It's hard for me to remember the time when we had to seriously consider whether it would be better for Nora to have sisters or not. Seriously, how could I have ever wondered? All three of them are sisters in every sense of the word!
Tony and I are such a great parenting team. We have the same values and ideals when it comes to raising our daughters. That's not to say that we are making the same decisions that we made when we raised our older kids. We have a different perspective now. I think it comes with a combination of factors: age, our life experiences, our daughters' life experiences, and the lifestyle we choose to live now.
Financially, we are much better off than when our sons were young, but we manage to keep our life -- and our kids' -- much simpler. We don't lavish the girls with big and expensive gifts or indulge them with every little thing they desire, although it's tempting to do so. Instead, we give them more of ourselves and our time. I think this makes them appreciate the things we give them so much more.
What I hadn't thought about until recently is how it allows others, especially family members, to do special things for them. For example, we don't go to McDonald's very often, and when we do go we order the girls threee cheesburgers and a large fry to share. We drink water because it's healthier -- soda or chocolate milk are special treats. My dad wanted to do something special for the girls last weekend, so he gave them money to get a Happy Meal and asked me if I would take them to McDonalds this week (he would have but he's working). They were so excited today when we went and got Happy Meals. They were mostly excited about the chocolate milk and toy. It's not that we can't afford to buy them Happy Meals, obviously, but it made it so special that Pa gave them this special treat. It made me glad that we keep things simple enough that people like my dad can do something special for them that is simple and yet still a special treat. So many kids today have so much that it's hard to think of anything to give them that they don't already have, and I think that sets up some unrealistic expectations.
So tonight when the girls were saying their prayers, Ruby's prayer included "And dear God, thank you for the soldiers who protect our country. And also thank you for Pa who loves us and does nice things for us and craps us up." Ummm...I think she meant "cracks us up." But you get the idea. :-)