Today is Katie's 6th birthday.
This past weekend I tried to find a gift locally. The toy department yielded nothing of interest, but I did manage to find one outfit that I think might be good in the girls' department. It has a skort, but that seems short, so my hope is that if it's inappropriately short the waist will be too big for her skinny little body, and I'll have an excuse to return it.
And still, I felt she was too young to get only clothes for her birthday. She needed a toy of some kind. So after swimming lessons, we headed for the Super Walmart (open 24 hours!) that is 20 miles away.
Deserted rural highways prevent the drive from being too long.
I promised them all lunch and then Katie would be able to select a gift (I held ultimate veto power, of course). This idea was a big hit with all of us. Once she understood that she couldn't have everything that she liked (she had to replace one item in order to get something else she wanted more), she was content in her choices. I'm happy to not have spent money on things she didn't like. And the other kids are excited at the possibility of being able to do the same thing on their birthdays (although Billy will tell you how very far away February is).
And I received a birth-day gift as well. The kids behaved nicely in the food area. Most of the other customers were elderly men and women. A man at the table next to us asked if they were all mine. I smiled and said yes. He and the two women with him all nodded their approval.
"They are very well behaved," he said. "Do you homeschool?" Local schools are in session around here.
"Yes, I do. It's my daughter's birthday, and we're letting her pick out a present after lunch." I guess I feel the need to justify my presence in public during "school" hours.
But they weren't critical of my being out for lunch. Instead they turned to each other, and I could vaguely make out favorable comments directed toward homeschooled children from large families.
Thank goodness for these good days. May the memory sustain me through the bad ones.