My two older kids, ages 7 and 5 years old have learned the art of sharing. It didn’t come naturally. Through a series of fights, heartbreak, surprises and delight they have discovered this gift. Even after witnessing it several times now, it still amazes me when Iris, the 7 year old brings home a treat from school and says she saved it until she got home so she could share it with Bency, the 5 year old. She could have easily eaten it all by herself on her walk home but she knew Bency would LOVE half of her “fun size” Milky Way. Every birthday “loot bag” has been brought home, dumped out and evenly dispersed among the two. I have never said a word…only sat back and watched with a happy heart. This past year at Halloween, Iris ate her bag of candy quicker than Bency. Bency noticed this and went and put 10 pieces of his own candy in her bag. She gave him a hug…she would have his back the next time he had no self-control on his Halloween candy!
Our youngest child, Cesar, is almost 2 years old. He still has to go through all those life lessons and experiences to learn about the amazing concept of sharing. Yesterday, at our family reunion, my brother rented a Sun Drop slushy machine. Even though he had a Sippy cup of milk, Cesar was enamored with the slushy machine. All of the other kids were getting cups of bright yellow frosty ice and oohing and aahing. Cesar wanted in on this action; watched carefully, planned his maneuvers and every time someone sat down their cup, he would stealthily snatch it up, keep walking and mumble a “thank you.” He quickly became known as the “Slushy Thief” after stealing over a dozen!
After witnessing this, I came to the realization that perhaps we would have a long road with Cesar to get him to the certifiable “sharing point” if we still needed to overcome stealing.
After the big kids went on to play in the afternoon to do “big kid” stuff, he was left by himself and his only playmate was my Mom’s cat. This is one of the friendliest and most tolerant cats I have ever seen but everyone has their “breaking point” and after Cesar forcibly held him down and tried wrestling with him 10 times, the cat finally gave him a little scratch on the cheek.
Cesar’s feelings and cheek were not hurt much and he has never been one to be easily deterred. He went and grabbed a muffin off the food table and went back to sit by the cat. He took a bite of the muffin and then gently held the muffin in front of the friendly feline. He was making his peace offering by SHARING his muffin with the kitty. The two sat and enjoyed the wonderful sunshine, each other’s company and a delicious blueberry muffin. Cesar leaned down and kissed the cat and if I’m not mistaken…I believe I heard him whisper in the kitty’s ear, “I’m sorry for being mean to you…please accept this small gift. I will ALWAYS share with you so you will be my friend.”