Seven Days columnist MIKE WELSH says the season of goodwill hasn’t started for the selfish millennials hogging bus seats while an elderly passenger stands.
SHARING is a good thing. Learning to share is one of the first things we try to teach our kids.
From the time my son and daughter were tiny infants I wanted them to share with others and each other. I think I have been pretty successful. They’re happy to share – most of the time. They’re happy to share most things – except, of course, really important things such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, the best spot on the couch and the TV remote.
But I have to confess, I am now the one finding the whole sharing thing a bit difficult. It’s been a while coming, but my daughter has now discovered mum’s stuff!
Yep, mum’s bathroom cabinet is brimming with desirables; there’s make up sets, perfume, hair styling devices – all things a tween girl wants.
Mum’s wardrobe is another goldmine of costume jewellery, bags, scarves and other treasures. There was once a time when my girl would spend the afternoon in her room busy with colouring books and other projects. Now she’s raiding my wardrobe and dragging the booty back to her lair.
Mum is also the repository of all the spare stuff. If anything runs out – deodorant, toothpaste, hair pins – well, mum’s stuff can always be taken to use. I don’t want to sound churlish, but for me it means as I race to get ready for work in the mornings, things are never where they are supposed to be or, worse, they have been all used up through over-zealous application. Expensive face creams can be used up in one sitting on a face that still has decades to go before these things will be required. Chanel No 5 has been used as a room spray, while my favourite evening bag is now serving as storage for crayons, pencils and marker pen textas.
I know I am not alone. Many mothers with daughters find their property purloined by eager offspring. Of course, part of the problem is I have to move her along the educational curve and teach her that the fundamentals of sharing include asking first, proper care of borrowed property and its return in the same condition it was found in. Sharing is not ownership, even if the borrowing is from mum.
I know many mums take all this on the chin. They accept that for a decade or more nothing in their once-private stash of desirable things will be off limits, but I’m going to try to hold the line. If you think about it, the limits of sharing is another one of life’s important lessons.
Of course, this is pretty much a one-way street at the moment. I’m not likely to want to share very much of my girl’s stuff for some time to come, but personal experience is an important part of learning. Perhaps I should “borrow” one of her extra nice bath bombs the next time I have some time to relax. That could be a good lesson.