Monday, September 12, 2011

Saying Yes

A month or so ago I read an unbelievably, fantastic book called "Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches" by Rachel Jankovic.  The author is the mother of five young children and she is totally "in the fray," as we call it around here.  I couldn't put it down and for that reason, it is good that it is a short book and a pretty quick read.  I learned so much from reading this book and I know that I will be reading it again and again.  It's that good.  Moms of little ones, you have to read this book.

One of many, many, many things that left an impression on me from this book was a section about really knowing your kids.  I don't have the book here, since I borrowed it, so I can't give an exact quote, but there was a sentence that went something like this...

Is your daughter the one who always wants to paint and you always say no??

Yes.  As a matter of fact, yes, that is my daughter.  My sweet daughter who loves, LOVES to paint, doesn't get to paint very often, though she asks a lot to do so.  Generally, I say NO and we all know why:   painting is messy.  This specific situation struck a chord with me and I realized that I needed to say YES to painting, more than I was saying NO.  

On Saturday, I was working in the kitchen when I heard my husband say to my daughter, "You will have to go ask Mommy."  
Out she runs and she says, "Paint, Mommy?"  
I said, "Yes.  Yes, we can paint." 

Let me tell you, she was shocked.  Her little face broke out into a huge smile and she ran back to her dad saying, "She said yes!  Mommy said yes."  It was the cutest thing, but yet, I could have cried.  She was too shocked and too happy at me saying YES.  Ouch.  

So, we painted...

And we painted and we painted...

Once she left the paintbrush behind, I did remember why I usually say NO to painting.  When the mess was cleaned up, however, I knew again why I said YES in the first place.  That was one happy little artist.

So, all this to say...I am trying to say YES and not just to painting... 

Can you play Legos with me?
Can you help me with this?
Can we play Play-Doh?
Can we go outside?
Can we color?
Can you play with me?

My answers too often are...
In a minute.
When I finish this.
After I am done here.
Give me a few seconds.
I just need to send a quick e-mail.
I can't right now because I am too busy.

Granted, I can't drop everthing on every occassion to meet every need.  But, I think I can say YES more than I do.  I know for a fact that dirty dishes and laundry will wait for me.  In the blink of an eye, I can see that I will be the one saying, "Can you play with me?"  I really, really want my teenaged Eli and Abby to say "YES.  Yes, Mom, we can play with you."  So, we'll start now.


  1. Really great Sarah! I've heard such great things about that book.

  2. Thank you for sharing this Sarah! Your post brought tears to my eyes because this is so me. I get sad when I think about how fast my kids are growing up, so you can bet that I will be saying yes a lot more and will also be checking out that book. The chores of life can wait, they aren't going anywhere...but someday my kids will be.

  3. Great reminder, Sarah! I'm working on saying "yes" more, and being present more!

    You two are beautiful!

  4. Sarah, this is very good and yes that book is excellent!!

  5. What everyone else said! Great thoughts, Sarah.

  6. Thank you for your sweet comments, ladies! For sure check out that book!!