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Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #2250186
A sharing story
(369 words)

Money was tight the year my daughter, Megan, turned four. We were new homeowners with a mortgage that was just a bit more than we could afford, and every month was a new scramble to pay all the bills. My wife decided to make up the shortfall in our budget by providing daycare for our next-door neighbor’s son, Adam. He was six months older than Megan and a year younger than our son, Gene, so it seemed like a good fit. Deb was already wrangling two of her own, and she figured that getting paid to care for an extra kid was more cost effective than paying someone else for daycare so she could work.

Adam was a typical four-year-old. That meant he was loud, full of energy, and not very good at sharing toys (much like our kids). He found sharing especially difficult at somebody else’s house where literally nothing was ‘his’. The three kids mostly played well together, but there were often squabbles to be refereed and disagreements to be adjudicated. Deb soon realized that she was earning every penny; that three kids were pretty much double the workload of two.

One afternoon the living room was unusually peaceful as Deb started to fix supper. She’d gotten the kids interested in some picture books and they were quietly absorbed in turning the pages. It was, perhaps, a little too quiet. Deb turned around to find Megan standing at the kitchen door with a sad little face and outstretched arms, holding her hands with the palms turned up.

“See? See what I gots?” she asked in a plaintive tone.

Deb was puzzled by the empty hands. This wasn’t one of Megan’s usual games, but she decided to play along.

“What is it Sweetie? What have you got?”

“I don’t gots the book. Adam gots the book.”

Adam wanted the book that Megan was looking at, and he didn’t hesitate to take it. Megan didn’t make a fuss. She just went to show her Mom, in the most graphic way possible, what had happened.

This became a favorite family story and was often replayed for pitiful effect when someone felt slighted or left out.

“See? See what I gots?”

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