The Limits of Generosity

IMG_4946Sharing.  A tricky concept indeed. I’m knocking on 40’s door and I still grapple with this one. How much to share, how often, when is enough enough?  If you have a pack of gum and your sibling wants a piece, you should share, right?  What if you have 8 siblings?  What if they each want two pieces? What if everybody got a candy bar, they all ate theirs, and now they want you to share yours because you conserved?  What’s the point in having your own stuff if your parents say you just have to share it anyway?  A lot of gray area in this whole sharing business, especially when you’re just a kid.

Well, one of our kids finally drew a line the other day, and we thought it was sufficiently meritorious as to warrant mention on the site.  I can’t remember what it was that he did, but Dak had performed an “above and beyond” act of service which we deemed worthy of extra special recognition.  In times such as these when we are really pulling out all the stops, we take the drastic step of buying a child a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, in the child’s flavor of choice.  (As an aside, there is something about ice cream, not sure what it is but there’s magic there.  We Reynolds boys are convinced we are actually uniquely endowed with an ice cream stomach – kind of like cows and their extra compartments.  For us, there is never a scenario when we are so full that we can’t find room for ice cream.  I think it’s Cody who doesn’t subscribe as much to the “ice cream stomach” theory, as it is his belief that it melts on the way down and “fills in the gaps” left by chunky food – you’ll have to ask him about that.)
Whatever the case, ice cream’s supernatural powers have enchanted our children, and it is no surprise to me that it is the treat to beat all treats.  Even in the dead of Colorado winter, in our home at 7200 feet, buried in snow, ice cream is still the answer.  So while what I am about to share may come as a surprise to you, upon my own witnessing of it, I barely took a second glance.
I was just arriving home from work, there were about 3 feet of snow piled up on either side of the two miles of winding country road between the last pavement and our home.  It was the middle of winter so although it was only 6:00, it was already dark and probably hovering around 15-20F degrees.  As I pulled up to the house, I could see from the crack under the door that the light was on in the garage.  In some homes that would indicate something was afoot in there; in our case I just assumed the light had been left on . . . again.  However, on this occasion, something actually was going down in that chilly cavern.  As I opened the door and entered the garage, there before me sat Dak, bundled to the hilt, sitting in a chair in the middle of the room, calmly excavating bites of his treasured Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.  Apparently he had thought through the situation, asked himself where he might go that would give him the best odds of not being discovered, clothed himself in the appropriate vestments, and made his clandestine exit with the cherished winnings of his good deeds.
You may see irony in the fact that it was through his unselfishness that he had earned this reward but now with it in his possession he was choosing to go the totally selfish route.  I however, have no problem with it.  Just a boy working out the balance between ownership, pleasure, and generosity, and after all, we are talking about ice cream here.  Of course he had to share a bite with his old man – I did discover him so fair’s fair.  However, he did swear me to secrecy . . . other than to get his permission to tell his mom so we could snap this photo.

4 responses

  1. I’m not a huge ice cream fan however I can’t imagine having to go through the whole ordeal as a child…learning to let go and share a lot of the time…kids a simply the best…just the best. ♡♡♡♡

  2. I don’t know how we are not connected on FB but we aren’t and I have been missing the grand updates and at least three kids since I last saw you, Reese. I have just read through some of your posts and your Christmas card. Except for adding dozens of lives to this earth you guys haven’t changed. Oh wait, “I hitched up a horse and went after the kid.” Ok maybe you added horses too. You two are truly one of a kind and inspirational. Somehow I have to see you guys and his operation when I am in Denver the first week of June for a U2 concert. We miss you guys still… There are horses in Redmond/Sammamish btw….

    • Hey Jeff! I sent you guys a Christmas Card but got it back. Can I get your current address? Sorry, I am just reading this now. Can you still come visit this week?

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