the fabric of change

december 2020
previous update/Millett’s next update/Julia’s next update
Norma Millett (67 years), Merrill (66 years), Grant (43 years), Leah (41 years), (17 years), Simon (10 years), Nolan (2 years)

narrated by: Julia

This is my year at Jefferson High School, and I can’t wait to get out of here. Even when Lauren spread rumors that it wasn’t Isaac’s baby I was pregnant with, that wasn’t so hard to take with good friends like Alice to have my back. But now I’m here alone, and have no one to sit with at lunch. I know that in the grand scheme of life, that a lunch partner isn’t the worst thing that could happen, but it feels lonely.

I got my acceptance letter for Eastborough, but Mrs. Grimsley is still harping on me to pull better grades. Before Nolan I had an A average, but now it’s a solid C, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. If I wasn’t getting into college, then I would understand, but I am, so what’s the point?

I look forward to the last bell of the day, all the other students gather together to finalize their plans and I get to just go home. Mom and Dad still don’t let me do anything fun, but I don’t have anyone left in town to do anything with anyway.

Simon does alright with friends at school, but no one is begging to come home with him off the bus, but he doesn’t seem to mind. I wish I could have that kind of nonchalance over it all.

Grandma spent all these years wanting a grandson to pass the business to, and then came Simon. He’s quirky, and geeky, and lives in his own head. Mom loves him of course, I think she was partially afraid to have a son, because he’d team up against her and become like Grandma’s second son.

Mom does some petty things to get back at Grandma, like drink out of the carton, but never to her face. I’d like to think if I was a grown up that I’d be more brave, but I don’t know that I really would.

Since I got pregnant with Nolan though, it seems that I’ve solved all the family relationship problems, because no one is worried about who will take over Northern Moose now. And Grandma isn’t outright rude to Mom anymore. I guess it’s a silver lining, but it makes me miss the old days when I knew what to expect with my family.

Dad is smitten with Nolan, and I think most days that I’m glad that they are raising him. He seems to know though that I’m his Mom, Grandma mentioned that babies recognize their Mom’s voice when they are born and don’t forget it. I don’t know how much of that I believe, but he certainly seems attached to me.

I’m still working at Northern Moose, doing my time in the family business. Maybe they will raise Nolan to take it over one day, he might be into that sort of thing. All I know is that I can’t wait for Hadley to come back for Christmas break, and I can’t wait to move out.

I helped this sort of cute guy with buying a Christmas present. He actually flirted with me a little, which hasn’t happened since Isaac. He goes to private school, so he didn’t know anything about me, and that felt great. No judgement, no teenage pregnancy, I can only hope to have that type of anonymity when I start college next fall.

He asked me out to get a bite to eat over the weekend; I got his number so I could call him later. I had to ask my Mom for permission first, and like I feared, it went over badly. She doesn’t trust me, she doesn’t think I should be hanging out with any boys right now, and that I need to focus on my studies.

Sometimes I think that I hate her. I know that I hate living with her, under her thumb like I’m a toddler myself. I told her she didn’t have to worry about me getting pregnant again, but her answer was final.

I have to escape to the tents outside to avoid her the rest of the night. It’s peaceful back here, on the edge of the forest line, and no city lights out back. I hope that college is all that I dream it will be, a piece of me is terrified of it being disappointing, or filled with old drama.

When we all go to Northern Moose, Grandma is the one that takes care of Nolan. When I see how much everyone loves him, I’m glad that I didn’t put him up for adoption. As nice as the Siew family seemed to be, I just don’t think they could have given him all this.

Even Simon seems to like him, which is saying something. He barely communicates with me or Hadley, so I’m surprised that he seems to like Nolan alright.

When Christmas break finally starts, I’ve never been so happy to see Hadley come home. We had our differences when I started dating Isaac, and even when I was pregnant, but she seems to have let all of that go. I know it’s because of Nolan, she is just as smitten with him as the rest of the family, and even says she’d consider pediatrics as her specialty, if only they were all as sweet as he is.

Hadley’s arrival home doesn’t stop Mom from harping on me though. Sometimes she wants me to hang out with Nolan, and other times she tells me I have other things to worry about than him. I don’t understand her, all I know is that I can’t do anything right in her eyes.

Hadley is like the hero of the family, and I try to not be jealous over it. Dad and her are talking about adult things, and it’s like their relationship has changed entirely. He’s not harking about her getting her license renewed or cleaning up her room, it’s all about her classes and sharing stories about mutual people they know. If I tried telling stories about people, they’d tell me to quit gossiping.

Mom baked Christmas cookies, and kept gushing about having all her children in the same room together. Simon was flipping out over cookies, I miss when things like baked sugar could get me happy.

Then it snowed for him, and he was on cloud nine. The weather man had said there wouldn’t be a white Christmas, and Simon had taken that hard. Only for it to snow and the weatherman to be wrong.

It was beautiful out though, the first snow of the season is my favorite I think, before it’s turned yellow and been trampled on.

Me and Hadley sat outside catching up, without Mom constantly dropping in to add her opinion on the subject matter. Hadley thinks I need to just suck up and deal with the consequences, and realize my time is almost up. I suppose she is right, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am suffering now, but also terrified of leaving home. I don’t want it to stay like this, but the idea of not sleeping in my room, not near Nolan, makes me feel anxious inside.

After Mom insisted we’d all catch our death, we came back inside to finish talking. Hadley doesn’t have any advice, she asked if I was thinking of taking Nolan with to college, but I’m not. I don’t think that it would be good for him, and I know that I’m not ready to care for him on my own. Heck even Mom didn’t take care of us solo, she had Dad, but also Grandma and Grandpa. From all the stories, Mom had to fight Grandma off to have any time to hold us.

As much as I know this to be true, I still feel guilty to leave him. I wonder if he knows I am his Mom, and if he will hate me for this later. He will start preschool while I’m gone at college, and when I realize that, I panic and think that everything is a big mistake.

Hadley doesn’t have any words, there just isn’t anything to say in this type of situation. And I hate that Isaac gets out of it all without a blot on his conscience.

When we go up to bed, I stay up to look over the degrees at Eastborough, and try to imagine living on campus. As much as I think the education is important, part of me wonders if I should just stay, work at Northern Moose, and take it over one day. It’s not my dream, but maybe it’s selfish to chase a dream, and leave Nolan behind. I don’t have that much time left to decide, all I know is that living here under Mom’s thumb sounds like prison.

Christmas morning, and Simon wakes up to tell us that Santa Claus was here the night before. He blabbed on about how he ate one of the cookies we made, and left some toys under the tree. I feel like ten years old is way too old to believe in Santa, but Mom just smiles along, encouraging his odd-ball behavior.

Everyone got clothes, and some toys for the younger kids. Nolan loved his new toy, though he got frustrated quickly when the rectangle wouldn’t fit into the circle hole.

Grandma was ornery, she gets stressed when she makes a holiday meal. She cooks for all of us nearly every day out of the year, but adding the word ‘holiday’ gets her all stressed out. Poor Grandpa is the one to take the brunt of it this year, it’s usually Mom, and it feels like it’s my fault that it’s not this time.

My parents gifted me with a beautiful violin, my other had been a low grade learning one, but this one is stunning.

I love playing the violin, I’m eligible to get a partial scholarship if I continue playing through my college years. Now that I have a respectable violin, I am considering it.

A regular old blizzard had come while we were all sleeping, but the temperatures weren’t too cold, that we could all go outside and play. Grandma and Hadley got in a snowball fight, Grandma has been especially happy having Hadley back, everyone knows that is her favorite grandchild.

Nolan didn’t like how cold it was at first, but once he got over the initial shock he was happy to play in it.

I made a snow angel, and felt young again for just a moment. I am envious of Hadley and her carefree college years, and of Simon for not caring what the world thinks of him, and still believing in Santa. When I laid back on the snow, I could almost taste what it felt like to be them.

Sadly, Christmas break went by too quickly, and before I knew it Hadley was on her way back to campus. I felt more lonely saying bye to her than I did when she left me two years ago for college. It’s just all been compounded with this being my senior year, and figuring out my future, and deciding what I should do in regards to Nolan.

I couldn’t help but cry as Dad pulled away with Hadley. The second half of the school year is going to be extra long, I can already tell.

Notes: Nolan still has Isaac and Julia as his parents, but they do none of the work with him. Julia will sometimes read him a book if he asks, but otherwise Leah and Grant take care of him. Nolan’s wants are almost entirely filled with Julia, but she rolls none for him. I don’t see her changing the arrangement of her parents raising Nolan, but I don’t think it will be easy for her to leave him for college for the next four years. He will be six years old when she graduates.

Simon is very bookish, and constantly searching for bugs. I totally heart him, and can’t believe he will be a teenager in the summer!! Nolan is just totally cute too! I’m glad that Julia had him, as much as it’s made life more difficult, he’s too cute to not have!

Thanks for reading!

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16 thoughts on “the fabric of change

  1. Nolan is too adorable! It’s sad and a bit strange, but that’s what happens with such a complicated teenage pregnancy. I’m glad though, that Julia seems to have come out stronger for it. No matter what she does, I believe that she will be successful in her own way, no matter about Hadley.
    Simon is cute too. I always imagine if I had a boy, he would turn out like Simon in personality.

    1. Simon is adorable, he’s totally geek, and I’m looking forward to seeing him as a teenager, though I can’t believe he soon will be! With Julia’s parent raising Nolan, I actually got the idea from someone my husband dealt with at work, and I thought those Milletts sure wouldn’t let someone else raise their family. I think of them kind of like a Lion’s den, very fierce and loyal to one another. Part of me thinks that Julia might want to raise him after college, but for now she doesn’t even have the confidence in herself to demand it, and her family doesn’t push her towards that direction. College could give her that confidence though, we will see.

      Thanks for commenting Fini!

  2. This made me sad. Julia wishing for that little bit of normalcy and to just plain be a kid. I kind of got mad at her mum for locking her down so tight but the trust was pretty much obliterated.
    Ugghhh and the agonizing choice of college or staying with her son… that is an incredibly difficult decision for anyone, especially a child.

    Poor girl…
    Nolan is so freaking adorable!

    1. I felt bad for Julia too, but I totally feel for her parents. They are all at a loss on the best way to handle it, and I don’t think that Leah and Grant are handling it the best way, but definitely the best of their own abilities at the time. I have a feeling in some years down the road, they will realize they reacted out of fear in their final years of raising Julia. It was a huge breaking of trust.

      I agree on Nolan, I could not get enough of him. And I’m so glad he has blonde hair instead of his Dad’s black, I have so many black haired sims!

      Thanks for commenting Fleur!

    1. I don’t even know what her parents would say to her, even though some time has passed now, I don’t think that any of the adults have really recovered. They are mostly in this day to day basis survival, do the best by Nolan mind set. They expect Julia to go to college, and they expect to keep raising Nolan, so for her to question it goes back on their agreement when Nolan was born. They wouldn’t know how to process that. As I was saying above, this family relies heavily on each other, and they don’t necessarily build each person up to be individual. Leah and Grant raised all their kids with the help of Grant’s parents, in their house, so they don’t know how to instill that independence in their girls, Hadley didn’t need the help (She’s like her Grandma Norma), but Julia is much more like Leah, in that she lacks a back bone when it comes to confrontation.

      I can’t believe that it’s time for Julia to go to college soon!

      Thanks for commenting Starr!

  3. Poor Julia, feeling so torn between staying at home with Nolan and following her own dreams. I think from a mental health standpoint, the best thing for her to do is to go off to college and get some of that anonymity she had a fleeting glimpse of with the boy at Northern Moose. She’s clearly not happy at school. That’s ending soon but she’ll still be unhappy at home, which I feel like might just get worse. Maybe what she needs is some time away from home, so she and her mum can learn to appreciate each other again.

    I love Simon. He’s such a sweet, quirky little guy. I can’t wait to see how he turns out as he gets older.

    1. I totally think you are right with Julia and Leah needing space from one another. I don’t think it would get better just because she graduated high school, and like you said, it could get worse. I could see a lot more build up, of an adult Julia (albeit still young) and a Mom who can’t see that her daughter is adult. Space would be good for these two, and I think that Julia would do better in college. I think that partially I’m freaking out that Julia will graduate college when Nolan is SIX, that seems SO old!

      Simon is totally quirky, I love that he just wanders off to do his own thing like bug looking, bird watching, and reading books as he walks. It’s even sweeter knowing that Norma wanted a tom boy, basically a Hadley in boy form, but got such a gentle soul instead.

      Thanks for commenting Carla!

    1. That is a good point that if she stayed she’d resent her parents and Nolan as well. Life would not get better if she stayed, I think her parents need time away from Julia, to start really seeing her again, that she’s grown up (nearly), and learned from her past.

      Thanks for commenting Jane!

  4. Poor Julia, I understand where she’s coming from with wanting to stay, but I think going to college might be a better choice, after all she can still decide to take over the family business afterwards. That way she can also get that independance she’s looking for, and proove to her parent she is trustworthy.

    The situation at home may be stange, but I think they are all trying the make the best out of a special situation. And maybe her mother is wrong with not trusting her, but I understand her though, after all Julia came home pregnant. I think that she’ll learn to trust Julia in the end, but it’s going to take a while, unfortunatly for Julia who only wants to be normal.

    I really like Simon, I think it’s going to be intersting watching him grow up.

    1. I totally understand where Leah is coming from. As a Mom, I could talk a big talk on what I would do to prevent this, or what I would do if it happened, but if it really did happen… I don’t honestly know! Leah is doing the best she can, wanting to protect her daughter from making the same mistake, though she’s not doing it the best possible way. I think both Julia and Leah need to bend more, and try to understand the other person’s feelings.

      I think that is a good point on her going to college, the family business isn’t going anywhere. Merrill is still alive, as his Grant, so it’s got a lot of hands on deck, plenty of time for Julia to go to college, and even pursue a different dream if she desires.

      I’m excited to see Simon as a teen, and see how he goes through that awkward stage. First kiss? Chemistry? Can’t wait!

      Thanks for commenting Tanja!

    1. I don’t know what Julia will go to college for, and it’s part of the indecision, she doesn’t have any giant career aspirations. I need to see what type of careers line up with her again, and see what she will do. I do think that college would be a nice break, but I can see why she wouldn’t choose to go ether. She also has no wants for college, which makes it hard for me to send her without at least getting an idea on careers she might like.

      Thanks for commenting River!

  5. Wow! It’s kind of shocking to realize that Nolan will be six when Julia graduates college. How quickly they grow up. I really wonder how that situation is going to pan out. It’s very complicated. Her parents are raising him, but he knows who his mother really is. Eeesh. That’s going to be a mess once he gets old enough to actually care!

    I feel for Julia, though. It can be really hard to come back from a situation like that. On one hand, her parents have every right to be nervous about giving her freedom, but it also sucks that she’s not even given a chance to redeem herself. Gah!

    1. Okay, so when I figured out that Nolan would be SIX, I was shocked, I felt like I had to have my math wrong, but sadly did not. They do grow up very fast, and with him knowing she’s his mother, and her being done with college when he’s six.. it’s all just very messy. I don’t know what will happen with all of these, if Leah and Grant will just raise Nolan forever, or if Julia will grow in a Mom role, and want to raise him herself. I’m excited to see how it pans out though.

      I can totally see both sides too, glad that you could as well with both Julia feeling trapped, and her parents wanting to protect their daughter in the best way they know how. It does lead to friction though, but it is Julia’s fault that she got knocked up at the community Halloween party!

      Thanks for commenting Mao!

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