Friday, Simmay 27, 2415 C.E. | Sunset Valley, Califorsimia
I began struggling in school around the age of nine. After several meetings with my teachers and the principal, my parents learned I was bored. Because I wasn’t challenged in the classroom, I frequently got into trouble or didn’t do my homework. Mamma decided to try home schooling me and my grades immediately improved. My sister, Cari struggled with a series of health issues and she, too, came to study at home as she was unable to keep up with her schoolwork and medical appointments. It was only natural that Andi join her two older sisters at home. This was a good change for Andi because she was struggling with reading due to dyslexia. She greatly improved her reading abilities after one-on-one sessions with her parents.
Mamma continued to suffer from depression, and took a leave of absence to stay home with her kids. She busied herself with projects, and used her creative energies to make learning fun for us. I recall “themed” weeks for lessons like Total Safari. Our schoolwork would revolve around the theme; we would study animals, vegetation, and weather patterns from the savanna, eat foods from the region, read stories, learn songs, numbers, and phrases in Simwahili , and write letters to pen pals in Af’simica.
Dad obtained employment as a disc jockey at the local radio station, 74.6 The SIM. He typically worked the night shift. Some nights when my father would leave for work early, my mother would let us eat breakfast for dinner. I always loved cereal nights – Mr. Wonderful’s Cinnamon Chippers, Corny Snaps, and Llama-O’s with honey were always my favorites. Sometimes Mamma would just sit at the table and stare off into space tiredly. I once asked her about it. She said she needed more sleep.
One tradition I loved as a child was ‘Mamma Nights.’ Dad would be at the studio overnight, and my sisters would go stay at Nonna’s. Mamma and I would put on our PJ’s and stay up late. She would make waffles. Half the time they were burned, but I didn’t really care. We’d top our waffles with cinnamon ice cream and watch Mr. Wonderful’s fairy tale movies. Sometimes Mamma would bring bisnonna’s trunk of treasures down from the attic and we’d wrap ourselves in feather boas, long strings of pearls, and fur coats. The evening would always end with a pillow fight, and Mamma would sleep in my room for the night.
Once I woke up and found Mamma in my spare bed. I rubbed my eyes and wondered what she was doing there because it wasn’t a ‘Mamma Night. ‘ I was so tired that I imagined tiny ‘z’s’ floating above her head as she snored. I tried waking her up, but she wouldn’t budge. Scared, I ran to get Daddy. He came running and woke Mamma up. She was groggy, but reassured me everything was okay. I don’t think it was because Daddy was sleeping on the couch when I came down in the morning.
When Dad had night off, he made afternoon snacks and dinners. The smell of fresh-baked breads, cookies, and pies filtered throughout our entire home. When I was done with my studies, Dad would hand me a glass of milk or a cup of hot cocoa and a snack and we would talk. Well, mostly I would would talk and Dad would listen. When Dad arrived home from work in the mornings, he would often make breakfast too before going to sleep. I loved his banana pancakes.
Sometimes he’d let me help him prepare for dinner. Dad knew all the secrets of the trade. He once worked with celebrity chef, Romon Tanner during his college years. Somehow he could make even a hot dog dinner seem gourmet with all sorts of toppings – dill pickles, heirloom tomatoes, freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese, mushroom slices, chopped onions, bell peppers, summer pea pods, jalapeno peppers, and a variety of fresh herbs from our garden.
I knew about their money troubles. Income was tight because Mamma wasn’t working. W I remember hearing them argue frequently after they thought we were all asleep. Things became even harder when the radio station laid my dad off work, not due to any fault of his own, but because of budget cuts. He took odd jobs, catering for local businesses and community parties. Mamma was frequently sick and couldn’t work because of her mysterious illnesses. This only made them argue more.
I remember the day my father left home. Neither one of my parents had a conversation with us so this major life change was a surprise. Yet it was obvious Dad was gone. When I stepped out of the shower, I noticed that fresh clean towels were conspicuously absent from the bathroom. Dad always did the laundry. The bathroom towels never felt so rough and worn. The air was not dominated by dad’s minty aftershave. When I went to greet my parents in the morning like I always did, Dad’s clock radio was missing from the night stand. I did not hear Dad whistling jazz tunes as he made us breakfast, and mom’s burnt waffles could not compare. Dad was gone. Mamma had asked him to move out. That was that.
Author Notes: There are some memories that stick with you for a lifetime. I distinctly remember my dad’s clock radio missing from his nightstand when he moved out and my parents separated. Though Kass’s parents split up over other reasons, I included this in the story because it was significant in my life. My parents didn’t have a conversation with me either and I asked them about it two decades later. My mom said she thought I just knew, and my dad said he wished he knew that we needed “that” conversation. Their responses were significant to me also.
You can see the original post here – 1.0 Bomb. I added more backstory to Kass’s family life – like the part about Carina’s health issues, Andi’s dyslexia, Mamma homeschooling the girls, and themed school weeks (all of which actually happened in my life to an extent). Just the other day my little sister mentioned how she remembers “Cleaning Week” and how annoyed she was that our mom made this a yearly “thing.” It was just an excuse the “clean” the house, but somehow schoolwork was woven into this week – life skills, I guess? Haha. And I recall pictures of “cleaning products” on my math homework sheets. I also recall “mama nights” where my mom would take one of my siblings or I “out on a date,” usually for pie at the local diner or shopping. Sometimes, we would stay at home and my dad or grandparents would take my sisters out, and mom and I would eat takeout and watch a movie. I loved “mama dates.” I remember Dad’s cooking – sights, smells, and tastes that stick with me to this day, particularly fresh bread, banana was my favorite.
For the record, Simwahili is my Simworld’s version of Swahili, Af’simica is my Simworld version of Africa, and Mr. Wonderful is my Simworld version of Walt Disney and Disney. I added the line about the ‘z’s’ because I was unable to properly edit them out of the picture and it just fit for the Sims ‘verse. Haha.
Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading. Join me again tomorrow for another KCLKF chapter. You may also join me over on the forums for discussion, questions, or just to hang out and chat with me, the author. 🙂 Also I’ve got a fun side story for Livin’ A Simmin’ Life (LASL) called Side Tracks debuting today (posts Mon-Thurs).