A couple mornings ago, I woke up with a sweet face just inches from mine. “It’s raining, mama.” She whispered. I had been lying there with eyes closed for some time listening to the rain fall. Call me crazy, but I love a rainy day. “Can we go out on the deck and play in it?” She asked. I shook my head, “no”. She giggled and ran out of the room.
By mid-morning, the rain had stopped. Then, for the rest of the day, I was plagued with this thought: Why couldn’t she play in the rain? I mentally listed all of the reasons.
They would get all wet.
That would mean a change of clothes, a.k.a. more dirty laundry.
The carpet would probably get wet when they came back inside.
It’s true. All of those things would probably result from a morning of playing in the rain. Suddenly, however, none of that bothered me. What bothered me, in that moment, was that it had not even occurred to me to say, yes. Sometimes, “No” is just my default response. It rises to my lips before I have even fully listened to the request.
Sometimes, I say “no” because I tend to be an overly worrisome mom.
Can we run outside with bare feet?
No. After all, they may step on something sharp. They may slip and fall. Maybe, they will stub a toe. Maybe, aliens will visit our neighborhood and only steal the children whose mommies did not make them wear shoes.
Other times, I say “no” because it is just not convenient for me.
Can we play with our paints?
No. If we do that, I will have to gather all of the art supplies. Then, we will need to change into some different clothes. The baby will be trying to get into everything. Then, when it’s all over, there are brushes and things to clean. So on and so forth.
Then, there are those times, when I say “no” just because. Seriously, just. because.
Will you come outside with us? No.
Do you want to play Barbies with me? No.
Can we skip baths tonight? No.
Like I said, it is often just my default response. But, I want to change that. Obviously, I am not talking about agreeing to every request. You are not going to suddenly find my kiddos playing in the streets or eating candy for breakfast. I do, however, want to say “yes” more often.(As I’m typing this, my daughters came to the door and asked for some chocolate. I said, “no,” without so much as a second thought. I’m a work in progress, y’all.)
Something happened on that rainy morning. I found myself waiting for it to start raining again. I wanted to surprise my kids and let them play in it. It never did rain again that day, but you better believe I’m waiting for another chance. Because, I may have had dry carpets, but what I didn’t have was a picture of my babies dancing in the rain. Of the two, I think I made the wrong choice.
I do not think I’m the only one who gets stuck in “no” mode.
Maybe you, like me, need to give “yes” a try. Yes – to staying up beyond bedtimes. Yes – to blanket forts in the living room. Yes – to playing outside with kids and ignoring the laundry for a little while. Yes – to playing in the rain.
Let’s loosen up a little and enjoy our kiddos. They won’t always be asking for snuggles on the couch or pushes on the swing. The dusty tables and dirty dishes will still be there tomorrow.
I have to go, now. I need to get my kids some chocolate.