Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Will Remember You

I have a funny feeling that I left off somewhere more important, but I can't really remember where, so let's start here:
Okay, I will amend the statement I made in the last post. I just love close-ups of Galant, period.

Of course, as is the case with my toddlers, they learn quickly, thanks to a heaping helping of smartmilk as soon as they grow up. And Johanna had to step in for the potty training because of this:
Yes, Spirit is pregnant, again. Her last pregnancy, like Johanna's two, was really easy, marked by no morning sickness. This is the first toilet barf I have had in this house. I'm worried.

Where Allen is concerned, most days he comes home with a promotion. He's a very hard and fervent worker. And no, he's not trying to show up Spirit in any way; it's just his lifetime want.
Besides, Spirit has other things to worry about, like keeping alive. Her energy and comfort just tanked.

And now he's a fit, mean, promotion-earning machine.

Of course, with his swift rise to the top, he doesn't get to spend as much time with his wife as either would like.

However, he will bend over backwards (and risk breaking his back) to spend time with Amanti. His friendly, but focused son is just about everything a parent could want.
Galant, who was well into his elder years, decided to give his first grandson something to remember him by. So Amanti's first word was "Gappa!"

As Allen's busy schedule of working days and skilling nights got even more frenetic, he only got to see Amanti for quick moments between the two. Most of the time it was in the morning as his son was slipping off the potty. But Amanti was happy for any time he got to spend with Daddy.
Spirit also wasn't going to complain when they both found themselves awake and in the same room, even if his attention was more on the baby than on her. It was something.
And at least Amanti lost no love, with his grandparents quickly picking up the slack when his parents were unavailable.
To Spirit's credit, though, that wasn't often, even in the middle of an unusually difficult pregnancy.

Allen celebrated every step he took toward his goal of becoming a distinguished general. After all, his lifetime dream was coming within reach and he was amazingly close. He wasn't even 40 yet.

One bright sunny day Aspire came to visit.
I'm happy to see you little sprite.
Daddy, I'm not that little anymore.
Nonsense, you'll always be my little sprite.
Fine, Daddy.
The hours passed and their light-hearted discussion turned to Amanti. He was growing up so fast, and it wouldn't be long before he would be able to attend school. At that point, Galant asked if he'd be getting any grandchildren from her, and she insisted they drop the subject.
They were so engrossed in their conversation and Amanti was so fascinated by the pink rabbit that talked to him when he pulled its ear that no one noticed the shadowy figure gliding silently across the room.

The most oblivious to the impending death in the household was Johanna, who was ready to announce the news of their becoming a first family, as she was elected mayor of Legacy Isle!

Galant, now seeing the grim specter in front of him, sighed heavily. He knew that it was time for him to leave them all, but he would have liked to stay just a little longer.
Well, looks like my luck's run out. Time for me to go, sprites.
Spirit immediately caught the implication and burst into tears, while Aspire didn't react, staring straight ahead and using her sunglasses as a shield to her emotions.
Galant perked up when he saw the drink being offered to him. He tried to tell Spirit to look up and see the cool cup, but he found that he had no voice.
All the while, Johanna was wondering who the hooded figure she could see in the window was.
Galant and his crazy friends. It's not Halloween.
Actually, you might want to get inside quickly, Johanna. There's something happening you really don't want to miss.
Galant didn't understand how or why, but there was a suitcase. He thought you didn't take anything with you when you left this world, but maybe he was mistaken. He wished he could get his girls' attention, to tell them not to cry, that he loved them, and to tell their mother that he loved her too, but his figure was now translucent. He was already disconnected from the world, and only a fading shadow remained.

*sniffle* Everyone's in the living room. You might want to join them.
Is he already gone?
Huh? How'd you know?
Seeing a hooded man with a scythe in my living room, and now hearing everyone crying. It's not rocket science to figure out.
By the time Johanna joined her daughters in the living room, she was just in time to see a vaguely colored outline of her husband, suitcase and drink in hand, fading into the afterlife.

Galant Green died at 77 days old, top of influence. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Johanna Morris Green (63), his daughters, Spirit (34) and Aspire (23) Green, his son-in-law, Allen Bowen Green (34), and his grandson, Amanti Green (3).

Johanna was a little more prepared than the girls, because she'd been expecting this to happen soon. She and Galant had talked about what would happen when he died, frequently once she joined him in elderhood. Before, he would say that he was 14 years older than her, and she'd just shrug and pull him in for some romantic interaction. When he became an elder, though, the age difference between them became glaringly obvious. To that end, Galant had taken out a life insurance policy and put everyone he counted a friend on it.
All the girls could think of was one thing: this was the worst day of their lives.
Aspire soon left, unable to take being in the house. Johanna pulled her older daughter into a fierce hug.
You have to stay strong. You are the one that has to hold the family together.
Not only for Amanti, but for the little one we'll be meeting soon.
I know Mom, but it's hard. We were always Daddy's little girls, and now there's no more Daddy.
We'll pull through honey. We have to, for his sake.
This one's sake, too.

They say it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. So keep in mind, you have a lot of memories that he will live on through.

Maybe it was too fresh in their minds for them to find comfort in. Or maybe it was a consequence of the media attention they received, since Galant had served for many years as the head of the police force. But it proved, at least for the moment, to be too much for the women to handle.
So to cope, Johanna left reality behind for video games,
while Spirit buried her sorrows in food.
This left the bulk of the childcare to Allen,
who was already juggling work and study for the next promotion. He wanted to do more to help Spirit, but she wouldn't even talk to anyone, not even Amanti.
She made sure he was dressed and fed and clean,
but other than that he was largely ignored.

But time waits for no one. It didn't stop while Johanna and Spirit mourned, and soon, it was time for Amanti's sixth birthday and the start of school.
What in the world is that? Hold on.
Just take deep breaths and relax.
Oh, is it finally time?
This hurts worse than the last time.
Sorry Spirit, there's no epidural option for sims.
Take solace in the fact that there's only one.
Yes, good picture. Boy or girl?
Another boy.
He looks just like Amanti.
I guess so. (forgot to go to CAS-whoops)

You did great, Spirit!
Well, she's already done it before. Of course she did great. I know Rondo, what an introduction to your grandmother: her yelling in your ear as soon as you get here.
You look excited.
I have two boys! Why wouldn't I be excited?
I was personally hoping for a girl.
We can always see a little later if we can get a girl.
Rondo was just born!
What? I said I was going to wait a bit.
Would you like to hold him, Mom?
I'd love to.
Hello little one. Welcome to the world.
Not the same...

Maybe it was the fact that the house was back to an uneven five. Maybe it was the fact that it was a boy. But the somber spell that had fallen over the women seemed to break with Rondo's birth.
Spirit even melted over Allen's serenades the way she used to.

It's time for that birthday. It was a small affair, with Aspire and a few friends.
Come on son, we're blowing out the candles now.
He's so cute bopping around like that.
Hmm, so far so good...
He even grew up into a nice outfit. But I think I'm starting to see Allen's nose.
But with a face like that, I can't hold it against him.
I actually like the way you look before makeover. That hasn't happened since... since Frankie Wellington, if I remember correctly.
Thank you, miss lady!
Miss Fini will do just fine.
Okay, thank you Miss Fini.
You and I are going to get along great.

'Spire's feeding the baby?
She said she had a feeling the baby was hungry. But isn't it funny? I had the same feeling.
You and everybody else at the party. What I'm surprised about is that she burped the baby and put him back in the crib later, and all autonomously. You Green women are just attuned to babies. It's really too bad that your sister ended up the way she did.

Amanti, what are you doing? You don't have to clean up, it's your party.
I cannot stand this mess! I do not see how you can.
Well, living with Spirit and Johanna tends to either mellow you out or make you go nuts. Your father decided to mellow out.
We might have to work on Mother and Grandmother then.
You certainly are acting quite adult for a six-year-old. And I'd like to see you try to work on Johanna.
Not again! Aspire's at the party. Fine, we'll invite Erik next time.
:P We got a good time anyway.
Another successful party in the pocket.
It's almost too easy.
Oh yeah? Then try to get a roof raiser next time.

Amanti, what are you doing? It's almost midnight.
I am trying to read this book.
What are you trying to read?
This is a cookbook.
That might be the reason. You don't know half those words.
Yes, I do. The reason I have not been able to read this book is because I cannot understand the letters.
Well, the lighting could be better.
No, the lighting is adequate, but I believe that there is a problem with my eyesight.
Oh. I can help that. And while we're in there, let's do something with that hair of yours.
Curly hair, like your dad, and glasses. Like it.
It will do.
...That's it?
...Was I supposed to say something else, Miss Fini?
Uh, I guess not.
Alright, then I will retire. Good night, Miss Fini.
Night, Amanti.
Telling the truth, I don't totally get this kid.
The person he is most like he keeps arguing with.
While he gets along with his polar opposite like yin and yang.

It's not fair! Daddy should be here to see all this. He would be so proud.
Well, you know he would be gone by now. So just buck up, little camper.

Spirit takes as good care of Rondo as a baby as she did Amanti.
While the younger brother is stuck in diapers, the older one is going to school. He is seriously the only kid I've ever had that actually enjoys school. As in, his fun bar goes up. Freaky.
Of course, he would be behind the rest of the class if he didn't learn how to do his homework correctly. His mother stepped in to take care of that. She was a top student herself.
And as it's always been, Amanti manages to get a quick hug before Allen heads off to the obstacle course.

While the Strangerhood is a funny series, I don't know if you should be watching it, Amanti. Some of the humor is teen and up.
My parents suggested that I watch television to improve my social skills. I was not the one who chose this program.
Oh? Then who did?
This woman did.
That's a lot of makeup, and really long hair, for a military woman. Who's she?
I was given the impression that she is a friend of my father, although why he left her in the living room while he went upstairs, I do not know.
He probably went to check on the baby.

Well, if you use the term "baby" loosely, then I'm right.

Tickle tickle tickle!
Mother, what are you doing? And why are you in your underwear? I might develop a disorder from this.
Oh no! I'll go get dressed right away!
Actually, Spirit, I think he's full of crap.
That is such a crude word.
You'll live.
And what are you doing?
Writing a novel. I'm rather bored at home, since there's nothing to do with Rondo.
Good way to spend your time. Carry on.
Allen, you amaze me. Most people don't get this far until old age. How old are you anyway?

Anyway, time flies. It's almost time for Rondo to become a toddler. Now you won't be bored, Spirit.

What in the world are you doing outside? It's after 10:00!
I thought that if I figured out why father spends all his time out here, I could spend some time with him.
Aww, you poor, neglected thing.

Too bad that Allen isn't trying to bond with his son, or maybe he's too perplexed by him to try. See, Amanti, I can use big words too!
At least he's bonding with his grandma.

Oh boy, Spirit. Look I can't afford for you to get pregnant again. Well, we can afford it financially, but your pregnancies are hard on you, and I don't want you to die.

I made it! Finally! It took forever, but finally I made it!
I can't hear. Shush. What were you saying, Ben?

Wow, very impressive.
I found the recipe in that cookbook I had been reading earlier.
I see.

Oh, Amanti! You're just in time for your brother's birthday.
A party? Johanna didn't want a party.
No, I did. It's only fair that both of them get parties.
Well, yeah, I guess that's the only disadvantage of having kids so close together. You have to think about things like that.

Dangit, he's a perfect clone of Amanti. He could've at least looked different. *sigh*
Well, he may be a clone, but Amanti never did that.
Oh that's just too adorable. I love that you're taking time to get to know your little brother.
His resemblance to me is uncanny.
Or maybe he's just examining his clone. Not quite so adorable.
Very good for your very first party, Spirit.
Thanks. Maybe throwing good parties runs in the family.

I feel like my stomach's having convulsions.
What did you think you were throwing up for?
Well, the cake tasted a little funny...
And now you know it wasn't the cake.

Whoa, when did you get the time to teach a kid a skill?
Well, Spirit's pregnant again. I certainly can't count on-uh, I mean, expect her to teach him skills on her own.
I caught that. You're lucky she's still asleep.
Your suit makes me smile.
Spirit? You're up?
Yeah, now I have something to do. Now say "Rondo."
*sigh* Is it always this hard?
Yes. Just ask your mother.
Say "Mama."
Ah! His first word! And he said my name!
Now that's interesting.

I made it! I made it!
I see, I see. And at the ripe young age of 42. Now the only adult without her lifetime want is Spirit, but hers will take a while.
Hey Amanti. Who's your friend?
She says that her name is Kate. She refuses to tell me her full name. She followed me home from school.
You're weird, but interesting.
Well, well you are weird too.
Ah, young love. Well, if you wanna take a crack at figuring him out, be my guest. Just say whatever you figure out aloud.
Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack...
How'd she get him to do that? I need to figure it out, then maybe I can get him to loosen up.

And while Amanti is learning the ins and outs of women, Rondo is learning the basics of one foot in front of the other.
Looks like he's getting it!
His first steps! It's really too bad Spirit is asleep.
Again? Well, she missed his first steps, and you missed his first words. I think you're even.
She actually managed to teach him something? You sure it wasn't Johanna?
What's that supposed to mean? Trying to say she can't do it?
By no means, but she usually spends all of her pregnancy in bed.
Mama! Pick up!
He can say anything now!
Well, just about.
Whoa! Does that mean it's almost done?
Yes. And after this, try not to get pregnant again. It doesn't do your body good.

Geez, how am I going to deal with TWO Amanti's? I like him, but I think two are going to blow my mind. And really, Spirit's first pregnancy, a breeze. The other two, she's two steps away from death. Seriously.
I don't get Amanti at all. He's like that quiet kid at the back of the class, the super-smart, but slightly anti-social one that you're almost afraid to make mad, because he seems like the axe murdering type. Well, that's what I was labeled: "Most Likely to Become an Axe Murderer." Maybe that's why I like him. Yet, he doesn't get along with Allen, who he's most similar to in personality. He gets along peachy with Johanna and Spirit. And then there's that girl. Kate had him playing Mary Mack within an hour. She has some weird freaky voodoo powers over him. I like her. :)

Odd Pics Out:
Johanna decided that she wanted to encourage 'Spire to be grouchy, and since this was before she got her LTW, what she wanted she got. She went right out back and teased poor Remi.
But Remi had a retort to her teasing. I wish I could've found a way to fit it in.
The helicopter pics crack me up. Johanna looks like quite the megalomaniac.
See you all later!