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Why I’m Glad She Says “Mine”

In the 18 months that she’s been here with me, we’ve shared many things. Blueberries, Cheerios, and even a couple of colds.

Long before her arrival, we had already shared so much. In those quiet moments when it was just the two of us, I often shared with her my innermost thoughts. She knew my dreams, my hopes and my fears. She knew that the idea of being a mama of two terrified me and filled my heart with immense joy all at the same time.

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See, time had given us a chance to get really good at this sharing thing. But eventually, time also lent itself to the realization that some things aren’t shared so easily, particularly if you’re an 18-month-old.

Today, our present is filled with the word mine. “Mine,” she will say as her eyebrows burrow and her grip tightens. “Mine!”

“Mine please?” I’ll ask, in hopes to make the force behind her “mine” a little easier on the ears of those who may not recall what life looks like when you have a 1-year-old.

And yet, I find myself grateful for the boldness that accompanies her “mines.” It’s a boldness that I long to see in myself. An ability to speak up and declare that ____ is mine! Whether it’s a soggy Cheerio atop a high chair tray or a dream dreamt in the night uttered only to the baby that lived in my belly. In a sense, I long to have the boldness that comes so naturally to my little lion cub.

But in the midst of my gratitude is my desire to help her see that sometimes the greatest joy comes from turning the “mine” in to “ours.” That sharing can be a beautiful thing.

As the saying goes, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

My hope is that my baby will continue to guard those things which are precious to her with as much strength and passion as she does now. A budding lioness is she. And coupled with that is the hope that she will realize that true joy stems forth from giving and sharing. From opening our hearts and our hands. Days can be made brighter and lives made better because she decided that what was hers was better when declared yours or ours.

A lesson reaffirmed as she thrusts her sippy cup to offer me a sip of her milk, or insists that I try one of her beloved blueberries (they’re her favorite!). A lesson in the making as she loosens the grip on the book she declared was “hers” and instead makes the decision to sit beside me so that we might read the story together.

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