“I can’t believe my babies’ birthday is today!” Lola exclaimed.
It was a strange feeling, the way this intense nostalgia and growing excitement all mingled into one big mish mosh of emotion. Her squishy-faced bundles of joy would soon be walking, playing, going to school, making friends, and inevitably needing her less and less each day. Even stranger was that she missed those tiny fingers and toes already. It wasn’t so long ago she dreaded their very birth, dreaded the responsibility of motherhood and the lack of freedom it would bring. But now that her triplets were growing, Lola suddenly wished that they’d stop.
Coralie put her hand in front of her mouth, covering her smile. “Look at you, Lola. A mom through and through! Who ever would’ve guessed?”
Lola shook her head, laughing. “I know, it’s strange the way life works out, isn’t it? I have to say, I’ve enjoyed motherhood far more than I thought I would. I’m going to miss having my smushy little babies around – it almost makes me want to have another.”
Coralie’s eyebrows shot up in surprise, to which Lola laughed. “I said, almost. I can’t say I won’t miss this part, but I’m ready for the next phase. They’ll be more independent as kids, and it’ll be nice to get some time to myself again.”
Coralie nodded in agreement. “Triplets are a lot of work, especially when you weren’t even planning on one! And I thought twins were hard! But oh, Lola – just wait until they’re teenagers. If even one of them turns out like Jessalyn, you’re going to have your hands full.”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves now! I need to get through today first! One step at a time, you know?”
Coralie turned to face her sister. “Well?” she asked. “Are you ready for this?”
Lola pursed her lips briefly, and then smiled. “Yeah. I’m ready.”
Lola walked from crib to crib, taking in those squishy faces one last time. There was an underlying sense of sadness, of time moving on, but overwhelmingly, Lola was ready. She was eager to meet her children, to see how they would grow and who they would turn out to be. Parenthood wasn’t about keeping her children to herself, but about raising them to be capable and unique individuals. And unique they would be, if they took after her.
And as the family gathered around, and the bassinets began to shake, Lola grinned in anticipation.
Libby was the first to spring from her crib, natural born leader that she was. As an insider with the Social Butterfly aspiration, Libby immediately took to Jessalyn. If anyone could help her achieve Queen Bee status, it was her cousin.
Diego soon followed suit, bounding from his crib to join his sister. Already he was an active boy, but with the Artistic Prodigy aspiration, it was clear that his energies would be used in pursuit of creative endeavors.
And as the youngest, Celia was the last to leap. Naturally creative with the Rambunctious Scamp aspiration, she was as different from her brother as a triplet can be.
Lola stood on the sidelines and sighed. Her triplets were triplets, as similar as any three children could be. But already she sensed the differences, where their personalities would diverge and grow independently of one another. And separately from her.
Here are the kids in CAS:
In another home, life with triplets might prove overwhelming, noisy, or even chaotic. But the Hasslich family was no stranger to multiples, and so the chaos was only more of the same.
The triplets were off to a running start, all three of them full of energy and personality. Diego, forever in pursuit of artistic excellence, spent most of his time at the his craft table.
Day after day, his talent grew, not as a result of any natural ability, but as a product of his endless reserve of persistence and dedication. Diego worked hard to graduate from drawing shapes to vehicles, and though he loved his sister, he envied Celia’s innate creativity – especially because she rarely used it.
Celia never could sit still for long.
But it was Libby – predictably – who emerged as the leader of the pack. There was nothing she loved more than people, than making friends, and being admired. She idolized her cousin Jessalyn, and strove to walk in her very popular footsteps. Indeed, there was nothing Libby liked more than people, unless it was being loved by them.
And so, while her brother and sister were happy in their individual endeavors, Libby was ready to surround herself with her very own
“I’m going to start a club,” she told Celia one day. “A super-secret, super special, really cool club. And since you’re my sister, I’ll even let you be in it! Space is limited, of course, so I’ll need your formal acceptance letter by noon.” Libby smiled benevolently at Celia, as if she was doing her a great big favor.
Celia shrugged. “Okay, sure. But who’s in this club, anyway?”
Libby crinkled her nose. So far it was only her, and Celia, pending that acceptance letter, of course. But it wouldn’t sound very cool to say so. “VIP’s only,” she answered vaguely.
Celia shrugged again. “Okay, sure. But what do we do in this club?” she asked, reluctant to commit to anything that might interfere with her monkey bar time.
Libby paused. She hadn’t really thought about that. “It’s a secret!” she improvised. “If you want to be in it, don’t ask so many questions, Celia.”
“Whatever,” Celia muttered. “But, Libby – ” she leaned in close, not wanting to be overheard. “Make sure to invite, Diego, too.”
Libby did invite Diego – not that she particularly wanted to. Her brother was kind of a geek, she thought, always hidden away behind his craft table with a big bag of glitter. But her options were limited, and she’d have to start somewhere.
And when the day of their first club gathering arrived, Libby was thrilled to find that it was an undeniable success. Not only did everyone listen to her as the club leader, but they even gained a member!
Libby thought her cousin Amalie was almost (almost) as cool as she was, which was really saying something. If she played her cards right, Libby decided she might even grant her cousin with the coveted title of Princess-Bee (second in command, of course, to Libby’s own title of Queen-Bee).
-Madison Hasslich, left (daughter of Isaac Hasslich) playing with Amalie Wahine (daughter of Xander Wahine-
But while Libby spent her day with her new wing-woman, Diego made a new friend of his own.
Sheena Santander was her name, as Diego soon found out. But when he introduced himself as Diego Hasslich, Sheena gave him a funny look.
“Hasslich?” she said, like it was a dirty word. “My mom says the Hasslich men are cads, whatever that means. I don’t think it’s good thing, though.”
Diego shrugged. “I’m not a cad,” he assured her. He didn’t know what that meant either, but it didn’t sound like a good thing. All Diego knew was that he only wanted Sheena to think good things about him.
“Her old boyfriend was some guy called Xander, I think,” Sheena went on.
Diego’s face lit up. “That’s my Uncle Xander!” He frowned, putting two and two together. “But my Uncle Xander isn’t a… a cad.”
Sheena shrugged. “My mom says he is, but she says that about my dad, too. My dad just says my mom is sad. He always used to say, ‘Janie, turn that frown upside down!’ But she didn’t, and now my dad has a new girlfriend, which is kinda weird, because my dad is REALLY old.”
Diego didn’t know what to say to that, but he did think it sounded like Sheena could use a friend. As soon as he had the chance, he would ask Libby if Sheena could join the club.
Because all Diego knew was he wanted to see her again.