“Hey Brooklyn,” called Bianca, “come play with me on the monkey bars!”
“Can’t! I have to help mommy get her beans for the PlantSim Challenge.”
Brooklyn ran down the street because she saw Jasmine Holiday walking past.
She stopped her and asked what she could do to help her mom’s club with the challenge. Jasmine thought it was nice that she wanted to help, but told her she’d already talked to her mom, and there was nothing else to be done until they collected all the beans they needed.
Brooklyn: Hmmm, I wonder where I can get beans from. Someone at school has to be trading for one on the black market.
The Counsel Council each worked to do their part for the PlantSim Challenge.
[Author’s Note: this next part is wordless!]
Laurel felt like she was checking so much off her to do list. Aging up, check. Vampire-repelling wreaths, check. PlantSim Challenge, check. She and Emilie finally finished redecorating Emilie’s room, making it more suitable for a child rather than a toddler. Emilie’s aspiration was Whiz Kid, so they pulled up the science table from basement storage.
Laurel was happy that Emilie wanted to keep the bright yellow she picked out for her. Emilie’s favorite part of the room was how it looked once the lights were out. And of course, there was a model train car there as a gift from Quincy.
Laurel was so busy checking off all her boxes, she realized she hadn’t spent much time with her family. The next Saturday that rolled around, she declared family weekend. They were free to do whatever they wanted, they just all needed to be there to enjoy each other’s company.
Brooklyn decided to start her day training Voidcritters. She traded her best one to get the Angry Bean. It was so worth it to see the look on her mommy’s face, but now she had to level back up to keep her winning streak going.
Laurel was also an early riser, and of course she threw on an apron and headed straight for the kitchen. She made a few dishes for brunch.
By the time she finished the last one, several of the family joined her in the kitchen.
Laurel watched her girls each sit at the counter to eat, and she smiled to herself as she listened to their chatter. The house was different without Quincy there everyday, but it had a new vibe that was just as enjoyable, though different.
Emilie grabbed a plate and dug in. She was excited to eat at the counter because this was her first time doing so. The days of eating with her hands in a high chair were no more!
After brunch, Kurt and Emilie met at the chess table. It helped him work on his job requirements and helped her work on her aspiration. Kurt looked at Emilie and smiled.
Kurt: She’s so smart. Whatever she decides to do, she’s gonna rock it, I just know it.
Robyn had changed into her swimsuit to play on the slip and slide. But first she chatted with Laurel in the living room. Kurt watched them and smiled.
Kurt: House full of women. Who would’ve thought I’d like this? They’re all so pretty and so smart and so sweet. This is what life is supposed to be like.
Later in the day, the three older girls gathered in the living room for an impromptu dance party and snack. Kurt and Emilie were back at the chess table. Kurt had changed because he’d spent some time on the slip and slide himself. Emilie was wearing the same clothes, but it was clear she’d spent some time at Laurel’s make-up table. Laurel had worked out in the basement and was just enjoying the buzz of endorphins while she watched her family have fun.
The next morning after breakfast, Kurt gathered the girls in Robyn’s bedroom to read them a story. He chose the location thinking it might entice her to join them. He underestimated his eldest daughter though and had to settle for reading to just the girls.
While reading hour was going on upstairs, Laurel and Robyn chatted in the living room. Robyn was back in her swimsuit, ready for the slip and slide. Laurel wanted to ask about boys. She didn’t want to be blindsided if Robyn got a boyfriend like she was blindsided when Quincy and Daniella got together.
“Sweetie, before you go outside, let’s chat,” said Laurel. “We never get to spend much one on one time, and before you know it, you’ll be a Young Adult and out of here, I want to make the most of this weekend.”
“Mom, I’m not gone yet,” said Robyn, “Are you is as big of a rush as I am for me to age up?”
“You’re in a rush to age up? Why?”
“Well, I’m not in a rush, rush. I’m just really used to being around older people, and I feel like I’m always playing catch up, you know?” Robyn repeated the same line she’d used on Daniella since it worked so well.
“I understand that feeling honey, believe me I do,” said Laurel.” By the time I was your age, I was pregnant with your brother. Your father and I have lived practically our whole lives together with our wonderful children, and it’s been wonderful, but I wouldn’t encourage you to follow in my steps.”
“I know Mom,” said Robyn, “oh creator, you’re not about to give me the woohoo talk, are you?”
“That depends, are you seeing any boys right now?”
“No! I have friends who are boys, but no boyfriends.”
“It would be okay if you did,” said Laurel, “I would just like to know about it. Please don’t spring one on my like Quincy did with Daniella.”
“You don’t like her, do you?”
“What? I never said that,” said Laurel. “Why would you think that?”
“Mom, we all think that.”
“That’s a discussion for another time, I just want you to know that you can talk to me about anything going on with you. I’ve noticed that the Teens that used to come around when you first aged up aren’t here so much anymore.”
“Well, I’m still in the Neighborhood Hang club, so I see them at club meetings. But I’m also friends with the original members of the club, they’re just all older than me now. They can’t hang out after school if they have work.”
“Ah, so that’s why you’re in a rush to grow up,” said Laurel.
To Be Continued…