Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Real Beauty of Sharing

A strange thing occurred today when my two sons were playing together. My three-year-old came to me with a monster truck in his hand, and asked "Mom, whose truck is this?" Now I understand this does not sound very profound, but in my house it most definitely is.

My kids have a bajillion toys that we have been collecting since they've been born. Although they have so many toys (especially cars and trucks), they have acquired their mother's skill and/or curse for being able to remember not only whose toy it is, but also who gave it to them! They have even made statements such as "I got this train set from Santa when I was three" or "You know Lisa gave you that car at your 'fire truck' birthday." They remember everything, which is why it struck me as odd when they didn't know who this specific monster truck belonged to.

After telling my three-year-old that it was, in fact, his truck, he went back to playing with his brother. I got to thinking that maybe, just maybe, they are beginning to share and use each other's toys so often now, that they are not keeping track of ownership as much.

What's the big deal? Well I'll start by saying that I am not the kind of mother who forces her kids to share. Of course I encourage sharing and playing together, but I am very practical about it. If you don't want to share with your brother, then don't be upset if he doesn't want to share with you. For the most part they will happily hand over their toy, but there is always that new or special toy that is just off limits. Fine with me. So today, I realized that I might actually be doing something right by allowing the boys to have ownership and make decisions about their own things. It seems they understand that they don't have to let anyone else use their toys, so there's no (age-appropriate) fear of not getting those toys back. Plus, they are learning to make choices that benefit others and they feel the joy of giving all at the same time!

So back to why I had to stop and analyze this...oh yeah. Because today I caught my kids just being kids. Playing together with no arguments or fights over toys, and simply enjoying their time as brothers. And that's enough to make any mom write a dang blog post! ;)

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