Every parent feels it; when their baby takes their first steps when stammered words develop into language, and the inevitable birthday. Vicky dreaded the day Milly would leave, the first school day awaited her, the excitement at seeing the woman she would be, replaced with the fear in what world would await her. On the other hand, with hands-on-hips, she frowned as Milly rushed through the house, spilling paints. The bottom lip quivered, ashamed her efforts to help were unfortunate in creating chaos; Vicky had yet to open her mouth, unsure how to respond. Milly had grown accustomed to knowing when she had been naughty; her large green eyes widened, fake tears, a quick sorry, and taking herself to the “I’ve been naughty chair”. It meant leaving both Ziva and Vicky frustrated, unable to hand down discipline.
Ziva ached; as autumn breezed through their days; she could see a wealth of love and knowledge lost as each generation experienced life. Rylan gained everything from their parents home, including the few surviving books Jose refused to publish, wanting them handed down to his grandchildren. Her brother kept them in the attic, with his children denied the pleasure of reading “What Goes Bump?” and “Viv in Space”, both inspired by her and Rylan. The Grace Legacy was important: the books, stories, the people who made this family, they would grow, change and move across a sim nation. A day of remembrance would bring that family together to share in the name and be proud of their roots. It would mean persuading Rylan to approve; he held the ashes of their parents and ancestors, and Ziva believed it was time they had a permanent resting place.
Rylan needed work to convince; he grumbled how it was another gimmick or a way to emphasise how he had failed to keep his children in check. Ziva knew her brother was stubborn, unable to rebuild the burned bridge; his daughter, Eliza, shared that trait and a desire to find a solution, but they were at a stalemate with neither surrendering to the next step. She hung her head; Milly had a sticky face, a maple syrup hand clung to her hair, twirling, grinning, she was eager, awaiting the stories Ziva recalled from her youth. Vicky gave a sympathetic smile; if nothing changed with Rylan and Eliza, or if he refused to let the family rest, they would celebrate this family remembrance day together.
Vicky reopened the discussion over her career and exploring the local art scene; she wanted to seize the opportunity to focus on her dream. The work would be flexible, a route that would lead to Vicky becoming a Patron of the Arts. She planned to help other artists, focusing on young people who would otherwise struggle to access opportunities and see their work exposed. Ziva agreed; being overdue for retirement, feeling her job kept her from embracing family life. Over the years, she missed many cute toddler moments and hoped this role reversal would mean she would be the one to help Milly with her homework projects. This retirement included other benefits, like spoiling her wife, the way she did when they were courting and she missed her voluntary work with the animal rescue group she had initiated.
Zero substitutes, her family were everything, but Vicky felt alive, that the knowledge and understanding of art fed a hunger she had been missing. She piped icing; excitement squeezed every drop; Ziva grinned, her pride carrying an undercurrent of guilt that she had somehow held Vicky back from her full potential. Milly muscled in, her finger pressed against the cake, to indulge the frosting, glaring innocent eyes asking “What?” after all, it was her birthday cake.