Winter was around the corner. The leaves had fallen from the trees, and there was frost in the morning.
Xia prepared Hunter’s garden for the first snow, making sure the sensitive plants had enough mulch around their roots to protect them from freezing.
Abby tried to impress Xia by pretending she was interested in gardening.
Xia knew it was just a ploy for attention, but she didn’t call Abby on it. She wanted Abby to feel loved.
As the sun rose on Saturday morning, Sky painted and Dylan tidied up. Sawyer’s sleep schedule was off from everyone else’s again.
For brunch, Sky made yet another attempt at grilled cheese sandwiches.
They came out golden brown this time, exactly as she’d intended.
She took a tentative bite….
And to her shock, they tasted pretty good!
“Hey everyone!” she called! “Brunch is on!”
“These are great!” Abby quipped. “They taste just like chicken!”
“I have big plans for today,” Sky said with her mouth full.
“Mama!” Dylan complained. “Do you have to do that? It’s disgusting!”
Sky shrugged off Dylan’s rebuke. “Winter is almost here, and I’ve been promising everyone a day at the park. This is our last chance until Spring.”
“Mama,” Abby said patiently, “it’s dark and rainy outside, not to mention almost freezing. I’m not going to the park in that.”
Sky smirked. “Thanks to your grandmother Veronica,” she said, “I can handle that.”
So they packed up and headed off as a family to the park.
“Come climb with me!” Abby said immediately. “They just installed a climbing wall. I bet I can beat you.”
Xia blinked. “Seriously? Which of us is training to be an astronaut?”
Xia took up the challenge, though, and it went pretty much as one would expect.
Worst, Abby seemed genuinely upset about losing.
“Hey now,” Xia chided. “I’ve been doing military exercises since you were in diapers. Give me a little credit here!”
Abby smiled. “I know,” she said. “It’s silly. I just like to win, I guess.”
“Can I invite Mum?” Dylan begged.
Sky froze. “I was thinking this would be a family day out,” she said.
“Mum IS family,” Dylan retorted. “And you said you’d invite her to things. I heard you.”
Sky nodded. “You’re right,” she said. “Call her.”
Sawyer tried to strike up a conversation with Adria Sword, an older girl from school who was hanging around on the basketball court.
He started by trying to explain the scientific principles behind the patented Veronica Sample Weathermaster machine that had allowed Sky to make the day so pretty.
Then he told her about how advanced his brain was. Grownups kept saying that he had learning disabilities, but they couldn’t do calculus in their heads.
Adria nodded a lot, but didn’t say much. Then she said she had to go. Sawyer didn’t think it had gone very well.
Leah came straight over from a champagne brunch at the Castle Marmalade.
She was delighted to see Dylan. It was the first time in a very long time that Sky saw firsthand how close they were.
It was to be expected — in fact, it was a good thing. Still, it was hard not to compare the adoring way Dylan looked at Leah and wonder if if he felt that strongly about his mama.
She found ways to distract herself.
And it did get better.
As the afternoon wore on, Xia taught Abby the basics of basketball.
Sawyer gave up on the social stuff and began collecting, “specimens.”
Sky serenaded the park and brought in a nice collection of tips.
Everyone had a good time, and after the kids were in bed, Sky and Xia sat up and held each other tight.
“There won’t be very many more days like this one,” Sky said sadly. “Sawyer’s about to start high school, and it won’t be that much longer until Dylan graduates.”
Xia sighed. “I know.”
Sky nestled into Xia’s shoulder. “I hope I’ve done all right by them. I never imagined myself as a mom, but it just happened.”
Xia held her close. “You’ve done just fine,” she said.
Just a slice-of-life character building chapter. I debated leaving this one out, but I just can’t let go of these little moments.
Since it was cold, they kept popping in and out of their outerwear, so some of the pictures are in different outfits. Ah well.
Also, Sky is floating again. Her and Charles’s walk styles set to a normal sim sometime while Sky was a teen, and I left it that way to show how human they’d become, especially since Sky was only 1/4 ghost. They could still walk over gaps and through walls, and with Twallan’s mod allowed her to teleport. However, I started experimenting with Showtime and Simports, and it turns out that ghost occults (or possibly any occult?) can’t Simport. So I removed her occult state in order to send her on Simport and then replaced it, which reset her walk style. I left her as human for a stretch later because of Simport, so she’ll be floating on and off. I figure, that’s probably reasonable for a 1/4 ghost anyway :).
BTW: Adria Sw0rd is the late-in-life daughter of Sebastian Hodgins Sw0rd and Lynn Winslow Sw0rd. She got Sebastian’s coloring, but a lot of Lynn’s facial features. You’ll be seeing her again :).