Some cultures don’t have the word “mine” because everything is considered “ours.” For them, personal possession isn’t a concept because all property is communal. Although I think this is a beautiful notion, I was raised in an environment where my Dad’s popcorn was his, and to even think of taking some I had to consider what life would be like without fingers.
American individualism means that we are very attached to the idea of “I,” “mine,” and “me.” The person is more important than the collective. Although we are taught values, and to honor other people by being aware of their needs, that doesn’t take away that our filter is clouded by the idea of “how will this effect me” more than “we.”
I would say that I am a generous person. I am giving with what I have: my money, my time, my home, my love. But when I view something as mine, and feel ownership over it, I don’t like to share it. I mean, of course I do share – after all I did graduate from the 3rd grade. But I do so begrudgingly. More because I don’t want to say “no” than actually wanting you to have a bite of my cupcake. And to be honest, I say “no” a fair amount too. I guess I really like cupcakes.
But since having a child I have had to share everything with her. I shared my body with her when she was living inside of it, I shared my precious lady parts with her when she burst out of them, I shared my boobs with her as she survived off of them, I share every single thing I eat and drink with her even though she backwashes and her hands are gross. And you know what? I want to! I even ENJOY sharing with her. Those crazy mommy hormones make sharing with her feel better than having myself. I would rather The Munch had the last bite of avocado because it is more important that she eats. My excessive love for her means I want for her more than I want for me.
But everyone has their limits.
Last night when I was putting The Munch to bed she decided she wanted to bring my teddy bear into her crib. Now, I now I am a grown ass woman, but I have been sleeping with a stuffed animal my entire life and that is my teddy bear.
Toni: “Munch, that is Mamma’s teddy bear. But it back on my bed please.”
Munch: “No I want to bring your bear in my crib.”
Toni: “No sweetie. That is Mamma’s. You have all your babies, your seal named Penguin, your weird vagina looking monster thing… Mamma only has one bear. So can you put him back please?”
Munch: “No but I want to bring him in my crib!!! Please Mamma.”
Toni: “Okay Munch.”
Did I want to share my bear with her? No. Not at all. Did I say yes? Of course I did. I am her mother and my love is unconditional. And because the second after she feel asleep I took it back.
(Tell me that is not a vagina monster???)