Monday, September 29, 2008


It's not easy being two.

I'm convinced that's true. Sometimes when Rachel is having a toddler moment, I ask her: "It's not easy being two, is it?" and invariably she confirms my suspicion is accurate: through tears, "Noooooo!"

Our Monday night LIFE Group met at our house tonight -- usually we rotate back and forth between several other homes, but for space reasons, we met at our house tonight -- and Rachel and her friend Charlotte played with Erica (God bless Erica!) mostly upstairs in Rachel's room. Downstairs we were talking about the Advent Conspiracy, our plans for celebrating a more Christ-centered Christmas -- worship fully, spend less, give more, and love all. The discussion was punctuated, frequently, by the sounds of a very unhappy Rachel wafting down over the stairwell.

Turns out Rachel simply would not share with Charlotte tonight. That book Charlotte wanted to read: "mine!" That stuffed animal Charlotte wanted to play with: "mine!" That doll Charlotte wanted to carry: "mine!" That gadget Charlotte was holding: "mine!" And on and on it went. It's hard for a two-year-old to understand, I'm sure -- it is her house, and technically, they are her toys. Sharing, though! Sharing is supposed to be fun! Not always, I guess -- and when Erica didn't comply with Rachel's every wish -- well, can you say meltdown?

It's not easy being two.

Sometimes it's not easy being the parent of a two-year-old either.

Meanwhile downstairs in our LIFE GRoup, we wrestled with tough adult-sized questions about sharing, like how we might covenant with one another to practice deeper generosity in our celebration of Jesus' birth. Consistent with the suggestions offered by the organizers of Advent Conspiracy, we're looking at sending gifts to enable the construction of a well in a developing country, in order to provide clean, accessible water for people who have none. Specifically, we challenged our New Light friends to give to this cause (possibly paired with a local cause) the same amount they spend on friends and family -- that is, to match their expenses for gift-giving, dollar for dollar. Meeting this challenge probably requires both spending less and giving more, since few people will want to -- or be able to -- double their typical Christmas expenses. The challenge was well received, but of course, it's only September -- it will get harder as Christmas draws near.

It seems that sharing is not just the struggle of a two-year-old. Makes me wonder... Do we ever outgrow it?

1 comment:

Erica Tobey said...

Your story is mostly accurate, though I have to say...the screaming was not coming from the stairwell...We were in her room, with the door closed the whole time. She's got her daddy's lungs :-)

No worries, I still love her!