As a mom, I say “no” a lot.
No, you can’t eat pickles for breakfast, Alli.
No, you can’t stay home from school, Sydney.
No, you can’t wear THAT, Aubrey.
With three lovely girls in three very different stages of growing up, “no” is my shield. “No” is my control, my handhold on the roller coaster that is parenthood. Unfortunately, yes seems to be a rare reward.
In fact, I think … no, I know that I often say no out of habit. I often blurt it out before I’ve really given the request any thought. It isn’t fair to the kids, and it doesn’t make me feel good as a mom. I want to say yes more often. I want to empower my girls to ask and question and reason, and I sometimes worry that the constant stream of “no’s” squashes all that! I sometimes worry that my girls are learning not to even bother asking for what they want because they already know the answer … NO.
But, as with so many of the things I post here about, I see the problem (me), and I’m working on it, one bad habit, one knee-jerk reaction at a time.
And yesterday, after a long day in Seattle, my knee aching, my shoulders sagging, and my eyes drooping … when Alli said, “I wanna go to the fountains!” I said … no.
Luckily, though, I had a few minutes to think about it before we walked past the fountains on the way to our car. Why did I say no? Other than being tired, was there a good reason? We didn’t have anywhere else to be, and there was no reason to get up early the next day. No one was waiting on us at home, and we had already eaten dinner on the ferry. Plus we are in the middle of a “Washington heat wave” (85 degrees!! woohooo!)!
So … I said yes. And I am oh so glad I did.
I won’t bore you with any more words because the precious moments I caught on film speak volumes. Suffice it to say this is one “yes” I will cherish forever!
Are you wondering, “Where’s Aubrey?”
She wished I’d said no.