Obviously (as my H.S. Social Studies teacher used to say)
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” 1 John 3:16
My friend sent this to me today. I chuckled when I got it and sent back, “Or at least share our DS games with them!”
I was thinking of our ride to preschool this morning. Because of my work schedule, I needed to get my youngest to school before his brothers went to school. And they had to go to school early because I was doing the greeting job today.
My middle son wanted to play a particular Nintendo DS game that belonged to his older brother. “Mah-ahm! He’s not letting me play Mario Cart and he’s not even playing it!”
I said to my oldest, “Why can’t you let him play the DS game if you’re not even playing it?” (Nothing like restating the obvious.)
“It’s in my backpack. I don’t feel like getting it out.”
All three of my sons were sitting in a row across the back seat, the youngest in the middle and the older two with their backpacks crammed between their legs and the front seats.
“I’ll get it out,” my middle son offered.
“No,” my oldest said.
“Why not?” I interjected over my middle son’s complaining. I knew I needed to eliminate any possibility of escalation since my youngest was in the line of fire.
“He played it yesterday on the bus.”
“So? You’re not playing it now…”
“I just don’t want him to play it.”
“That’s ridiculous. You’re not playing it. Just let him play it!”
“Is there a problem with letting him play it or are you just being controlling?”
“I’m just being controlling.”
“I see. Do the right thing. And while you’re at it, give me the box of games you took off the kitchen counter yesterday, please. I don’t think you should cart our entire collection of DS games to school again.”
I reached my hand around behind the seat so he could give me the little box; who knows what kind of nasty look he gave the back of my head — I never took my eyes off the road. I thanked him.
“Here you go,” he grumbled at his brother.
I did not hear my middle son say thank you.
“Honey, thank your brother.”
“No, why should I?”
“Because he just gave you something that you asked for.” (Nothing like restating the obvious.)
“So, he didn’t want to. You made him do it.”
“Right, but he still did it and you still need to thank him. It’s good manners.”
“Thanks,” he mumbled.
When we got to preschool and I leaned in to help my youngest get out without climbing on anyone, I said to my oldest, “Thank you for being generous. Don’t you feel better about yourself for sharing?”
“Yes, I do,” he answered, matter-of-factly, confirming the obvious.