a failed lesson in sharing

super cool experience

when i was in 7th grade i went on an over-night field trip to the u.s. space and rocket center in huntsville, alabama.

this trip was a big deal,  and on this trip i bought a souvenir.

it was a unicorn (because unicorns have SOOOOO much to do with space travel–  holla).

the super-duper space unicorn was porcelain, had a rainbow mane, and cost $2.50.

space shuttle=unicorn figurine

this unicorn became the epicenter for many, many fights between me and boo bah.

she loved this unicorn and she would swipe it and hide it under her pillow.

i would call her a thief and take it back.

this went on for a looooong time.

boo bah was 5-years-old–  i was 11.

boo bah LOVES her some horses,  and nothing was better to a horse-lovin’ 5-year-old than a magical horse called a unicorn.   i think for her–  my unicorn represented fairytale and dreams– plus it was mine so that made it waaaaay cooler.

but, for me the unicorn represented a special event.  a solo trip with friends.  memories of staying in a hotel and talking about boys.  it was special– not a child’s plaything.

so.  i guarded it.

and she swiped it.

neither of us took the time to understand why the unicorn meant so much to the other person.

but again, boo bah was 5.

why didn’t i just give her the stinkin’ unicorn??!!

if i could go back in time–  i would.

the grown-up me understands making her happy would have lasted a lot longer than the relationships and experiences i fought so hard to keep safe.

not as cool as boo bah

she’s worth more than the memory of sharing a room with girls i never see.

she’s worth more than the memory of sharing my astronaut ice cream with shane harrison (the cutest boy in 7th grade).

she’s worth a WHOLE LOT MORE than some silly $2.50 unicorn i picked up in a generic gift shop in huntsville, alabama when i was 11.

but, i can’t go back.

that precious moment between me and boo bah is done.  and it will always be known as “the battle of the unicorn”.

the crown goes to the one who holds the batman

now, i have two boys.  thing 1 is 7-years-old .  thing 2 is only 3.  and i watch them struggle.  i watch thing 1 use his age and his smarts to his advantage.  i watch him protect his special toys because the little guy can’t be trusted–  his toys could get broken.

and i watch thing 2 beg to play with “brover’s batman”–   because his brother is a king and to hold the king’s toy would be magical.

i feel for my baby boy.   i struggle with knowing when to step in.  when to speak up.  when to let it go.  i root for the underdog.  but, i love the big dog, too–  because i understand.

i understand my big guy’s need to feel independent and the need to have things that are special and private.  i understand when he comes to me with tears in his eyes and he chokes on his words– confessing he sometimes wishes he didn’t have a little brother.

i used to say the same thing about my boo bah.

but, i now have tears in my eyes and choke on the words when i get to share how much i love her and can’t imagine my life without her.

so, when he comes to me frustrated with his brother and asking for help — all i can do is ask him to bow his head.

and i give him over to Christ.

i pray that God will ease his pain and help him understand how he is fully loved.  i pray that God will help him find joy in his brother and not see him as a burden.  i pray that his heart will soften towards the little guy that loves him so much and thinks he hung the moon.

i tell him– i get it.  sharing stinks.

i try to explain, right now, sharing is easy–  making baby brother happy is as simple as giving him a batman toy.

i remind him,  boo bah and i aren’t in a simple place.   for us– sharing is hard. i want to give her everything and ease her burden, but i can’t.

kids + sharing= huge magical failure

{now.   let me just say–  my prayer and my story did not weave a “magical spell of brotherly love” throughout the land.}

i still hear, “HEY!  THAT’S MINE!”, waaaaay too often.

but, God used the memory of a tiny unicorn to show me–   love grows slowly.

thing 1 and thing 2 are building memories through their struggles, and after “the battle for batman” is done– they’ll have each other.

as a sister–  i pray they’ll appreciate their special bond and share what’s most important–  their lives.


3 thoughts on “a failed lesson in sharing

  1. This hit me hard – mostly because I’m the underdog, and for a long time I did think my older brother hung the moon. I thought he was cooler than Zak from Saved by the Bell and no one could tell me differently. I wanted to be like him, and I wanted his approval more than anything. But it seems as we’ve grown up, that his idea of what my life should be doesn’t line up with what my idea of what my life should be, and when I said no to him for the first time in my life (I was 24, it was in February) we stopped speaking. I have tried to apologize, to show him why I could not do what he was asking, but I can’t fix it if he doesn’t want it to be fixed. And I miss him. I miss him a lot. I missed him when we were in the same room together, because he wouldn’t acknowledge my presence. I miss him now, because he’s away at grad school. Not that it’s any different than it was, but still. I’m not sure why I wrote all this. Maybe because this is one part of my life I’m choosing to ignore, because it hurts too much. Maybe because I’m happy you and your sister have each other, and I hope one day my brother and I will have each other again. I wish he could know the silent tears I shed for him on nights like this, and then I think, would it matter if he did? I almost didn’t hit submit comment on this – but I think God gives us opportunities to be honest – and this is my opportunity. Thank you for giving it to me. I love the person you are, and I’m grateful for who you are to me, online, as a friend and a follower of Christ, and someone who does not judge me. Thank you.

  2. 1st off I just want you to know that i think your blogs are insightful,hopeful, and deliciously relatable…..this one made me wish the same for my own children; that one day they realize they really are each other’s best friend…….it also made me ache for the day when I used to talk to my own bro every day and how much he made me belly laugh…..how much I still ache to just pick up the phone and hear his voice, to know what is really happening in his life through his “own words”, only to decide to not pick up that phone for fear of rejection and distance. If he only knew how often I think of him; and all of you…..

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