Our house is under quarantine today. Between the coughs, sneezes, boogers, and wheezes, I made the executive decision that today we rest. I figure it all began about like this…
R, at school: “Hey Timmy! Can I borrow your pencil?”
Friend Timmy (which is, actually, a fictional school mate and really no one in particular): “Sure! Aaa-aa-aa-choooo!” –hands R a snotty pencil.
R: “Gee, thanks, Timmy! Let me just stick it in my mouth while I grab a piece of paper.”
Yes, we all thank you, Timmy. All because of you so graciously sharing your snotty pencil, our entire family is infected with this miserable bug.
My kids are pros at sharing their germs. I can’t think of a time when a cold or flu bug has not made a run through our entire family. I can’t say that I’m exactly thrilled about this, but I do have to say that it makes me happy that they are fantastic at sharing other things besides germs as well.
…All three share a room. I know, it’s crazy. But it works! However, that typically means at 5am our day often starts like this, “Psst, R, are you awake? HEY R… R!! Wake up! It’s morning!!!!!!!”
…They are fantastic at sharing peas, broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots (go figure, right?).
…T.V. Time, is, well, shared. Either that, or Mom chooses, and that typically means some girly show. “Nooo!!! Ok, ok, we can watch M’s show, just anything but THAT!”
…Toys are usually shared relatively well, cookies some of the time, and crayons almost always.
As parents we constantly drill into our kids the importance of sharing. At the park, at friends’ houses, when friends come to visit…the sharing never ends. But why? Why do we feel this need to teach our kids to be giving with others? Frankly, I would have been fine if Timmy would have refused to share his pencil.
A year ago our area was hit with a horrible flood. The rain came for days and days and never seemed to stop. Roads closed, bridges washed away, and canyon roads crumbled into the torrent below. Houses filled with mud or completely washed away as rivers changed their direction and spilled over their banks. The news was filled with heart-breaking stories of families being separated, homes being lost, and even lives being swept away. Tragedy beyond comprehension.
But among the disaster came stories of sharing. People came out of the woodwork to give of their talents, time, energy, monetary assets, and love. Neighbors came together and really showed what it meant to be a neighbor. Regardless of religion, race, political preference, or any sort of differences, people worked side by side, sharing all they had.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” –Fred Rogers
The kindness of others was truly inspiring, amazing, and incredible those long, rainy days, and for many, many days following.
As difficult as it is for our children to share toys, rooms, treats, and time, This is why I think we do it. Because eventually, as adults, we hope they will be good neighbors. That they will bring their shovels, buckets, and wheelbarrows to help a friend. Or more importantly, a stranger. That they will be willing to put together a bag of clothes, a warm meal, or lend a shoulder to cry on.
So for now, as my boys and I share our box of tissues, chicken noodle soup, and sit on the couch today, I will be thankful that my kids are learning to give. I’ll be happy that Timmy’s mother is teaching him as well. I’ll be glad that this world is full of helping hands in a planet where disaster, sadness and despiration are all too often well-known. And most of all, I’ll look forward to the day when my boys can share their time, talents, monetary assets, and love with those in need around them.
I think you’re 100% right on this one….this is EXACTLY why we teach sharing. There is no way to get through this life alone, so it’s good to start early learning to give and receive to/from others. My mom used to give my older son a little certificate she called the “SHARING AWARD” whenever he shared his cold/flu germs with her. Kind of a funny thing to do for a kid, I guess, but I’m really glad we had the focus on sharing and not just feeling lousy.
(Hope those boys feel better soon!)
Again I love your view on life with three little boys.. 🙂 Tears came to my eyes as I thought of your household of little boys and their Mama’s view of life events. It always takes me back to memories of my two little sons home with me. Home is pretty empty now… your events bring a smile and tears to me as I remember those wonderful days. Another great view from a wonderful mother (and friend)! Thanks! Love to all of you.
Oh, Dianne, I think of you and Bill often and wished we still had such wonderful neighbors. Life changes so quickly. Thank goodness for memories! You remind me that I need to enjoy the moments I have now so I can lean on them later, as you do. I always enjoyed stopping by on our way to the park and hearing your fun stories about your boys when they were young, and your grand kids too. Love to you and Bill!
I love your mom’s sharing award idea! We might have to steal that one. We tend to get frustrated about germs being spread around here, but really when you live together there’s not much you can do to avoid it, so we might as well make the best of a crummy situation! I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone and everyone helped each other out. I really believe that’s what makes life worth living! Sometimes it feels like we let life get to busy and we loose that bond with each other. The world could use a little less busy and a little more sharing!
I love this. Sharing is so tough right now for us… I’m just hoping that my efforts pay off at some point. So its good to hear that your kids have learned well! Cause you are right, I want my son to be a caring, giving, kind person to anyone he meets. What a great post! 🙂
It really does get easier! I remember when it wasn’t…every time we’d get out blocks, Legos, anything for building, our oldest would inevitably fall into a puddle of tears while the baby played Godzilla. It was so frustrating, but eventually they figured it out! And they certainly still have their moments. I’m sure he will be a caring, kind, giving person because that’s the type of person his mother seems to be!
This is beautiful. And I am so impressed all three of your boys share a room!
Thank you! I’m not sure how long having all three sharing a room will last, but I hope it lasts a while. They really love it now! It makes bedtime a million times easier for us too, not running from room to room.
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Yes! When we went on vacation, obviously we were all sleeping in the same room, and it was wonderful putting them both in bed at the same time in the same place!
Plus, it does help them to learn to share… such a painful message to teach! I wrote a post about it a few months called “Sharing is caring… or is it?” when I was frustrated with the whole thing. Your post reminded me of that actually. I’m happy to say things are better here, but still, I find myself having to talk about sharing and taking turns at least once a day!
What an inspiring story! I love the way you find teaching our children to share now as a jumpstart to later on, when it truly matters. This has truly encouraged me to teach this principle even more to my two.
BTW: I shared a room with two other sister and would not have traded the time for all the world. We fought and dreamed for our own rooms at the time, but we also stayed up late at night sharing our hearts, giggling about boys, and creating a bond which has remained unbroken to this day. I am all about the shared rooms now: way to go!
It’s a difficult one to teach, that’s for sure! Thank you so much for sharing that about you and your sisters. I have one sister–sisters are the very best! That bond you and your sisters have is what I’m hoping my boys can find as they share their tight quarters. I hope they can be the best of friends when they’re older! 🙂