I decided to do a little fishing in one of the small ponds around Twinbrook. I needed a change of pace almost as much as I needed to get out of my house and away from my family (as much as it pains me to say that). The small pond was in a secluded location. It was peaceful and quiet—just what I needed.
I was doing pretty well there, catching several small red herrings and a few gold fish. And then I felt a large tug on my line. Jackpot, I thought.
But it wasn’t a fish. Instead I pulled up a used laptop. I had no idea if it was functional or not. In fact, I almost threw it back in the water…but then I remembered how much Dilly would like having a computer of her own.
I decided to get the thing fixed.
Dilly was thrilled. She rewarded me in the best way possible which almost made having an evil piece of technology in our house worth it. So I forced myself to pretend that I couldn’t see her working on the machine at the kitchen table.
Dilly became pregnant again, so she used the new laptop to help her stay caught up with her career while on maternity leave. Despite my encouragement to try her hand at writing a book like she’d always wanted, she still hadn’t.
“I’m not good enough, Les,” she told me.
“How do you know, Dill? My mom always said ‘you never know until you try’.”
“I don’t know. I’m not ready,” Dilly prevaricated. “Let me just keep working on my articles and maybe I’ll make a name for myself enough that if I write a book no one will laugh at me.”
“You’re being silly, Dill. No one would laugh at you.”
Meanwhile, the girls were getting older. Sydney had a birthday and started school at the Twinbrook Elementary. She is such a sweet girl. She’s somewhat clumsy, but she’s the most loving little girl a daddy could have. She is also a great big sister.
We bought her a big girl bed, but she still had to share a room with baby Kindra. Luckily, she was a pretty heavy sleeper, so Kindra’s crying didn’t bother her much.
During this latest pregnancy, Dilly and I both have taken on extra work outside of the house. We’ve been fortunate enough to time these jobs right so that we wouldn’t need a baby sitter. Dilly has become well-known as a public speaker. She gave a talk about negotiation at the police station and gave a motivational speech on television censorship at City Hall.
As for myself, I’ve been asked to supply fresh produce at the Diner. They’re trying to make their menu more healthy. I am also delivering a lot more produce to the grocery than I ever had before.
Sydney has been spending more time away from home as well. At first I was upset by this. My little girl didn’t need us to take care of her anymore. But I realized that her getting older and becoming more independent is a good thing.
I was very proud of her research report on local suppliers at the grocery. She got an A. I’m also very happy that she’s been able to make friends like Calvin Sergeant, a boy she met at school and occasionally spends time with at the library.
Kindra had a birthday right before the new baby was born. It looks like she is going to be our second red-head. However, her hair seems to be more like Dilly’s than mine and Mina’s. She’s a serious little thing, but Dilly and I have both noticed that she learns things very quickly. In one of the baby books it says that younger siblings often do learn things faster, so I figured this was normal.
I’ll tell you, one of the best things about being a dad is the unconditional love given to you by your children. My heart just swells when Sydney hugs me good night or when Kindra or the twins look happy to see me when I come play with them.
I have never regretted that we have only daughters, but I still secretly hoped that our new baby was a boy.
“Les,” Dilly warned me when I expressed my secret wish to her one night in bed, “We can’t control what God chooses to give us. If we have a girl, I know you’ll love her just as much as if she had been a son.”
“I know Dill, but I would really like to pass this inheritance down to my son like my dad did for me.” I could tell that Dilly was slightly disapproving of my motives. I was being sexist; I knew it.
“One of the girls can take over the farm, Les.”
“I know. Any of them could do it,” I said sincerely, “But is it so bad to want to give it to my son?”
“No. But what if he doesn’t want it?”
I didn’t know how to answer that. I had never really thought about a son not wanting to continue on with our family’s work. Had I ever wanted something other than to work the land like my father and his father and his?
This time when Dilly went into labor, I made sure that we were able to call a cab and make it to the hospital. We’d been able to earn extra money, so we’d also been going to the doctor more. The doctor assured us that everything was normal in our pregnancy. So we hired a sitter to come over and stay with the girls while we were gone and we headed out.
When we did return, we were the proud parents of a baby boy. I’d finally gotten my wish. We named him Ronald. Whether he wanted to be a farmer or not, I knew I’d always love my son.
Of course we really didn’t have any room for a new baby, but we made do. For awhile, Ronald slept in a basinet in our bedroom, but we’d managed to squirrel away enough money to build an addition onto the house. We shortened the second floor balcony and added a small room right across from the room Dilly and I shared. I did most of the work myself. Even though it was still an ugly, boxy house (like my mother had said when we first moved in), I was proud of my work.
Dilly made sure to give the room a really masculine feel. We had enough feminine rooms in the house.
“Blue doesn’t make it masculine,” she scoffed when I insisted that the crib sheets and walls be blue.
“Yes it does,” I said. “Blue’s my favorite color and I’m masculine right?” I was only partially teasing.
Dilly rolled her eyes. “You’re an idiot is what you are.” We both laughed, but the room was blue in the end.
Of course adding the new room and decorating it brought our finances to nearly nothing. I’d have to take in a lot of extra handyman jobs to keep us afloat.
Despite our lack of finances, Dilly and I managed to throw a successful birthday party for the twins who aged up right after Ronald was born. I didn’t want the party, but Dilly insisted.
“They won’t remember,” I tried to convince Dilly.
“They will. I remember all of my parties,” Dilly said. “Mom always threw me huge parties and invited everyone in town.” It sounded like something Milly would do. It was a shame that Milly had died soon after Sydney was born. She’d never gotten to know any of her grand children. It made me feel bad that the kids didn’t have grandparents.
We kept the party somewhat small, but we did manage to invite a few of Sydney’s friends over. Davis Knack and Cecile Baker were among the guests.
Samantha and Mina were a lot more similar as toddlers than they are as children even though they have the same haircut. Mina got my red hair and freckles, but she got Dilly’s eyesight and had to be fitted for glasses. Samantha and Dilly have the same heart-shaped face (not my square jaw).
The greatest thing about having the girls so close together is that they can play with each other. I love it when I’m working in the fields and I can here their laughter out in the yard. Whether they are playing in the sprinkler or just playing tag, I feel so blessed that they are mine.
Sydney hugging her special friend.
Dilly indulging a craving for spaghetti and ice cream. I never had cravings for weird combinations of food. I wanted spicy or hot food, that’s all.
Sydney and Kindra playing in their room.
Mina and Samantha waking up for school right after their birthday. I love how realistic the sleeping child Sims are. My kids are exactly like that!