The Struggles of Show and Share

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Please tell me I am not the only mom who is terrible at Show and Share. Anybody else?

At Sophia's previous school, she could just bring any item she wanted. However, at her current school she brings an item that starts with the letter they are working on that week.

I first realized I wasn't a great Show and Share mom when I picked Sophia up from school one day from her previous school and her teacher asked me if I was helping her pack her Show and Share everyday. I wasn't, but only because she loved to pack it herself.

The reason she was asking was because she packed her panties, and proudly pulled them out to show everyone. After that, I got much more involved in what she took to show her friends.

She still loves to choose what she takes. Show and Share is her special thing. She wants to choose the item and she really doesn't want me to help. However, at her new school, she has to take something that starts with a certain letter each week, so I have to give her a lot of guidance and limited choices.

Sometimes getting out the door with a Show and Share item that is three-year-old approved, not completely random or embarrassing and the letter of the week feels something short of miraculous.

The Show and Share struggle at our house is real.

Don't get me wrong. I have nailed it with a few letters.

D- Doc McStuffins E- Elza J- Jack-in-a-box L- Lambie M- Minnie Mouse O- Owl Q- Queen Elza

It's the weeks that we don't have an obvious toy or the weeks that Sophia doesn't like the one toy we have that starts with the letter we are on that make everything go downhill.

Like the week we were on G. We had three different giraffes. Sophia revealed her strong dislike for all three giraffes that week, and wouldn't take any of them for Show and Share. So, that left her with the option of taking grapes from our refrigerator or a green marker with a yellow lid. She chose the marker.

Then a few weeks later it was the letter I. That week we just really didn't have anything that started with an I. We had nothing. Why don't we have any toy ice cream cones? So I convinced her to just show everyone her ice in her bottle of ice water. #winning.

The letter K came right after Halloween. I couldn't find anything obvious like a kitten. Or a kite. A kangaroo. Again we had nothing. On my way out the door, I saw our bowl of Halloween candy. Beside it I saw a bag of Kit-Kats. My first thought was, "Don't do it. Don't be that desperate." But then I reminded myself that this was much better than the week I sent her with ice. So I grabbed the bag of Kit-Kats. And Sophia showed and shared.

This week was perhaps my favorite. The letter R. She was so confused why she couldn't take an "R-ange" (orange) to show everyone. She has some red sparkle hearts she has been drawing on, but she said they were too special to take. She also has some red plastic hearts, but she didn't think that would be good enough for Show and Share. She looked until she found the perfect item.

A red pipe cleaner.

When I picked her up from school, I saw the pipe cleaner in her cubby. I assumed since it was in her cubby that maybe she decided not to show it to everyone. I asked her if she showed it.

"Yes!" She said, beaming with pride. She walked over and grabbed it from her cubby and reenacted Show and Share for me.

"I showed all my friends how you can wrap it around your leg just like this!"

She was so excited, as she wrapped the pipe cleaner around her leg.

If I had to choose for her each week, I would choose the Doc McStuffins. The Minnie Mouse. The Lambie. The "normal" toys.

When she is given boundaries through a letter each week, it forces her to think through what she really loves. Who she really is. Sometimes I want her to be the kid that takes the giraffe. But she is showing me that she wants to be the kid that wants to take the green marker. The red pipe cleaner.

These things are her normal. These go along with her gifts. In a room of other options, she is starting to choose and narrow down the things she loves.

She is a crafter. A creative.

I've always known this about her. It just took Show and Share to help me understand that she is trying to be herself. She is brave enough to be her own person.

It took me years to be brave enough to become who I really am. It is still hard at times. One of my prayers for Sophia and Selah is that they will understand who God made them to be, and they will embrace that.

God has created each of us exactly how he wants us. And he wants us to be great at what he made us to be. Sometimes I forget that I am the only Kristin that God made. But it is true. I can't depend on anyone else to be me. And I can't try to be anyone else.

The same with our kids. I am beginning to see some of the gifts and passions Sophia has. It is my job to encourage those gifts in her. Not everyone is great and passionate about crafts. And if she decides one day that she no longer likes crafts, then I will encourage whatever gifts she is showing at that time.

I will help her become who God made her to be. And I will show her that I am still working on who God is making me to be. Pipe cleaners around our legs and all.

Are you being brave and embracing who God wants you to be?

IdentityKristin Milner