Another Legacy, 5.1

Well, Bloganuary is over, and so is Gen 4! I really loved the discipline of writing a post each day, and the prompts worked well for helping me organize and coordinate the slow progression of plot that happens in Sims 4 legacy play. I also really enjoyed writing from Nicki’s perspective in Nicki Flores’ Journal.

But now it’s February! Two of the courses I’ll be teaching this spring start tomorrow, so my schedule shifts a bit, and daily updates won’t be a goal for me during the rest of the year. But I have played ahead, and I’m eager to write about what’s happened, so I’ll update fairly frequently, I hope! (At least until April, when we have GloPoWriMo/NaPoWriMo! I’m not posting the poems I write for that, since I’ll want the option of revising them to submit for publication.)

I’m planning to be the narrator for Gen. 5, which means sometimes, I’ll write from limited third-person, from any of the characters, and sometimes I’ll write from my own perspective as a game-player and thinker about Sims and Life and connections between the two.

But enough preamble! Let’s catch up with Kiana, Jonah, Nicki, and Magdalena!

One day, Magdalena was her own little self, lost in her own world while lovingly protected on her family’s island…

And the next, she was her own teenaged self, lost in her own world while lovingly protected on her family’s island.

We say “lost in their own world,” but it’s not really like that at all, is it? Speaking from the perspective of someone who’s been described that way from childhood on, I’d say that I tend to feel found in my own world. It’s the outer world I feel lost in, sometimes, but when I have plenty of time to daydream, I feel grounded, settled, and connected–that’s when I can process and regulate.

A therapist once commented to me, back when I was working two jobs, that I seemed very busy. “I’m not sure,” I replied. “I have time to daydream every day!” She seemed surprised at the answer, not really knowing how to make sense of it. But for me, scheduling time to daydream each day–or just to sit outside with a cup of coffee or tea and let my mind wander–is essential for self-regulating. If I can do that, I don’t feel “too busy.”

Magdalena is the same way, and luckily the adults around her recognize this. They don’t interfere when she’s “lost” in her own thoughts; they know she’s found.

She’s an amazing pianist. Nicki is a music lover and plays the piano well, often by choice. Kiana, in her ghost form, recently accomplished the Musical Genius aspiration (which Magdalena is currently working on). And Nicki has the music-lover trait, and loves to play all the instruments. But none of them play like Magdalena does.

When Magdalena joined the family, her Emotional Control bar was in the red–so whenever possible, she’s been writing in her journal or “playing with emotion” to start to slowly shift the Emotional Control meter into the green. I tried having her play with toys, but she never showed interest in that. She’d much rather play piano.

And the incredible thing is that the sound recordings for when she plays are so good! I hadn’t realized that the game had such subtle variations–you can hear the difference as Sims gain skill, of course. But there is actual individual variation. The way Magdalena plays is far more expressive than the way Kiana and Nicki play.

We know it’s because she’s playing from within her “own little world.”

She’s in Scouts for now.

She likes being part of it. She hasn’t yet selected what high school club, if any, she wants to join.

I often catch Jonah giving her suspicious looks. He’s fond of her, of course, but he’s not quite sure of her.

For one thing, she has a habit of making mean, cutting comments to people, especially men, in the middle of an otherwise pleasant conversation. Some people just let it ride by–she’ll apologize, and they’ll move on. But Jonah is very sensitive and gets hurt easily. He’s somewhat on edge around her.

All the adults have been working with her to try to gain some impulse control around those mean comments. They talk about it with her, give her hugs and assurance, try to help her see the other person’s perspective. It might be doing some good, but there are still moments, especially after conversations where she’s grown closer to someone, where she will lash out with an insult.

But he puts his hurt feelings aside and keeps trying.

“Have a good time as scouts today?” he asks.

Mmmm…. maybe don’t interrupt someone when they’re writing?

She has a much easier time with Kiana and Nicki. They enjoy dance parties in the studio. And dancing is a great time for chatting and catching up on things.

Nicki always has a calming influence on Magdalena. She doesn’t have to talk, just her being there helps Magdalena to relax and feel safe.

Nicki sometimes wonders how it came to be that this amazing person, with indescribable talents–and indescribable needs–has come to live with them. In her memory, Magdalena’s adoption profile photo shines bright. She thinks of that moment when she saw it and felt a flash run through her, knowing that this was the child she needed to adopt–not a mini-me, but someone who is her own unique individual, someone who needed a home.

<< Previous | Next >>