March 22nd, 2010 by Marianne McCann
Okay, this one is gonna be long. Settle in, grab something t’drink, an alla that.
Not long into my Second Life, and shortly after I grew down, I ended up in a family. I did not go through any of the early adoption agencies (this was before MAW, etc.), but a RL friend of mine was part of this family, and I happened upon her aunty while exploring her treehouse. Later that day, her Aunty and Uncle, Sazzy Rosebud and DJMike Glitterbuck, asked to adopt me. I agreed about a week later.
DJMike did not hang around long, and for the first few months of my SL kidhood, I was an only child to my single mommy. in the course of a year or so, this changed, with the addition of my brother, Pygar Bu, my sister Robin Howe, and a new, improved daddy, Laurynce Book.
Being in a family for an SL type kid can be the bestest. That’s why – if you look at the profile of SL kids – you’ll usually see “I have the best parents in the world” in there somewhere. It can truly complete the character, and create a next-to-perfect RP environment for one to just be a kid.
It means having someone there when you are at graduation at HardKnock Elementary, or when you get promoted at Kid Scouts. It means having people to write home to from camp, or attend parent and family events with. It means someone who gets that dreaded letter home from school, or who is there when your avatar gets a boo boo on the playground. It can also mean having someone there when you are facing hard RL times, and each of us in our family went through a few of those.
In my SL family, one regular occurrence – nightly or near nightly for the course of about two years – our little avatars would be gently tucked into bed my our parents. So no matter what, we still had that ‘family bond,” that little bit of time that would be ours as a unit. Sometimes it was a tender moment, sometimes it was silly, but it was nearly always good. It is one of a great many things I miss from then.
I miss my mommy’s sense of humor, and I miss my daddy’s quiet wisdom. I miss hanging out (literally) at the family tree behind our old house. I miss getting care packages and letters from home while at Camp HardKnock. I miss that whole thing.
So you may ask yourself this: what happened?
The trouble with SL families as a whole is that they rely on all parties to keep them going. Each person brings something to the table, and plays a part on it all. When things are good, they’re good — but when things turn sour, it’s not so much.
I’m not going to get into details or air any dirty laundry here. Suffice it to say that the relationship between mommy and daddy turned sour, and fell apart. call it unreconcilable differences. Both considered dropping their SL personas, and both have all but retreated from the Grid. I might see mommy online once a month, maybe — and to her credit, her First Life has seemed to be too busy to really allow her the time she once had in her Second. Daddy is on rarer, largely over on a fresher account and making a new Second Life for himself.
What of us kids?
Well, no one ever truly told us “this is over.” For the longest time we remained with the family house out in Hundertwasser, but found it to have lost it’s spark. It was just us there, in a far too big home. A christmas tree and unopened presents beckoned from the large family room for a year, remnants of a Christmas day that never quite happened. My brother took to spending his days in his workshop rather than coming home, and my sister tended to just stick to the bedroom — and not go downstairs at all. Me, I eventually found some land elsewhere on the grid, and tried to make a house that we could get away from all the old ghosts. Never mind that I could not afford to keep the tier going on the land we once had.
My folks remain listed in my profile, albeit only on one panel in my picks. I think my siblings did much the same. The old home is now go, for nearly a year now, and the three of us share a much more modest place in Shermerville. There is no parents’ room there, though much of the house outside our rooms is decorated more to the tastes of an adult.
We delved into other things to take up our time. I became much more involved in exploring, and made my way into Bay City and its goings on. My brother focuses on his building work. My sis is simply not on as much as she used to be.
Why not get new parents?
It’s a good question, and there’s a lot of answers.
First off, like I said above, no one ever said it was over. For all intents and purposes it is (and it certainly could not be what it once was), but it remains an open, unfinished chapter. We remain the “Flying Rosebuds,” an affectionate term coined by my daddy that plays off my mommy’s last name.
We are a trio. We’re like a civil war chess set from the Franklin Mint, and you simply can’t break us up. You can’t take one, you take three.
Each of us are not the usual. We’re all pretty knowledgeable about SL an how it works. Each is a pretty good content creator and usually knows what is going on in SL on a gridwide basis at any given time. Any of us could be called away to do projects here and there. We’re all storeowners. And while we can indeed fit into our role-play selves just fine, there are going to be times where we simply will have to be somewhat out-of-character.
We’d also be pretty particular about parents, in part due to the issues of our old family, and in part due to things that we know would make us a better fit. We don’t need folks who will be there 24/7, but we do need folks who are going to be here. We’d need distinct family times, and would prefer to at least have some “at home role play times” (tuck-ins, family dinners, etc.) as well as things like attending talent shows or parent-teacher conferences. We’d need stable people in stable relationships who aren’t going to abandon us, and we’d need people who could embrace our quirks.
In short, I don’t see it happening. Not easily. I’m certainly not going to put all this in a panel at an adoption agency.