Bella and JJ both seemed to cope with their grandmother's death extremely well. JJ would admit to being sad sometimes, but he recovered quickly, and had his friends at school and his new found love of chess to keep him busy. Bella on the other hand, never mentioned it at all, and when I asked her about her grandmother, and if she wanted to talk about what happened, she'd just shrug and say, "I didn't really know her." and walk off to her room. She was pretty young, so it could be that she was so young it didn't really affect her.
She definitely took more of an interest in her Aunt Gypsy. Well, both children did ask to spend time with her right after Royal died, and I assumed they didn't want her to be lonely.
After a while, JJ stopped going over there, but Bella was constantly asking to see her, and to call her on the phone.
Jazz took his mother's death pretty hard, but as we have a family to run and jobs to attend to, our everyday life helped us not dwell on too much sadness and move on. Jazz was concerned for Bella's new interest in his sister, Gypsy because although he thought it was sweet that she wanted to keep in touch with her since their grandma passed, he knew that his sister was sometimes not the best influence for the kids. She had a mean streak, and could be down right Evil sometimes.
Both J and Bella being school-aged now meant they had a little more freedom to go places after school. They rode their bikes all over the place, which we were okay with as long as it was on our street. Their favorite spot was the park next door.
However, there was one particular day that I thought they were at the park, but come to find out they went to their Aunt Gypsy's house, once again, and without permission.
When Gypsy called to tell me the kids were there I tried to hide my annoyance, then told Jazz it was time he had a talk with the kids about spending so much time with their Aunt.
"Listen, Bella honey, I know you care about your Aunt a lot, but I just don't think you should be spending as much time over there as you have been. Eating cake for dinner, and playing on the water slide instead of doing your homework isn't a good choice."
"But, why? That's not fair! We're just having fun. I like Aunt Gypsy."
*sigh* "I know it's hard to understand-"
"But Daddy, she likes us coming to visit. I don't have any other cousins, or grandparents that like spending time with me. She's the only family that wants to know us!"
Bella still had a way of wrapping her Daddy around her little finger, and knew just what to say to get to him when she wanted her way. Although most of my siblings were still here in Barnacle Bay, we all went our own ways after growing up. I only saw my twin sister, Ginger once in a blue moon. None of them had any kids, so there wasn't really a lot of common ground with them anymore. She did have a point, Gypsy did love our kids. How could we argue with that?
Did I mention that Bella decided shortly after her birthday that she was a vegetarian now? We did our best to support her in that, but it did make meal planning a bit of a challenge. If I did happen to make something with meat in it, she'd turn up her nose, and help herself to whatever she thought was a more appropriate meal. Oh, our Bella...
As for my work, most of it was taking place at night. It wasn't that I chose that, I missed the evenings with my kids, but to be honest, I had more and more of a desire to be around people, and one of my favorite things about my job was meeting all the of the people that I did. It seemed that nowadays, more and more of my clients were becoming my friends.
To be right honest, one of the reasons I didn't feel guilty about leaving the kids at night was I knew most of their evening was taken up with homework anyways, and during the afternoons they played and enjoyed their own activities. They were becoming more and more independent with each passing day.
One of J's new hobbies: bugs. He began chasing and catching them, and even brought one home. Glowy was his very own pet, and he loved that disgusting thing. Bleh!
My latest case involved DNA samples to find a thief, and the best way to collect those was when everyone was sleeping.
So, Jazz had bedtime duty. He loved it. No matter how tired he was, he would read each kid a story before they drifted off to sleep.
It didn't take long for J to outgrow those precious bedtime rituals though. He was edging closer and closer to teen with every passing minute. If his father teased him or tried to show him affection in any way, J's response was always, "Dad, please! You're embarrassing me!"
As J's teen birthday approached, my work schedule started shifting, and I didn't take as many cases. I hadn't really considered retirement, but I also was getting older. I could feel it when my knees creaked and my back ached when I walked. I knew it was time to start slowing down the work pace a bit. Instead, I socialized more, and the nice thing was, because of my job, I knew pretty much the whole town. There was always someone to chat with on the phone, computer, or visit for lunch dates or whatever.
J's birthday came without much pomp and circumstance. He insisted that he didn't want a party, so we honored his request. As a matter of fact, he spent his birthday alone, in his room, playing chess. It was what he ate, slept and breathed.
Happy Birthday JJ!
And, his announcement that night after his transformation didn't really surprise us, he wanted to spend his life working to become a Chess Legend. He wanted to start challenging people, and working his way up the competition ladder. That was our Friendly, Genius, Eccentric little boy that we loved!
That night, while practicing for an upcoming speech in the mirror, I stopped for a minute and took a good hard look at myself.
There were a lot more age lines on that face that looked back at me than I remembered. But I couldn't help but be proud of each of those little lines. I thought back to all the memories that had put each one there.... starting my own business, living with the love of my life, our wonderful vacation to France, the day he proposed to me, our beautiful wedding on the beach, the adventure of motherhood, all of my escapades with my Private Eye career.... I realized I had lived the exact kind of life that I had always wanted. I had my music to sooth my soul, as many friends as a gal could ask for, and a beautiful family.
I asked myself, what's the next adventure? And for the longest time I couldn't think of a single thing I wanted to do that I hadn't already done....
Then I smiled. I knew what one thing I had left to do. Enjoy watching my kids find their own adventures. That was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing, with my husband's hand in mine....
*buckey's notes*- Wow. The end of Juniper's generation! That talking in the mirror bit at the end was how she completed her LTW, to master the Charisma and Guitar skills. And now, here we are, at the very last generation!
Bella will take over after this. She's a child, so this will be the first generation to take over as a child! And with her randomized traits, and the addition of Seasons and University Life to my game, I think this last generation is going to be an exciting one!
By the way, if you find yourself playing University Life and think there needs to be some new rules to include on the Official Rules page, please step on over to the Sims 3 Forum Wishacy page, comment, or email me, and we'll work on getting those rules up on the post. Thanks everyone!