There are times when I just don’t like to share. I just want to enjoy my food when it’s hot and not lukewarm, or cold and not melting. Most of the time, I am perfectly fine sharing all that have and all that I am, but every once in a while I just don’t want to.
It seems that all day, everyday I am preaching to my kids to share – “sharing is caring,” “be kind and share,” or “for the love of all that is good and holy, just share already!” I feel like a broken record. We are knee-deep in the “mine” stage and I might as well be banging my head against the wall trying to get the boys to play together. Whenever they do decide to play nicely together and actually share their toys, it’s beautiful and amazing and reinforces to me why I try so hard in the first place.
One evening this past week, I got a hankering for ice cream. I don’t snack a whole lot, but I just couldn’t shake this craving. Throughout the evening, I told myself that I would enjoy a bowl of mint chocolate chip and catch up on some of my recorded shows after I put the boys to bed. I want the kids to see me practicing what I preach, so if there is something that I really, truly do not want to share, I just wait until they go to bed before enjoying it. The kids were well-behaved and we had a great night together, so my treat was just the cherry on top of a pretty decent day.
There I was, all tucked into my zebra-print Snuggie with my carton of ice cream (c’mon, I had just washed the dishes and I refused to dirty another bowl) and sole possession of the remote control. Utopia. I was about four bites deep when I saw him out of the corner of my eye. My oldest was standing in the shadows watching me. Now that he had been spotted, he came a little closer and I saw the look of disbelief and betrayal on his face.
I asked him what he was doing out of bed, but he ignored my question. “Mommy, what are you doing!?”
“I’m relaxing and eating ice cream.”
“You’re having snack…without me!?”
This is what makes bedtime so hard – the kids are convinced that they are missing something or that something fun is going to happen without them. I had just provided the proof they needed that the fun continues long after their heads hit the pillow.
Needless to say, my oldest was devastated. He loves snack time. No joke, he was close to tears when he caught me in the act of snacking without him. Yes, I was looking forward to some alone time, and yes, I wanted to enjoy some ice cream without having to share it. But, rather than send him back to bed, I asked him to join me.
I tucked him under my Snuggie and we passed the carton of ice cream back and forth. JJ felt like big stuff. It’s that “I’m doing something rebellious without actually being rebellious” kind of feeling.
Had I not been willing to share, I would have missed out on this awesome moment with my son. We had some great conversation and truly enjoyed each others company. There is nothing quite as precious as making a memory when you were least expecting to do so. At one point, he looked up at me with this huge grin on his face and said, “I love you, Mom. This is the life!”
It sure is, son. It sure is.