Almost 6 months ago I wrote a post about saying yes more to our children and how thankful I was for the joy I found in the "yes-es". It really is a never-ending choice we have as parents...the choice to say yes; to inconvenience our selves sometimes, the choice to give up something else to make the yes happen, the choice to stop what we are doing and really give our children the attention they are asking for. The questions can come in all different ways. I would be lying to say over the last six months, since my first post, that I always have said yes. I haven't. I am human, we all are. Not one of us are perfect mamas and we shouldn't ever feel like we need to be. This isn't really about always saying yes, but about not always saying no. And sometimes, as I said before, yes is unreasonable. But I have seen time and time again, when I do say yes something special happens. Over the last two weeks I was able to experience the joy in saying yes.
My husband recently took our three children to a store in town called Spirit Halloween. I had never been in this store. I really thought it was kind of silly to be honest. Halloween just isn't one of my favorite holidays. The kids came home so excited over all of the costumes they had seen. My 4 year old was most enthusiastic because she had seen a bumble bee and she had decided that was what she was going to be for Halloween. For a couple of days I ignored her chatter about this bumble bee idea. I thought she could be a princesss. We certainly have a lot of princess costumes in our dress up closet and with three children, this would certainly save money and be one less costume to plan for. It made sense to me to not buy another costume, to not say yes to the bumble bee. BUT, she had her own idea. She did not stop talking about the bumble bee she was going to be. This was the first year she showed an interest in what she would be for Halloween, so it got me thinking and I decided we would buy the costume and she would get to be a bumble bee. I cannot tell you how excited she was the day her costume arrived. I was so grateful to have said yes. I was so grateful to see her smile, her enthusiasm and joy dancing and twirling and buzzing in her costume.
This week brought another chance to say yes in such a simple way, but similarly it brought my daughter so much joy. Each year we love to paint pumpkins close to Halloween. In Florida, it seems like the carved pumpkins rot quickly and the painting is such a fun alternative. My youngest was painting her little baby pumpkin this week and we decided to add glitter. I gave her a very small amount, thinking it would add a fun sparkle to her creation. She asked me if she could have some more. I gave her a bit more. She then asked if she could do it herself. We all know how messy glitter can be and we all know that a four year old isn't the most delicate at "doing it herself". My first instinct was to say no, let mama do it, but I decided to say yes. In my head at that moment I thought glitter is not the most expensive thing and that she would have so much fun and feel a sense of independence. And indeed, she had the most wonderful time using up every last bit of glitter and YES there was a huge mess. But, it was in that mess I was reminded again of how important it is to not always automatically say no. I share this because I know it is easier to say no a lot of the time. I have been there and am still there many days. But these experiences, they really make me think each time another opportunity to say yes is presented. I am thankful for these lessons as a mother and I am thankful for yes.