Back when I was getting geared up for NaBloPoMo, I mentioned that one of my goals for Family Friday was to get you up to date on Katie and Tommy. I don't think it's going to happen, or at least not the way I envisioned it. . . . I gave the other four kids each a multi-part bio, which (mostly) they were OK with. And I have Katie all the way into elementary school in these posts, but I just can't seem to write the next episode. (I have several tries in my drafts folder to prove it!) And Tommy is at the stage where no matter what I write about him, he'll probably argue that I got it wrong. (Not that he deigns to read my blog, although he lives on the internet otherwise, but one of his sisters would be sure to mention it to him.)
Which pretty much goes to demonstrate the old truth that everybody really knows -- although older kids may get cheated out of some things (scroll down to paragraph 6) because mom and dad haven't relaxed yet, younger kids definitely get neglected when it comes to baby books (I have 1 and 1/2 of a second), individual pictures (we have Olan Mills shots of Arwen and Rosie, but nobody else) and just the general individual record keeping that older children get. I'm sure that this is not because we love them any less. It's just a matter of time and resources. (And, um, the fact that mom and dad aren't as young as they were back when #1 was a baby.)
On the other hand, there are a couple of advantages to being toward the bottom of the age scale. Parents are more relaxed. I would absolutely have lost it if Arwen had decided to change her college choice at the end of July. With Katie, we just told her that if she could pull it off, fine. And she did. The last kid at home also has a definite advantage when it comes to family meals out. There are no siblings arguing for a different restaurant. And when Arwen played Quiz Bowl in high school, we bought a big can of peanuts for her practice- and match-day snacks. Tommy has a drive-thru-on-the-way-to-work budget, which would equal at least a #10 can of peanuts every week.
I can just about hear one of my older kids thinking about making "not fair" noises about that drive-thru money. And you know what? It isn't fair. But it's been the best we could do for every kid, and different treatment doesn't mean different amounts of love. I promise you, around here the love is six times infinite. As we used to say, "All the giga*-smooches there are!"
* Although I guess these days it should be tera- or peta-smooches. Maybe I should just say yotta- and be done with it?