Velvet Dusk and the art of Sharing

Something has occurred to me about the tjiitjii (kids) up here. Min, who has grown up with no shortage of toys and games is exceedingly possessive of them. And no matter how much I try and encourage him to have empathy, demonstrate sharing myself, demonstrate empathy towards others in the hope that modelling those kinds of things will bring out the sort of behaviours I’d like to see in my children, he still struggles with sharing. And that’s totally normal; please don’t think that my child is a horrible person – he’s lovely, and generally shows much empathy – but sharing has been a sticking point for him. We had been here for not even a week, and I was helping out at the pool – 3.30 rolled around and we trudged over to the pool in 45 degree heat. One of the middle primary boys – one who has shown a huge amount of kindness to Min and to Emmeline, always saying hello, encouraging Min to come and swim in the pool, always giving Emmeline a kiss on the cheek, goes and gives something to Min. It’s a car made out of Lego. He made it especially to give to Min. this kid, with so little, had made this toy to give to Min, who has so much. He who was overjoyed and refused to swim because he spent the next 2 hours playing with the car. (and I’ve neglected to tell y’all about our lack of television; it’s a long story but basically we can only watch DVDs, so we’ve seen the Lego Movie approximately 1,23455,0000 times so the lego car was timely). But it blew me away. And today, while I was working in the school canteen and Min was hanging out with the school kids, a different boy walked up to him with a handful of those freddo biscuits with the chocolate on the backs, and held out a hand, half covered with melted chocolate, and handed him two of them. Again, it blew me away – and I can only hope that Min starts to reciprocate. But I think its rubbing off; Ive seen much more sharing from Min up here in kindy than I’d seen down in the city. when you’re surrounded by kids that share reasonably well (I’m not saying they don’t have the occasional scuffle – and I’m not there the whole time) rather than 30 kids that don’t share well – its bound to rub off! Last night it was just the 3 of us; Matt had driven up to Yulara (the resort town at Uluru) for a conference. After the kids had been fed and bathed, Min asked if we could go for a walk. I said yes – dusk is my favourite time of day out here – the clouds roll in casting a purple glow over the ranges, and the air has this thick, creamy, velvet quality to it. The air feels like its exactly the same temperature as my skin, the residual heat of the day hangs heavily in the air. So we take Isaiah’s bike out and I wrap the baby on my back and we walk up towards the hills to the east, on to the dirt roads. Its early on Friday evening; lots of people are out walking or driving or hanging out in their front yards. Every person we see, Min says “this is my balance bike! Do you want a turn?!” it was really nice to see. I tried to get a nice photo of all of us, but dusk is also a time when the flies come out, and one flew into my eye just as I was taking it. Im walking through this idyllic dusk, wanting to capture it all, and this was the result! ahhhh desert life!

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