Sharing can be difficult. I was surprised to hear that my son managed to purchase a bake sale treat at school the other day – surprised because he doesn’t make it a habit of carrying loose change around all the time and therefore, didn’t have any money to make the purchase. When I asked him how he got the money, he told me that Max gave him two dollars and he got four things, he asked Max if he wanted one of his purchases, but he declined. Therefore, my son offered the rest of the snacks to his best friend of the week, Ryan.
Today, there was another bake sale at school. Unlike the last time, my son was prepared with lots of change from his piggy bank. I felt this would be a good opportunity to remind him how generous Max had been at the previous bake sale and suggested that I would be nice to offer him a treat this time. He was lukewarm to the idea, but seemed to understand that it would be good to reciprocate the generosity.
When my son came home from school I asked how the bake sale was, and was Max happy to get a treat this time. After a short bit of silence, my son told me he hadn’t provided Max with any free bake sale goods.
My son explained that he didn’t actually owe Max anything in the first place, because a few months ago there had been a bake sale and Max promised him he would share his money to buy something. But when the time came, Max had already ‘wasted’ all of his money buying treats for Samantha. So, the last bake sale, Max owed him because of the previous time when he said he would buy him something and then lied.
Confused? Me too. I was at a bit of a loss, what with having to go back three months in the story timeline to point out that really, even though Max had made an offer to buy him something, he didn’t automatically owe him something because he didn’t follow through. At least, I don’t think he owes him anything.
Like I said, sharing is hard to do…