2.8 Something new

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My youngest daughter, Firefly, misses her aunt Castrovalva terribly since she moved to live at the artists’ colony.  However, she has at least had the excitement of being able to spend more time with her big sisters and start to become friends with them.  I hope they’ll all look out for one another – it’d be so hard to think that there was any distance or animosity between them, and they’re going to need each other so much as they grow up.

Since Cas moved there, our home has gone through some changes.  One of the ways the artists are trying to get round the Alto mob is to handcraft rugs and curtains from fabrics – these bespoke pieces seem like ordinary household goods to the mob when they come round to do their inspections, but I know how much care and attention has gone into them – and it’s so nice to be able to display something that’s a kind of art in the house, even if it isn’t the wealth of paintings my sister and her friends can produce.  Having the curtains and rugs here has cheered my father up.  He keeps saying how much the shelter feels like a house with them here – I think that, even though it’s such a small thing, it helps him realise that there is an end in sight to all of this.  He knows he will never see it – I am pretty sure I never will, either – but all glimpses give him hope, give all of us something to keep us motivated.

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I don’t know what my children will make of all this.  I feel so torn – I want them to take responsibility for this town just as we are trying to do, yet I don’t want to force them to make choices they don’t want.  This life is hard enough without them being miserable throughout it.  It’s so hard to know how to bring them up well.  My father and mother always spurred us on with stories of their previous life, but most of my generation can’t do that.  I’m so glad my daughters know their grandfather and father, but they are among the last dozen or so survivors.  Soon there will be no-one left who remembers.

At the moment, though, the children are such an encouragement to us.  I was so nervous about going back to work after having maternity leave with Firefly, but on the day Firefly started school, I got promoted to the fifth level of my career.  All three of my girls greeted me and said they wanted to be professional athletes, just like their mummy.  It was the proudest moment of my life so far, and it has spurred me on to complete my goal and become a genuine athlete and help this town to become strong once more.

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Ezri was so sweet after this and made sure she asked her dad to teach her all about cooking as well.  I don’t want them to feel as though they must take after us, I hope they’ll choose their own paths in life, but it makes me so happy that they think we both do things that are worthwhile.  It means so much to Oscar as well.  He has found it hard going to climb his career, and he is finding that age is making him weary.  I don’t know if he will get to the top, where he wants to be – but he tells us it doesn’t matter too much – as long as we’re fed and happy, that’s his main priority.

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I think it’d break his heart not to achieve that goal, but he’s too proud to tell us that.  Still, I do believe him that family is now his priority.  For so long, I didn’t know where his head was, what he was thinking, what he wanted.  Now, though, despite his occasional moments where he retreats into himself, he is such a loving father, and the girls just dote on him.

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Three girls was plenty for me in terms of having children.  I didn’t enjoy pregnancy or labour too much and it’s much easier to sleep at night without having to constantly attend to the cries of infants.  Besides, I am making good progress at work again and I didn’t want anything to disrupt that.

But my husband is getting old, and he loves his family more than anything – so I agreed to let him have his wish – we decided to have one more child.

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I was very glad this would be my last labour.  The pain doesn’t get any better third time around.

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The blessings don’t get any less, either.  We welcomed Gaius, our fourth child and our first little boy, into the world.  I was so relieved – he is healthy.  Like Firefly, he hasn’t inherited my sickness.  My father can’t believe he has lived to see four children AND four grandchildren be born into this world.  He is taking every day as it comes right now.  Over 100 is a very fine age for anyone to live to – even in the before times people died a lot younger than that, as he often boasts.  I think my father is both proud and amazed that he has lived so long despite the accident and despite his sickness.  It gives me hope that my own life and the lives of my daughters may not be affected too much by our condition.

Gaius was born just before the twins had their birthday.  I can’t believe they’re almost young women now.

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Ezri is incredibly beautiful, with long flowing hair and cheekbones to die for.  She is very athletic and keen for me to help her learn to exercise.

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Echo is also gorgeous, although she looks very different from her sister.  I see so much of Oscar in her.  Unlike Ezri, she has some very clear ideas about what she wants from life.  My father has been putting ideas into her head, I think.  He has started to tell the girls these fancy stories about the life before the accident.  He still rarely mentions people he knew or loved, but he talks sometimes about what life was like, about the things they had, the things we could have.  Echo is fixated by his stories about music.  She wants to learn to play music herself – she always was fixated by that little xylophone toy she played with as a toddler.

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For her birthday, Cas and her friends crafted her this beautiful guitar from bits of metal and tin they found in a scrapyard.  Dad sometimes pulls a face when she plays; I don’t think it’s the kind of guitar he remembers from before the accident – but to me, it sounds perfect.  I don’t know what she will be able to do with this guitar – but I heard that music used to make people laugh, cry, sing and fall in love.  If that’s true, then music will perhaps be a very powerful gift for Riverview – and maybe my girl can help it feel something new.

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7 Responses to “2.8 Something new”

  1. DB loves her Mac Says:

    Wow, what a beautiful way to end this dispatch! Nice sentiment. Now I need to go look up what it is that music unlocks.

    I agree about the cheekbones!

  2. worsiedog Says:

    Lovely chapter again, setting the mood and tone very well.

  3. moondaisy101 Says:

    I thought it was so nice to set a mood with the addition of curtains in the house. That is such a realistic point.
    I’m so glad Oscar is all happy and enjoying his family. Lovely to see the girls grow up. Oh my, Alf is getting on a bit now. Great he made a hundred!

    • The restriction Cas unlocked meant we could have curtains, rugs and guitars so I thought we ought to make the best of it.

      • moondaisy101 Says:

        Most definitely! I bet it gives them all nicely/beautifully decorated moodlet. Thanks for the explantion. 🙂

  4. Ah the guitar from the Steampunk collection, I believe? It’s very nice. ^-^

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