The other day Lucy asked me why we had such an ugly car.
We were driving along, and the question came out of nowhere.
"Why can't we have a car like Nina and Papa's, or Grandma and Grandpa's? Nice and new and smells good! Why can't we get a minivan?"
"Well," I replied, willing myself to think fast, because this was the ultimate of teachable moments, "Life is all about choices, Lu. If we had a car like Nina and Papa's or Grandma and Grandpa's I would have to go back to work. Those things cost money, and those things aren't important to us right now. Your grandparents are older and aren't raising kids. Right now, it's more important to your dad and me that I'm home raising you instead of driving around a fancy car."
"But I want a really nice car!"
"OK, how about this. We don't go to Costco for lunch, or McDonald's, or go on any vacations. Mommy will get you up really early each morning to go to day care so we can have expensive things in our house. You won't actually get home until 6 PM or so, and an hour after that you'll go to bed. Then, the next morning, you'll repeat it all over again. No playdates or mommy coming to your school and helping out in your classroom. But, I'll always show up to pick you up in that beautiful mini-van you're wanting."
a few moments of silence, then...
"Mama? Let's keep this car forever."