i don’t say “yes” when it interferes with a schedule.
i don’t say “yes” when it causes conflict.
i don’t say “yes” when i assume the result will not be happy-happy-joy-joy.
i don’t say “yes” when something requires my attention.
i don’t say “yes” when it means we’ll be late.
i don’t say “yes” when it’s not what i want.
but i am learning to say “YES!”
i do not know the long-term ramifications of my parenting. the impact my decisions will have on the two sweetest kids i know. jack & abigail. the two littles that melt my heart with their glowing smiles & curious eyes. my purpose. that have taught me more about myself and my abilities. that have encouraged me to grow to their needs. that love me in spite of my mistakes.
what i do know… is that saying “yes” more will impact them:
it builds confidence, encourages creative energy, provides them with decision-making authority, makes them smile wide, brings joy.
and when my children smile wide and have joy; it impacts me.
i say “YES!” to jack owning a camera and taking photos as much as he can. emptying out the memory card and watching him carefully fill it back up.
i say “YES!” to more books at bedtime.
i say “YES!” to singing 3 more songs when she asks.
i say “YES!” to more time playing with new friends at chick-fil-a.
i say “YES!” to riding bikes in the cul-de-sac.
i say “YES!” to staying at the beach longer.
i say “YES!” to sleepovers in jack’s room.
i say “YES!” to getting dirty. making messes full of glitter & glue. to digging in dirt piles in the backyard.
i say “YES!” to tea parties requiring headbands, dresses and lots of necklaces.
i say “YES!” to an afternoon of watercolors.
i say “YES!” to walking… instead of riding in the cart.
saying “yes” more has resulted in “no” really meaning… “no”. with sweet “okay Mama” or “yes, Mommy.” or “thank you Mommy. see, i said “thank you” when you said no!”
the time-out chair has dwindled to occasional use. i no longer say “no” more than once. i no longer say “no” without a reason. because at 5 1/2 and 3 1/2 they deserve to know why before they question it. they are smart. they are intuitive. they are more precious than any earthly possession. more highly valued than anything i own or could own.
saying “YES!” caused this photo to be possible. while cleaning the kitchen floor i looked over and witnessed this (almost unsafe) set-up! for more than 30 minutes they sat there discussing who was the pirate, who was Peter Pan, who was Captain Hook (i was the crocodile). the broom was their oar. i literally shed tears over this. to see these children with their amazing creative make-believe… how can you say “no”?!