Without a Trait


“Look, CT! I’m totally holding Simba right now! It’s the circle of life, and it moves us all!

Nooboos are born without a trait, yet there is something there, even without specific trait coding, that is inexplicably them–their innate and truest personality.

I reflect back on how different Tam was before she rolled the mean trait–she was soft always, in her gaze and her interactions with others. Now she has a steel core, the strength, she tells me, that an heir needs. Her subtlety has given way to directness. Yet her compassion has not left her. This is her truest personality. Now, it flows through corridors of steel in its everyday application.

When onezero rolled perfectionism, she gained elegance and refinement. This quality suits her; she has always seemed more at home in the velvet ethereal than the roughshod material.

Salix, who naturally loved the outdoors as a child and teen, altered upon gaining her third trait. The materialistic trait overshadowed “Loves the Outdoors,” and with the value shifts she experienced then, even her taste in men changed, and her teenage crush on Minsk, a naturalist at heart,  faded.

Sometimes, as with Doug, traits blend into a homogenized mix: with Doug all his qualities filter through laziness, and his personality takes on a casual bent. Nothing is extreme.

Sugar, with 45 traits at present, transcends individual trait coding. She is simply Sugar, the way you or I are simply ourselves, a wide and shifting collection of interests, talents, and approaches which we have available for our use as we choose.

Thinking about traits and personalities, proclivities and talents, Tam sat with her aunt in the morning, a few days before the babies were born..

“Ready for a nooboo in the house?” Tam asked.

“I’m so excited,” Sugar replied. “This is why I drank that second cup, Tam, so I could be here with my great niece or nephew!”


“I can hardly wait to mentor this little one!”

The long days filled with the buzz of anticipation and the drone of waiting.

Doug, working on raising his cooking skills to level 8 to complete the Renaissance Sim aspiration, sat before the tv.

“Television is so inane,” he said with boredom. “Even when I’m learning stuff, I feel like for every one thing I learn, there are ten things I need to unlearn. For example, listen to this music! It’s idiotic! One, four, five, one! That cadence is so sorry! Haven’t they heard of any other chords? Why even use chords? What’s wrong with using two or three voices in a canon? Ugh. It’s so tedious.”

“I don’t know,” Nathanael said, “It’s kind of bouncy! And the way they edit the video with the music, it’s like we’re watching fried rice dancing! I think it’s fun!”


“It’s cute, Doug! It makes me hungry!”

When Nathanael’s mom stopped by one evening after work, Tam felt a little nervous. Though Kaylen Sells came to the wedding, Tam didn’t know her well, and she wondered if this woman who looked so young and fashionable would feel upset at being a grandmother already.

“Look!” Tam said. “You’ve got a grandbaby on the way!”

“So, this is good news, right?” Kaylen said. “I mean look at you, dear. You aren’t getting any younger.”


“So does this mean you’re happy to be a grandma?”

The red-head has been showing up, not the musician–though he comes by everyday, too–but the grown-up kid. He’s a good friend of Nathanael–they were part of the Park Boys Gang back when they were kids, and they’ve remained friends.

onezero finds she really enjoys red-heads. The bearded entertainer, who’s fascinated in onez’s insights into music, is becoming a friend who offers encouragement and support.

And the grown-up Park Boy seems fascinated by her.

“Pretty cool that you’ll be an aunt, huh?”

“Yes,” she answered. “I’ve always wanted to be a blue aunt.”


“I think any kid would be lucky to have you as an aunt.”

“You know,” he said, “I can talk with you for hours. For one thing, you know how to listen. It’s like you’re always listening, even when you can’t hear me. And for another thing, you’re really cute. Or make that beautiful.”


“I like your ears.”

Late at night, shortly before Tam went into labor, Mesquite’s ghost found Ember’s ghost in the kitchen.

“Ember!” Mesquite said. “Do you remember? Oh, how long ago it was, my friend, when you and I were here roaming this kitchen with our fleshy selves.”

“Oh, Mesquite!” she replied. “Ages and ages ago! Why, I was here when you were born, you little funny nooboo! And now! To think! More babies will be born here tonight!”

“Did you say babies? As in more than one?”

“Why, yes! Something tells me we’ll have twins again!”


“How many generations have we been friends? Five at least, right?”

When she went into labor, Tam sought out her sister. In between contractions, onezero reminded her of all they’d practiced to prepare for the birth.


“On the next contraction, make your breath this big! Then let huff it out, 1, 2, 3, 4!”

And now there are two new lives at Cradle Rock: little Redbud who was born first, in the kitchen, and Alder, born moments later in the northeast casita.

When he looks up at his mom with the wonder, joy, and love that newborns have, I see in him who he truly is, this little digital miracle.

We don’t know yet what coding will be superimposed onto what is here now, but I can see that any overlay–even if it is an overlay of shadow–will never be able to cover this goodness inside this new digital life right now, at this very moment.


“You’re like a little leaf, nooboo.

Inside each of us, somewhere in our core, underneath all that’s been grafted onto us through nature and nurture, we’ve got that same innocent core: wonder, joy, life, and love. Here’s to you, nooboo.