Author Topic: The Drake Legacy Challenge - Chapter 1.11  (Read 18129 times)


Offline Devin

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The Family
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 03:14:53 PM »
Succession Rules
Gender Law: Matriarchy
Bloodline Law: Traditional
Heir Law: Merit

Generation 1
Founder: Talia Drake
Traits: Creative, Cheerful, Art Lover, Muser
Childhood Aspiration: N/A
Aspiration: Painter Extraordinaire (Incomplate)
Skills:
Career: Painting
Dates:
Parties:
Partner: Cale Casillas Drake
Children: Casey Drake (m)
Days:

Spouse: Cale Casillas Drake
Traits: Active, Childish, Bro, Gregarious
Childhood Aspiration: N/A
Aspiration: Friend to the World (Incomplete)
Skills:
Career:
Dates:
Parties:
Partner: Talia Drake
Children: Casey Drake (m)
Days:



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Offline Devin

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Scoring
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 03:19:53 PM »
Scoring

Family
+1 Founder
Creative
Fortune
Love
+1 (Childish, Goofball, Bro)
Knowledge
Athletic
Nature
Food
Popularity
Dates: (0) Bronze, (0) Silver, (1) Gold
Parties: (0) Bronze, (0) Silver, (0) Gold
Weddings: (0) Bronze, (0) Silver, (0) Gold
Deviance

Offline Devin

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The Current House
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 03:20:15 PM »
Reserved for current house.

Offline Devin

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Introductory Notes
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 03:21:01 PM »
Heyo! As most of you probably already know, this isn't my first crack at a Legacy, and undoubtedly it won't be my last, either. I'll need your support to get all the way through it, mainly because I get very tense about building legacy houses, and when they need to be completely restructured (which is typically frequent in a legacy challenge), I wind up struggling to get it "just right" and eventually give up on building. In short, my legacy families often live on the lawn through generation five, at which point I realize they need a house and stop playing them.

Your comments are more than welcome. Indeed, I appreciate any supportive comments that you can leave me, but all I ask is that you take the time to write more than "great job." Comments about what the sims look like (are they pretty? unfortunate?) or the house (if you have suggestions for expansions, these are quite grand!), then these are the sorts of things that I'm looking for. I'd especially appreciate your comments about the story itself, since I'm doing this with more writing than I've done recently (more like my original Sims 2 Legacy stories).

All of my sims (including the founder, heirs, spares, and spouses) will be available in the gallery. I'll include relevant links below as they come available, and profiles of the individual sims will be posted when their character is first introduced -- starting with the founder and her spouse, Talia Drake and Cale Casillas. If you have any questions, please ask!

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my founder and her (future) spouse.

Offline Devin

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Meet the Founders
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 05:36:45 PM »

My name is Talia Drake, and I moved to Willow Creek from Riverview when I was nineteen years old. When I was a little girl, my mother encouraged me to follow my dreams and to be true to my heart, but she died the year I turned thirteen, and that left me with my father. He was a good man, hard working and honest to a fault, but he believed that I was ridiculous to consider pursuing a career as a painter. Daddy pushed me to go to college and earn a degree in something that would give me a productive life, and that's why I chose to move to Willow Creek.

I feel bad for leaving Daddy behind on his own, and I still talk to him sometimes, but he made his decisions, and I have to make my own. Now that I'm in Willow Creek, I'm in school to learn more about art, and doing some artistic work on the side. My job makes me incredibly happy, but it doesn't leave a lot of leftover time for family. One thing Mama wanted before she died (and she talked about it all the time!) was grandchildren. Before she died, I told her that I'd make sure that my lineage went far into the future and that I'd tell them all about her and what a wonderful woman she was. I'd like to memorialize her in art, but that's going to be difficult. The photos I had of her are still with Daddy, and I loathe the idea of calling him up to ask him to give them to me.

Some people say that I'm hard headed and determined to get what I want in life, and maybe they're right, but I feel like I'm doing it for Mama and giving her what she wanted. Maybe she's looking down on me from wherever she is and smiling that I've taken the risk of moving to Willow Creek.


You know those guys you grow up with who always seem to be surrounded by friends? The high school quarterbacks and the guys you see running with the track team to work out for their next cross country meet. Everybody knows at least one of those guys. Yeah, I'm him. My mother laughs and says that I never grew up, but that she likes it that way because it means that she can go right on taking care of me. It makes me laugh that she wants me to get married and have a family as well. I'm too busy for that though. Friends mean more to me than finding myself a wife or having kids.

I'm getting older though, and Mama's getting greyer. Dad died when I was four, and since then, she's looked to me to fulfill her dreams. It's strange to think that I carry the weight of my whole family on my shoulders, but I guess that I'll get over it, eventually. Maybe I'll even find a nice girl and settle down somewhere in town, or maybe I'll move out of Sunset Valley and see what's out there in the world for me.

Who knows, maybe I will make her dreams come true after all.

Offline Devin

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1.1 Greener Pastures
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 06:00:39 PM »

One thing I didn't think about when I moved away from Riverview was that the world is a giant place and I'm just a spec in the simverse. No, really, I'm serious about this, and I want to make sure that you understand what I'm trying to say. Maybe my children, or my children's children won't make the same dumb mistake that I did, and maybe they'll stay close to home. Dreams are one thing, and I still believe that I can make them come true, but leaving home to strike out on my own without Daddy's support might have been just a small mistake.

I came here with nothing. You have to understand that I only had about §1,800 in my pocket and that was going to have to use that little bit of money to buy the things I'd need in order to survive -- plus an easel. The problem is that I was pretty stupid about the whole thing. I'd had a good life in Riverview (better than I realized!) and I guess that §1,800 seemed like a lot more money than it actually is. When I got here and I had to allocate all those funds to buy an easel, a toilet, a shower, and a refrigerator, I came to the unfortunate conclusion that unless my paintings sold well right from the start, I was going to be sleeping on park benches until I was able to accumulate the money necessary to purchase a bed.

A very uncomfortable bed.


Once I had those basic necessities -- not to mention a roof over the toilet -- I got to work on what I do best. I started to paint. Unfortunately it turns out that I'm not as good at painting as I thought I was. It might not have occurred to me to feel so insecure if it hadn't been for the fact that the art gallery rejected the first nine paintings that I sent them! That was a tremendous disappointment, but it turns out that the education I'd given myself before leaving Riverview wasn't as high quality as I thought it was. Thank goodness that I was accepted on scholarship to the art school so that I can improve the skills that I (don't) have already.

At this rate, I'm going to have to do a lot of painting to buy the bed that I want, and it doesn't leave much time at all for a social life. I'm lonely a lot of the time, but it hasn't gotten so bad that I've called Daddy yet. Maybe I'll call him if I get super lonely, but it's going to take a lot to get me to that point. Until I'm painting high quality paintings I can sell to the gallery, I don't want to give him the satisfaction of "I told you so."

He already called last week to tell me that I could still come home. He left a message on the machine, and I listened to it later and debated taking him up on the offer. But what good would that do? At this point I have something to prove, and no matter how hard this life is, it's the life that I chose for myself, and I'm going to stick it out. If I can find some time for a social life, it couldn't hurt to move somebody else into the house for me to help make up the difference in bills that I have to pay.



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Offline Devin

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Chapter 1.2 Real World Jobs
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 07:04:54 PM »

I'm exhausted. Sleeping on benches and spending every day and night doing nothing but painting isn't just boring -- it's tiring as well. My body is barely keeping up with so little sleep, and I have to slink off to class the next morning, sometimes in the clothes that I slept in. The shower doesn't get as much use as it ought to, and I think that my classmates have begun to notice that I smell like a pig. Truth be told, I'm not really sure how exactly a pig smells, as I've never been up close and personal with a pig, but I smell pretty bad. Some of my classmates have started to move away from me if I sit near them during class, so it's probably about time I try to find a way to carve out time from my painting schedule to take care of myself. They say that self-care is important. But then, who on earth is "they" anyway?

So I've decided that I should get a job. The gallery I've been selling my work to is hiring, and they have a studio attached to the gallery. I've applied, and the owner says that they can use me as a paintbrush cleaner. It's not a career I'm looking forward to, and surely it's not the type of thing that I was dreaming of when I moved here from Riverview, but I'm planning on making the most of it. They say that you have to pay your dues before you can do the job you really want to do. Whoever "they" is, that is.

Working means that I'm even busier than usual, but I'm bringing in some extra income, so I should be able to buy a bed pretty soon. Right now I'm sleeping in the store room at the gallery so that I can get some sleep. It's not much better than sleeping outside, but at least it's bearable.


I have to admit that I needed a break. There's no shame in needing a break from all the work, though I remember when I was younger and my father told me that you keep your nose to the grindstone and you do whatever is asked of you until you're able to make the most of your career. He's probably the hardest worker that I know, but it's never done much for him. Whatever dreams he might have had as a little boy never came true, and he'll probably spend most of his life doing menial work, like my cleaning paint brushes. It's boring and it's not the type of life that I want, so I won't be "keeping my nose to the grindstone." I'm going to have to spend some time getting out of the house.

Or I should say, off my lot.

Fortunately there are running trails that run along the sides of my home here in Willow Creek. A man was running there one day while I was painting my loneliness down onto the canvass, and so I rushed out to greet him and find out what his name was. It turns out that he's called Cale, and that he has a rather unfortunate taste in clothing and haircuts. Oh, and that mustache is awful. I probably wouldn't have given him a second look if I hadn't been so lonely. Call me a snob if you have to, but I think that the way a person presents themselves says a lot about the person they are.

Maybe that's what my classmates have been trying to tell me about the body odor. Oh, well. I showered today.


Either I'm desperate for somebody to talk to, or there's something about Cale that goes beyond the poor fashion choices that he's made. He's not gorgeous (at least not looking like he does right now!) but he's a good man who makes me laugh. He gets excited about the littlest things, and he's always on the go. It surprises me that the clothing I found him jogging in aren't his workout clothes, but he assures me that he isn't insane and dressed inappropriately, so I'll have to trust that however poor his fashion taste, it was intentional.

Oh Watcher, I'm losing my mind, aren't I? Can loneliness drive a sim crazy? If so, I think it must be making me crazy, because if I'm not mistaken, I'm falling in love with Cale Casillas. He's not good looking, and he's so childish sometimes that I feel (just talking to him) like I'm mothering him more than befriending him, but I can't seem to help myself: There's something special about Cale.

Offline Playalot

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Re: The Drake Legacy Challenge - Chapter 1.1
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2014, 07:19:08 PM »
What a very pretty sim your founder is! I absolutely love your story writing style. It makes the story seem very personal to the reader when you use 1st person narration like that and it is a great technique to use so that the plot can evolve as the character experiences events. I really like 'stream of consciousness' or 'interior monologue' narration. I guess sometimes it becomes a bit tricky with major and minor characters, but that's where we've got our screen shots to aid the story.  :)
 Can't wait to see more.
p.s. Is her paint splattered t-shirt in CAS? I don't think I've seen it before.
“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”  ― Dr. Seuss
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Offline Devin

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1.3 Dear Daddy, I'm in Love
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2014, 07:25:10 PM »
Dear Daddy,

I'm sorry that I haven't written sooner. I've been so busy with the painting and making grades in school, and I think you'd be proud of me: I even have a job as an Art Book Collator. The gallery hired me as a Paintbrush Cleaner, but I got the promotion pretty quickly when they realized how much time I spend looking on the internet for Art References, and how much technical knowledge I have about art. It turns out that I'm more than just knowledgeable, too though, because they're buying my paintings! Would you have ever believed that they would buy my paintings?

Oh, right. I guess you wouldn't.

And maybe you don't even. I don't have anything to prove. Not to you anyway. I'm living outdoors because I want to, and the money's starting to come in. I'm so close to having a little house that I can taste it, and I'm not writing so that you can write me back and tell me how terrible it is that I'm not working menial labor and keeping my nose to the grindstone. Most of my time is spent working, so I think I deserve to take some kind of a break.

Actually, that's why I'm writing to you, to be honest. I've met somebody.


I've sent some pictures of him. You can't see how horrible his fashion sense is in this picture, but it's something that I plan on working with him on. The jeans you see are actually short cropped, and he's wearing the most horrific athletic socks you've ever seen. This was right before we went on our very first date. His clothing was so embarrassing that I asked him if we could stay in for the date, and so we just went back to my lawn so that we could flirt with one another there.

Yes, Daddy. We even sat down on my bed to sit and chat with one another. Very risque, I'm sure, but it was the only place that I had available to sit at the time. It won't be long before I have a couch and a dining room table though. That's more than I can say for you, Daddy, unless you've stopped eating off your lap in front of the television.

And don't you dare tell me that all men do that. I'm sure that Cale doesn't do it. He's too sweet for that.


When the date was over, I kissed him goodnight.

Oh, I know what you're going to say. I shouldn't be inviting him to think about me in that way, and all he's going to want from me is WooHoo. He's not that sort of fellow, Daddy, and I'm happy with Cale. I'm considering asking him to marry me, but I'd like for us to go on at least one more date before I invite him to move in with me. Maybe we won't even get married. This is the twenty-first century and we don't have to get married to live together. Maybe we'll even have kids. Mama would have liked that.

She also would have liked how hard I'm working, and that I'm making it as an artist. One day I won't have to work as hard as you do to make more money than you do.

It turns out that you were wrong about everything Daddy. You get that? Wrong about everything.

Love,
Talia

Offline Devin

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Re: The Drake Legacy Challenge - Chapter 1.1
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2014, 07:29:55 PM »
What a very pretty sim your founder is! I absolutely love your story writing style. It makes the story seem very personal to the reader when you use 1st person narration like that and it is a great technique to use so that the plot can evolve as the character experiences events. I really like 'stream of consciousness' or 'interior monologue' narration. I guess sometimes it becomes a bit tricky with major and minor characters, but that's where we've got our screen shots to aid the story.  :)
 Can't wait to see more.
p.s. Is her paint splattered t-shirt in CAS? I don't think I've seen it before.

I think that I'm going to swap perspectives back and forth between Talia and Cale until the child(ren) are old enough to speak for themselves, then I'll work it out from there how I'm going to carry on with the narration. In the past, I tried to give the characters in my stories (Sims 2) enough personality that I could write the stories without the legacy to boost their narrative if necessary, and that worked pretty well for a while, until the game play got repetitive. The dynamic changed with TS3 and then even more with TS4, and I'm less concerned about redundancy now than I was. Somehow it seems like I have fewer birthdays in TS4, maybe because there aren't any toddlers?

It's safe to say that the only CC that I use are replacement default eyes and skins and then mods which control time or lighting in order to make the game more efficient and visually appealing. In the past I felt like it got tedious to keep digging through page after page of CC, so pretty much anything that you see is available in CAS, provided that you're fully updated and expanded.

This one is one of the color variations on the tank top. When I load the game back up, I'll take a screenshot if you haven't been able to find it yourself. IIRC I stumbled on this accidentally and it suited Talia perfectly.

I'd just been noting how many of the pictures show her in that top, considering how many outfits she actually has to rotate through. It marks how few sim days I've played through and helps me to see which day is which when writing the stories. Always a nice marker!

Offline Devin

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1.4 Something Unexpected
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2014, 08:51:56 PM »

After another date (oh my! Am I wearing the same shirt I was wearing on our previous date? Now who needs a fashion lesson?!), I decided that it was time to ask Cale to move in with me. I haven't gotten a letter back from Daddy, and I'm quite concerned that something might have happened to him. We haven't been close since Mom died, but that doesn't mean that I don't care about what's going on with him. I'm always telling myself that it's not my concern what he chooses to do or how his health is, but maybe that's just because I don't want to worry that our relationship is always going to be broken the way that it is right now. Still, I wish that he'd get in touch with me.

It's not worth making rash decisions if he's not going to respond to me telling him that I've made a rash decision, like asking Cale to move in with me. We're not even married, and I know that Daddy had hoped that I would wait until I was married to try WooHoo, but can you blame me? I'm twenty (nearly twenty-one!) and I'm here on my own trying to make the best of a difficult situation. Cale loves me -- or at least I think that he does -- and I love him, so why shouldn't I reach out and try to make something more of what we have together? Mama would have wanted that, and she's more reasonable.... I mean she was more reasonable than Daddy is, so I should pay attention to what she wanted, and not dwell on how he thinks I'm doing everything wrong with my life.


It turns out that Cale is pretty obsessed with making friends. Maybe that's why he was so open to becoming my friend as quickly as he did! He spends a lot of time across the street near the river chatting with any sim who happens to stop by. It's nice knowing that we'll always have friends around, but at the same time it takes him away from me.

Oh, well. I guess that it's more of that "nose to the grindstone" that I'm always complaining about and that my father says is the best way to move up in a career. It's going to be sure to help me get somewhere in my painting career at least, so if we have to be apart to make that happen, I guess that will be alright. It's not Mama's dream though. In fact, that sounds a bit more like Daddy's dream than like Mama's.

Cale says that it will be fine. Now he hangs out near the house (well, it's really just a water closet and a big room with our bed and our kitchen in it) and practices his speeches and stories while I paint. We don't talk much while we do this, but it's nice to hear him practice and we get to spend time together. I read once that men actually prefer to spend time hanging out quietly than they do talking about things, so maybe this is better for him, anyway. I haven't asked him.


Oops.

I'm not the kind of girl to kiss and tell, but I might have been wrong about us not spending enough time together. I hadn't thought much of it, since neither of us were ready to have children, but my moon didn't come this month and I realized -- maybe a bit too late -- that we were going to have children, whether we were ready for it or not. I'm a bit nervous about this development, and I'm not sure how it's going to go over with Cale when I tell him. He'd been hoping to have more friends before the children came along.

Maybe he'll just be happy to have a child he can be friends with? I'll bet he'll be a great dad.

Offline Devin

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1.4 Dear Mama, We're Pregnant!
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2014, 09:23:11 PM »
Dear Mom,

Thank you for not saying "I told you so." Although admittedly I'm finding it difficult to make friends when I'm so distracted by Talia, I'm happy that I made the decision to move in with her when she invited me to. I get what you were saying now, about how love is an important part of having a life. Dad must have been a pretty special guy to win your heart, but then Talia's a pretty special girl, too. Why didn't you ever get married again, Mom? Maybe I'll feel like that about Talia if she goes before I do. Hopefully that doesn't happen too soon though. She's one of my few friends, and you know how important friends are to me.

Speaking of friends, I'm anticipating another new friend pretty soon.

I know you told me that we should be careful about getting pregnant before we were married, but it happened. We were doing our best to prevent it, but sometimes you can't help these things, and Talia says that she wanted to have kids. Just not, you know, yet, and I felt the same way until she told me that she was pregnant. Strangely, she found out around the time that I did, and she was already a few weeks into her pregnancy.


I thought she'd be bigger than this. I've seen pictures of you when you were pregnant with me, and you were pretty big. Do I have any older brothers or sisters that I don't know about? Somebody said you show earlier with your second or third baby. You can look at the picture I've included and see that she's still pretty small. Even so, she's having all the symptoms except, I guess, for morning sickness. I'm glad for that, since I get very upset when she's in pain or she's sick. It would be hard on me if she was vomiting all the time. The back aches are bad enough, and she's eating us out of house and home. That, and she's clogged the toilet three times just in the first trimester.

There are three of those, right? So two more for her to really pop. I just hope that the baby's alright considering she's so small. Does that mean that the baby's going to be small, too?


I've been meaning to tell you how grateful I am that you got me those books on household maintenance, because everything around here breaks all the time. I guess I didn't tell you when I first moved in with Talia, but she's very poor, and so we're working our way from the ground up to put our home together. The fixtures and appliances are all very cheap, and that means repairing them all the time. We don't have the money to replace them, and even if we did, they would only need more replacing. Hopefully I'll be able to do some upgrades pretty soon, or this is going to eat up more of my time than I have to spare.

As it is, I spend a lot of time practicing guitar and violin. Thanks for sending those with me, by the way. I'd have missed them a lot if you hadn't made sure they got to me.


I bought a computer with my earnings from work. We both need one for our jobs and it's easier for me to keep up with my friends via e-mail than it is to get involved in lengthy phone calls with everyone every day. Boy! They get mad at me fast if I don't bother to touch base with them. Every once in a while I send out a mass e-mail to everybody to make sure that we stay friends. Maybe I should feel bad about doing that, but I always get a slew of messages back and have to spend my time reading all of them and e-mailing everybody back personally. Fortunately most people seem to like me pretty well, so I get along with just about everybody.

It's too bad that they don't like my jokes. Do you remember when I was a kid, you used to say that I was one of the funniest people you knew? Let's just say that it's a good thing I can play the guitar, because I'm pretty sure you were lying to me about my being funny.

I'll write more next time, I promise. Talia said she had something she wanted to talk to me about.

Love from your son,
Cale

Offline Devin

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1.6 Money Trouble
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2014, 01:16:00 PM »

I'd hoped never to have to have this conversation with Talia, but I'm concerned about the cash flow coming into the house. She's obsessed with decorating the house with her paintings (which I admit are very good for the most part), and so we're bleeding the income that she had before she started to hold onto those paintings. Maybe I should change career paths. I've always wanted to be a musician (you know everybody loves a good musician) and I wouldn't want to begrudge her being the artist she's dreamed of becoming, but we just don't have the money that we need to raise a child.

Heavens! The house isn't even finished. It's like we're living in a small box with a bed and a studio kitchen. Talia's going to have the baby in a few weeks and we can't afford to have the child living on the lawn the way that we started out. What are we going to do when it's time to start buying toys and books and bedding and everything else?

She's not happy with me for bringing it up, as I'm sure you understand. I'm trying to stay optimistic and cheerful about this -- I've never been much of a worrier, but she seems to be falling apart at the seams. I found her last night crying in bed, and I guess she must have had a nightmare about the baby living on the lawn and struggling to make ends meet. Maybe I shouldn't have brought it up in the first place.

Honestly, I just wish that she'd sell those paintings for the cash!


Maybe something I said has sunk in. Talia's working on her next promotion, hard at work on the computer and working on art references for the book she's been collating for her job. Her boss told her that if she could get it put together for him, that she was guaranteed a promotion and rewards that come along with it -- including a raise. I'm working hard to get promoted in my job as well, though I think that my requirements are somewhat easier than hers are. Unfortunately, I can't paint, so I'm not selling paintings the way that she is. I feel somewhat bad about that, because playing the violin isn't earning me any extra cash on the side, and even when I've tried busking, I don't do especially well in tips. It's something to do with my skill level, so I'm going to work on improving that.

I keep thinking that if we could both make it to the top of our careers, we'd be set bringing in the second generation. Unfortunately, I doubt that's going to happen before the baby is born. But maybe if we can leave something to him, or to his brothers and sisters if we have more children after him, then that would be something that we could say we did right for our children.

It's important to me that we do right by our kids. Talia lost her mother when she was young, and I lost my dad. I just want to be there for my children and make sure that they have everything that they need. When you have kids, it becomes about them and not about you any more, and that's what I'm trying to pour into my children. Hopefully Talia will get on board with it too. She's not moving up in her career as quickly as I am.


She apologized later and promised that she'd work harder on the promotions. The paintings are apparently important to her, but she's promised that she'll sell them soon. I'm quite sure that we have at least ten thousand simoleans worth of paintings on the walls at the moment, so that could be a serious expansion for the house. When she reaches the top of the career, we might have her quit again so that she can focus on painting. Her goals are more simple than mine are, and perhaps easier for her to reach. It occurs to me that if she stays employed, I may find it easier to become a friend to the world, but I don't know that I want that for either of us.

We'll figure it out. Good couples always do find a way to figure these things out in the long run. She's working hard even though she's pregnant so maybe it's time for me to step up my game a bit, too.


Casey arrived in the middle of the night. I've never been more terrified of anything in my entire life. It's a small sim who cries and poops and eats (and eats, and eats, and eats) and yet I'm terrified of this sim who means the world to me. I've always known that I could love someone I'd never met, but I never realized that I could love them as much as I loved Casey before he was born, and even more so now that he's with us. He's a little bundle of stinky joy, and he's the great love of my life. So much potential in one tiny sim, and Talia and I are in charge of making sure that he grows up right.

What a tremendous responsibility! I'm going to have to get to work harder on achieving my career goals. Aspiration goals will have to go to the back burner for the time being.

Offline Devin

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1.7 Light of My Life
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2014, 02:05:29 PM »

I never realized how much a baby could bring two people together.

I've been angry with Cale for a while now, since he encouraged me to sell my paintings. He's right about our money situation: Our house is too small to support a child and we only have one bathroom (one that is always in need of repairs). This home isn't going to support three people for very long, and we'll need to be able to do some upgrades. Money's important, and I guess that everybody worries about it at some point or another. The fight was bound to happen soon enough, I'm just disappointed that we had to have it at all.

It's the sort of thing I would have expected from my father, not from Cale. He's so childish most of the time that I expected I'd be the one talking to him about money, but he's right about one thing: He's moving up in his career more quickly than I'm moving up in mine. It makes me wonder if I'm not focusing too much on my aspiration and not enough on my career.

One thing is for certain: I'd do anything for our son. Casey is the light of my life. He's an amazing little boy who, in spite of the fact that he spends most of his time pooping or eating (and eating, and eating), brings a certain joy into our lives that I never imagined would be possible. I love him to pieces, and I'd do anything to make sure that he's happy.

Our relationship is a good one, mine and Cale's, and I believe that we're the best thing for our son. We have to work had, but I think that we both have to remember to be careful not to work so hard that we don't have time to spend with our son. Breaks are important. If I hadn't taken a break, I'd have never met Cale. Money's important too, though.

It's about finding a balance, which is something my father was never able to do. He worked too hard and he was never there. I wanted him to be my father, not just to work his entire life away, so I want to encourage Cale to take the time off that he needs to build that relationship with his son as well. No point in pushing too hard if it means that you don't get to have the life you're paying for.


Cale, as it happens, is an amazing father. Somehow he manages to balance everything, from job to aspiration to family without missing a beat. I suppose this is where I have failed. My focus on my dreams has locked everything else out, and it occurs to me now that perhaps Cale is lonely. He spends so much of his time with little Casey that my attention is drawn to the fact we rarely sit down to talk any more when we aren't arguing about the problems of raising a family on too little income. He's an intelligent man with more to contribute than I sometimes think he realizes.

Yesterday he made me smile when he looked up from feeding Casey and exclaimed "He's smiling at me! I think we're friends!" My dreams are isolating, and his give him wings. How I wish sometimes that I could have the friends he does. Those strong ties to people have eluded me since Mother's death when I was thirteen, and I miss connecting with another person. I should put more effort into Cale, more effort into Casey.

Perhaps once I've reached the top of my career.


It must be nice to be so surrounded by friends.

 

anything