Chapter 12: On to Childhood

Doesn’t seem possible… but my little girl is about to become a child.  As has been the tradition, we had a small party, just the family.  Sophia took her to the cake.  Somehow, she’s the more practical one of us in this regard.  Much like my mother, there was a large part of me that wanted Aurora to stay little forever.  However, I know better.  And so, the whole family gathered around the cake to watch Aurora grow up.

“Candles, mama, candles!” she babbled.  “Down, down!”

My wife obliged and leaned down so that Aurora could blow out the candles, though Sophia helped her a bit. Once the candle was blown out, we sat her on the floor.  She stood up and whirled around as the sparkles hit.

And now my baby was no longer a baby, but a child.  She took herself to the mirror, politely refusing her mother’s offer of help.  Hm, she’s already pretty independent.  Going to have to watch out for that…  But I have to say, my little girl is beautiful.  I’m not biased at all, of course…

After we all sat down to eat cake, I was sitting there, feeling a little nostalgic and maybe just a touch melancholy as I thought about how fast time flies.  Aurora came over to me.  “Daddy?”

“Yes, sweetheart?”

“Don’t be sad.  I’m still your little girl.”

“Oh, Aurora…”  She wrapped her arms around my neck and gave me a tight squeeze.  “That’s right, you’ll always be my little girl.”

“Love you, daddy.”

“Love you too, my little Northern Light.”

While we were gone, Mom and Dad contracted for some work to be done around the house.  The dogs have their own little covered porch just for them.  They thought about enclosing it, but since they are all long-haired dogs and the cold doesn’t bother them with their fluffy coats, they left the walls open.

Mom and Dad did this because they added on a separate nursery, taking out the space that had been their area up in the top right hand corner there.  I jokingly asked my parents if they were giving us a hint by any chance.

Dad grinned at me and winked.  My mother protested, though I could tell by the hint of the blush on her cheeks that she certainly wouldn’t mind another grandbaby.  Sophia and I are open to it, but we’re not forcing the issue at the moment.  If we have another one, then we have another one.

Dad confided in me that mom is boasting about her granddaughter to anyone that will listen; like when she heads to the Elixir Shop to consign more of her serums.

There is also a pool with an adjacent hot tub as well.  “A pool hm?” I asked my dad as we looked out the window.

My dad shrugged.  “What kid doesn’t want a pool?  What adult for that matter?”  He laughed.  “See?  Looks like your wife is already enjoying it.”

I looked out, and sure enough, there was Sophia, floating languidly on a little inflatable raft.  I joined my dad in laughing.  “Well then…”

Looking back on the pictures from when Mom and Dad first started out, it’s hard to believe how far they’ve come.  They started with what amounted to little more than a one room shack.

They worked and scraped by more often than not, relying on the money from dad’s paintings or mom’s potions or anything that the dogs ended up finding in order for us to have this now:

It’s humbling to think about really.  It makes me appreciate things even more.  They’ve given me the tools to be able to raise my daughter in comfort and make sure she wants for nothing.  I’m more and more grateful for that every day.  It’s the kind of thing that lets me run around after my daughter in a simple game of tag without having to worry about whether there will be enough money for food the next day.

Haven’t written in a while, mainly because it’s been a bit of the same, day in and day out.  Aurora started elementary school, of course and is doing even better than I did, I think.  She doesn’t ride the bus, preferring to use her powers to get her there.  I’ve been steadily progressing within the department and am very close to getting a promotion to being a traffic cop.  Sophia is still diligently working on her Sim-Fu.

In other news, though, both Gage and Gabe have become elders now.  Like their father, though, it hasn’t seemed to slow them down.

There’s been another doggie birthday; Hercules is now a mature dog.

And as you can see, now that he’s big enough, he’s already become protective of Aurora and he often sleeps in her bed at night.

Unfortunately, there is some bad news.  My wife received a call a few days ago that her mother wasn’t doing well.  Her father has been gone for a little while now.  Since Aurora was born, Sophia hasn’t been close with her family.  As mayor, a teenage daughter who became pregnant doesn’t look very good so except for a few phone calls every now and again, Sophia had no family but ours.  They’ve never even met Aurora.  It never really bothered my wife, though.  She had never been that close to her parents or to her older brother.  But still… when the inevitable call came from Eli that their mother was gone, it was difficult for her.  Imagine our surprise when Sophia was left with half of their estate.  Over $300,000.  Maybe Adalina had regretted cutting herself off from her only daughter and from her granddaughter and this was a way to apologize for it.

We talked for a long while about whether to accept it, but finally, we decided that we would use it for Aurora, put it in an account for her for University or anything that she wanted it for later on down the road.  Which… she told her mother just the other day that she really wants to learn about photography.  We have an old camera around, so Sophia gave it to her so she can start practicing now.

Winter’s here and it’s been pretty bitterly cold.  Normally, it’s not quite this bad.  The deep snow is keeping us all inside.  Mom and Dad have been up in their master suite for a while, just enjoying each other’s company.

I have to admit, Sophia and I are following their example.  What?  Aurora’s in school, so have to enjoy our time when we can, right?

Despite the cold and the amounts of snow, my little girl loves the outdoors enough that she goes up to my parents’ balcony and sits at the table out there to do her homework.

Oh and did I mention that my little brother got an award from the school?  His time in the art club (a way to keep close to Faye, from what my father has said) was good for him, got him socializing a bit more.  He’s proudly displayed the little trophy on his dresser.

Speaking of my little brother, we’re actually getting ready because in two days, he’ll be turning into a Young Adult.  He’ll join the rest of us in the work force.  He’s been a bit close-mouthed about what he wants to do after high school.  We only know he doesn’t want to go to University.  He’s done with school, he says.  We’ll see.  I have to go help get things ready.  We’re not having a big party, just the family- and Faye, of course.


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