My niece is the most wonderful creature ever.
Riley Claire is the middle child – the second of three stairstep girls. At two years old, she has already understands that in order to have something of her very own (that is, something that her older sister does not take away from her and claim as hers) that she has to ask for items that do not appeal to Molly Emma.
Items like, for example, Anna dolls.
Every little girl out there has explained to her parents the importance of the Elsa dress, the Elsa wig, the Elsa lunchbox, the Elsa bedsheets, the Elsa sleeping bag; you name it, and the Frozen marketing department has put an Elsa on it.
Molly has claimed every Elsa item in existence as hers….and has gotten very nearly the full set.
Riley Claire decided that, rather than fight for every Elsa item, she liked Anna best. As a result, she has laid claim to everything Anna related.
She has also come to realize that Anna doesn’t have magical powers, so she requested an Elsa doll of her own.
Fast forward to Christmas morning.
Tradition in my family dictates* that all participants in Christmas morning activities shall have woken, showered, eaten, cleared the table, washed dishes, brushed their teeth, made their bed, had service (the Christmas story from either Luke or Matthew, and prayers) and only then could these participants burst onto the stocking-and-presents-under-the-tree scene. Tradition also dictates that the father prepare the biggest breakfast of the year, with slow-cook grits and sausage and eggs and bacon and leftover Charlie’s steak and …. Well, anything that could delay and torture kids who are about to burst.
Parker is a great believer in
Finally, the girls were allowed to attack the offerings from Santa. Each keeping an eye on the other – to ensure equity between the gifts – they opened presents with gasps of delight, and cries of “Oh, it is EXACTLY what I wanted.”
Parker related the following scene to me:
In the midst of absolute chaos, Riley Claire opens her Anna and Elsa dolls; Anna first, followed by Elsa. Molly fell to her knees (literally) and started sobbing "but I wanted Elsa". While this is true, it was Riley Claire who asked for them both. Without any hesitation RC hands it over "you can have it".
What two-year old does that? Recognizing, diagnosing, and healing the pain in someone else through generosity? I am barely capable of that myself, outside of the chaotic environment of an adrenaline-fueled Santa frenzy. At two? Never happened.
But that is Riley Claire.
The best moment, however, came the next morning.
Riley Claire wakes up this morning, early, and tells her Neena "I want my Elsa back". Yeah, that's my girl too!
It boils down to this: I will share. But this sharing does not apply to any part of a product that has been installed, altered, repaired, or misused in any way that, in the opinion of RC, would affect the reliability or detracts from the performance of any part of the product, or is damaged as the result of use in a way or with equipment that had not been previously approved by RC. The sharing does not apply to any product or parts thereof where the serial number or the serial number of any of its parts has been altered, defaced, or removed. The sharing does not cover damage or loss incurred in transportation of the product. The sharing does not cover replacement or repair necessitated by loss or damage from any cause beyond the control of RC, such as lightning or other natural and weather related events or wartime environments. The sharing does not cover any labor involved in the removal and or reinstallation of warranted equipment or parts on site, or any labor required to diagnose the necessity for repair or replacement.
I am not sure whether Riley Claire has ever managed to extricate the Elsa doll back from Molly’s hands. But I am rooting for her, all the same.
* This tradition began after my own 5-year-old Christmas in 1975, when I used my Early Wake-up superpowers to polish off every Christmas item in the den, having already put away every item before the parents woke up.