Monday, February 1, 2021

The "Pride" of Sharing

    One of the best things about our new home in Pennsylvania was that behind the house was a little playhouse. It was absolutely perfect to little eight year old me. It had three windows, shelves on the walls, and a darling little table in the center of the room. 
    Mom let me have the floral shower curtain that the previous owners had left in the house. A little folding and smoothing and it turned into the prettiest table cloth. The sand box beside the playhouse worked well when ever I needed something to whip up "food" in my house.
    It became even more special after the attic was cleaned, and Mom let me have piles of old pots and pans, a wide variety of utensils, and best of all, two lovely old china plates with sprays of pink roses on them. They were so old they were lined with hundreds of little cracks in the glaze, but that didn't bother me. They were so beautiful. I carefully displayed them on one of my shelves and only rarely got them down to play with.
    That fall when school started again someone came up with the idea that we would be playing pioneers at recess.
    The girls had their little cabin among the trees at the edge of the playground. We had a lot of fun, but we were missing any dishes. 
    I got the brilliant idea to pack up my dishes from my playhouse to take along. I knew everyone would have a lot of fun with them.
    That evening I carefully packed everything into two paper grocery bags, and the next morning I got John to help me get them in my arms. 
    We set off to school. John carried both of our lunch boxes while I struggled under my burden. That mile walk to school took a particularly long time that morning. My arms grew ridiculously tired and I could barely see where I was walking. The thought of all the fun we would have kept me going and we finally arrived at school. I deposited my load in the "cabin" and ran to the school house managing to slip into my desk just in time.
    When recess came we had every bit as much fun as I thought we would. Several days later the teacher even came out to see what we were playing.
    But then she paid a visit to my parents. I was excited when I saw her drive in. I loved her, and having her stop by was beyond special. She and Mom went into another room to talk. I crept next to the door to listen to what they were saying.
    My stomach sank as I heard what she had to say. "I think Mary Ann should take the dishes home. Not every little girl has things like that to play with, especially not old Sunday dishes. No good can come of having them at school. It will only spark jealousy in the other girls and pride in Mary Ann."
    I heard enough, and ran upstairs to my room to cry. I had only wanted to share. I never meant to sin. I felt awful as I lay sobbing on my bed.
    The next morning Mom told me it was kind of me to want to share my things with the other girls, but I should probably bring them back home now. She didn't mention jealousy or pride, but I knew that's why she wanted me to bring them home.
    When first recess rolled around teacher told us girls to pack everything up. We did so sadly. Everyone had enjoyed playing with the dishes. As the pretty plates were tucked into the bag, the bag fell over and they broke.
    I was sad and wished I had ever brought them to school.
    Pride had never been an issue with those dishes, but the whole ordeal made me rethink sharing my things with anyone. 


  1. How terribly sad. Adults... we just don't see things as children do, do we?

  2. How sad. I can't see where there was pride involved at all. Maybe it was an issue she had and so she used that as a measurement for everyone? I hope not as it would make for a miserable life. Unfortunately, she squashed that free, happy and sharing spirit in you by that one action. I would be willing to guess that your Mom knew you well enough to know that wasn't what prompted you to take the dishes to school to SHARE with the others.
    Blessings and hugs,

  3. Such a shame. It is quite sad how adults perceive things so differently to the innocence of a child.

  4. That's a sad story. It does show how things can be misinterpreted so easily.

  5. You shared those special dishes with love. Too bad, ti was interpreted as something else.

  6. Such a shame... It was really nice of you to share those dishes, and I bet the others loved playing with them. It's a shame the adults didn't understand, and also that they got broken when you went to pack them up to take them home. It's an even bigger shame that it influenced you enough to make you more reluctant to share your stuff later.

  7. How sad! My heart aches for you!


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