I’m not talking about yes, I’ll buy you everything you ask for. Or yes I’ll indulge your every whim. Or, yes I’ll let you disregard all the rules.
I’m talking about saying yes to spontaneous fun. Yes to requests for my time. Yes to inconvenience.
Most days I wake up with a plan in mind. One of the first questions I ask my husband in the morning is, “What’s your plan for the day?” Not so much because I care, but because I want to make sure it doesn’t interfere with my plan. I don’t even bother asking my kids what their plan is. Their plan is my plan. I’m the mom.
So then I set out doing whatever it is I planned. Usually is involves stuff like errands, housework and blog projects. What it doesn’t involve is playing Matchbox cars, building Lego towers or playing Hide and Seek.
When they want to carry all the dining chairs into the living room and make a fort out of them using all the blankets in the house, all I can think about is the mess we’ll have to clean up later.
So often my answer is, “No, I have to do this, because I put it on my to-do list. No, I’m busy. No, it will make a mess.” I know I miss out on opportunities to spend time with my boys. I know there are a little things I could do for them they they would appreciate, but I don’t because I’m too busy. I know sometimes time I squash their fun, because it’s inconvenient for me.
And it’s all because I’m trying to accomplish some agenda that’s in my head. That I made. I’m a stay-at-home-mom. I don’t have a boss. I am the boss. If I want to play hookie, I can. So why don’t I?
All day today there was a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. Every time I looked at them I heard them calling, “Wash me.” But I said no to the dishes. And I said yes to taking the boys to a free magic show at the library.
Then I made curtains for the bottom of David’s loft bed to turn it into a fort. It’s something he wanted me to do for a long time, but I kept putting it off.
It rained most of the day. It stopped just in time for us to go out for an hour before bed. They were digging in the dirt. Instead of telling them not to get dirty because I didn’t want to clean them up, I just let them dig.
I even let them stay up an hour later when they asked. Usually they’re in bed by 8 p.m. sharp, because any later interferes with my evening plans.
The boys were thrilled by the magic show.They loved playing in the fort. The had fun in the dirt. The extra hour of awake time was spent taking baths, and then with the three of us snuggled on the couch watching cartoons.
And the world didn’t stop turning because I didn’t load the dishwasher this morning. I washed the dishes eventually. I stole a few minutes while the boys were playing in the fort. The fort I didn’t make a hundred times before, because I had to do the dishes. Giving them baths wasn’t so hard. And snuggling on the couch was totally worth it.
There’s power in saying no. Of being in control of the situation. In executing your plan. But isn’t there even more power in saying yes? More power in being the one who gets to choose to throw out the plan? Power in deciding to just see what happens?
As responsible adults we don’t get many opportunities to let chance lead. But childhood is all about discovering the next new thing around the corner. And that’s one of the most beautiful things about parenthood, rediscovering those wonders and curiosities with our kids.
I want to challenge you to say yes to one thing today, one thing to which you’d normal say no. See where it takes you!
Let’s enjoy summer live, as it happens! Find out more about The Summer Live Un-project, and join me. Subscribe and follow along on Facebook to get ideas and encouragement for your own Summer Live Un-Project all season long. I can’t wait to see where we all go!