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It's been just over six months since Michael Jackson's untimely death (which was recently ruled a manslaughter), but already the singer's children are showing incredible resilience in the aftermath of tragedy. People magazine reports that the three Jackson kids -- Prince Michael I, 12, Paris, 11, and Prince "Blanket" Michael , 7 -- are flourishing under their grandmother Katherine Jackson's care, and may even be experiencing a normal life for the first time.
The children, who accepted their father's lifetime achievement award at the Grammys earlier this month, are now free from the constant circus that surrounded life with their superstar dad. That means no more constant travel, no more clusters of bodyguards surrounding them, and most importantly, no more masks in public. "They like not wearing the masks," an anonymous source within the family tells People. "It's a different experience for them."
The children have a strict but loving parent in Michael's mother, who arranges for tutoring, karate lessons, and regular trips to the library and church, but is careful to keep them out of the spotlight (Prince and Paris attended the New Moon premiere without her knowledge). Katherine's attorney Adam Streisand says that Katherine "really listens to the kids" and "wants to give them a sense of freedom when she can." And her approach is paying off: The kids, already a "tight-knit group," have become more confident in the past few months. "It would have been hard to imagine them going out in public or showing up at someone's house hanging out and playing video games before," the family source admits. "And now, not so much. It feels much more normal and they've adjusted really well to that."
It's heartbreaking that Michael Jackson will never get to see his children growing and flourishing, but his legacy lives on in them. Family members say Prince is "so smart and mature" like Michael was at his age, while Paris "wants to be a singer" like her daddy. Now they get to have the one thing Michael always wanted but never had: a real childhood.
Plus: Michael Jackson's Family Reacts to Conrad Murray's Manslaughter Charge
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