“Sharing Susie,” Friend, Apr. 2007, 36–37
“No. Mine!” Eli said loudly and pushed his little fist into my shoulder, hard. “Susie is my bear,” I shouted back. “Grandma gave her to me for my birthday!” I turned away from Eli so he could not grab the bear from me. Then I yelled for Mom.
“Susie, mine! No Hannah!” Eli told Mom with a frown.
“Hannah, I know Susie is your bear,” Mom said. “But Eli doesn’t understand. Could you at least let him hold her today, since it’s his birthday?”
That didn’t sound fair to me. When Susie was new, Eli was just a baby. I let him carry her around and sleep with her in his bed. Pretty soon Eli thought that Susie was his own special bear. He wouldn’t share her with me anymore—not ever.
“Mom, Eli is two years old now,” I said. “He should know how to take turns.”
“We’re going to have to think about this,” Mom said. Then she put Susie up high in the closet so we wouldn’t keep fighting.
That afternoon, when Eli was taking his nap, Mom and I had a good idea. “This means that when you want to play with Susie, you will have to ask Eli,” Mom reminded me.
“I know,” I said. Mom gave me a hug. Then we went down to the basement and found some tissue paper and a bag. Mom let me decorate the bag with markers. “This is going to be so fun for Eli,” I said.
When Eli woke up, we brought him into the living room. “Hannah has a special surprise for you, Eli,” Mom said.
I handed him the bag and he pulled out the tissue paper. At the bottom of the bag he found Susie.
“Susie. Hannah. Me!” Eli said. He smiled and laughed and did his happy dance. He hugged Susie again and again.
“Susie is your bear now,” I told him. “Happy birthday.”
That night Mom and I watched Eli fall asleep with Susie in his arms. Mom squeezed my hand and I felt warm inside. But I wondered how long it would be until Eli would let me play with Susie again.
A few days later we were reading scriptures in Mom and Dad’s bedroom. Mom and I sat on the bed, and Eli stood next to us, holding Susie. We read about being witnesses for Jesus Christ. “To be a witness means that we tell people about Jesus,” Mom explained. “How do we help Eli know about Jesus?”
“We love him,” I said.
“That’s a very good way,” Mom said.
Suddenly, something warm and fuzzy landed in my lap. It was Susie Bear.
“Hannah. Susie,” Eli said, pointing at me.
“Is it my turn to play with Susie?” I asked him.
“That’s so nice, Eli,” Mom told him. “Hannah, I think Eli loves you a lot.”
“Yes,” I agreed. “And I love him a lot too.”