying a date that was well on its way to gold-medal status.

They were working out together, watching the cooking channel, tossing out flirts right and left, and Chandler was feeling very flirty.

That buzz sounded–that swirling noise. And soon, Chandler found himself drawn out to investigate the strange lights once again, those lights that seemed to reach right into his soul! This was the source of his longing! He was feeling pulled by these lights, both terrifying and captivating.

Chandler

I can’t tell if it’s love or fear!

Oh, Chandler! I don’t really want a house full of eight! Our laptop can barely handle seven! Ask them to use protection this time, will you?

Chandler

“But I was right in the middle of a date!”

onezero finished her drawing and ran inside to share big news with her good friend Dino.

“My one-thousand mothers have returned for my father!” she told him. “Would you like another blue friend soon?”

onezero

“It’s a possibility that we might have another blue brother or sister!”

Before the time-ticker finished for the date, Chandler returned, still feeling very flirty, if a little dazed.

Chandler

“This is a date like no other.”

“Oh, boy,” he thought. “This feels just like a replay of the last time.”

Chandler

“Ugh.”

“Hey, babe!” said Salix. “How was it? As good as the last time?”

Chandler was just happy to be back home. That longing in his heart had been satisfied–he felt happy and complete again. And there was still time for them to finish their date with a bang!

Salix

“We’ve got about a quarter of the date left–wanna send it out in exploding hearts and bursting feather-pillows?”

Salix had a chat with the kids the next morning before school.

“So, let me run a hypothetical by you,” she said. “How would you all feel if we were to have another little brother or sister, someone inspiration-blue, like onezero?”

“It will be a few days before we know if my one-thousand mothers’ attempt was successful,” said onezero. “And either way, we can rejoice that they feel that this family is worthy of their progeny.”

“I’m glad you feel that way, onez,” said Salix. “We’re very glad you’re here! And, we’re all glad you’re here, too, Tamarind. And you, too, Doug Fir.”

“That’s good,” said Doug. “I checked with the baby store and they said, ‘No refunds. No returns. No exchanges. No shirt. No shoes. No service.'”

Tamarind laughed loudest. “But babies don’t wear shoes!” she giggled.

Salix

“Hypothetically speaking, I think another blue brother or sister would be really neat!”

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