It had been a long day. I was still unpacking from a family trip, catching up on laundry and groceries, and doing all the things. I sat down on the couch after dinner, content to let my two boys watch an NBA playoff game with my husband.
I had just draped my favorite blanket over my lap and put my feet up on the coffee table when my six year old asked for dessert. “Can we have some chocolate birthday cake leftover from Uncle Peter?”
I looked longingly at my book, then back at the kitchen. “Okay,” I sighed.
“Yeah!” my youngest added, “And can you put a candle on it too?” He started jumping up and down at the thought.
“You don’t need a candle,” I said. My husband Max walked toward the kitchen, and told me to stay on the couch. Happy to let him take over, I flipped open my book.
Moments later, Max walked into the living room with two slices of cake, each topped with its own candle. The boys burst into loud cheering and I laughed at the absurdity. When I caught Max’s eye, he shrugged and simply stated: “It didn’t take that much extra time.”
I was so glad he was able to indulge the kids when I felt worn out. I want to be the kind of mom who says YES and WHY NOT, but frankly my default is “No” or “Not today.”
There are plenty of times in parenthood when we have to say No: when requests are unreasonable, unhealthy, or just plain unsafe. But what would it look like to say YES more often? I think it would result in:
So the next time your kids present you with a ridiculous or inconvenient request, why not say YES?
Yes, you can climb into the car through the trunk.
Yes, I’ll jump in the pool with you.
Yes, you can use the glitter.
Yes, you can eat dessert first.
Yes, you can run through the sprinklers.
Yes, you can blow bubbles inside the house.
Yes, you can drink your milk from a champagne flute.
Yes, I will march in your parade.
Yes, you can have a candle on your cake.
Summer is the perfect time to start saying MORE YES! Let’s embrace the present by slowing down, paying attention, and setting our to-do lists and agendas to the side.
I have a feeling we’ll be glad we did!