The words, sometimes you say yes, were posted on Instagram by a friend awhile back. It was in reference to treating her son with some ice cream. I’m still thinking about those words. I think about them because every day my son asks for something. Sometimes with a whine, sometimes with a smile, but almost every minute of every day he needs something.
I say “no” A LOT…sometimes all day long. Sometimes I think the definition of motherhood is saying no. Saying no is one of those things that are easy and terrible all at the same time. I want to make my son happy, it would be easier to say YES, but I don’t want to make him happy at the expense of his character. It’s character that recognizes “I want this but I don’t need this.” Or, “I want this but it isn’t good for me.” Or, “This thing is just one more thing that I think I need but actually will forget about in 2 seconds after I get it.”
Ok…am I talking about a 2 year old or myself?? I’ll admit that some days it’s hard to tell… I’m pretty sure that deep down we all think like toddlers.
But sometimes I do say YES. And it’s one of the best things ever. I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods last week purchasing new running shoes…for the price these shoes must be magic shoes, right? Our oldest was with me in the checkout line but had noticed the bubbles – the big kind of bubbles with a bubble wand. “Mommy! Mommy! Bubbles!” He looked at me with a shy (or sly?) smile. Again, “Mommy! Bubbles!” He was just so excited. I asked him, equally excited, “Bubbles? Do you want some bubbles?” Huge smile. “Ummm…YEA!” That is his famous response lately to things he’s really excited about “Ummm…YEA!” It’s adorable.
So I let him pick the color of bubble tube he wanted. It was yellow then green then blue AND green but then just blue when he realized that 2 tubes wasn’t an option. It was fun to watch him make that decision. Onto the counter the bubbles went. There was an elderly couple behind me in line – watching inquisitively. I turned to them and exclaimed, “Sometimes you say yes!” Not sure exactly what they thought of that…maybe bewilderment? Maybe “Crazy mom who can’t say no to her kid?” Or maybe, “Her boys are the cutest ever…she’s such a good mom.” (Let’s hope!) Who really knows though and ultimately it doesn’t matter. And as a side note, I often say random things to random people…it’s a thing. I think I get it from my dad.Once we got home from he was all “Bubbles mommy, outside mommy, bubbles mommy, outside mommy,” etc. I sort of regretted my decision in that moment, but bundled us all up and got us outside for some bubble time. Oh – and grabbed my CAMERA, which made it all worthwhile.He squealed, giggled, and chased those bubbles all over our yard. For about 3 minutes. For 3 minutes it lasted before he dumped all the bubbles onto the ground. And of course, he was so confused why there were no more bubbles. I tried to explain…multiple times, but he still didn’t really understand why we couldn’t keep playing with the bubbles. Why weren’t more bubbles appearing out of thin air? I think he thinks I have mommy super powers – maybe I’ve trained him to think this way. Regardless, the bubbles were gone and I was annoyed at the wastefulness, but pure and simple those bubbles were a gift from me to him. A gift that brought 3 minutes of bliss and for that I was thankful.
I can see so many life lessons in this one afternoon. We shouldn’t waste what we’ve been given. We should appreciate the time we have. We shouldn’t treat gifts/money like they grow on trees. Why is it that we always want what we no longer have? We don’t really need what we think we need. Wants are not needs, etc. And from another angle, a gift is no longer a gift if we care about how it’s used.
Those 3 minutes WERE magical. The joy was through the roof. So when is it appropriate to say yes instead of no? Again, like most things in life – there is no easy answer. I could have just as easily said “no” to the bubbles, again reinforcing that we don’t always get what we want when we want it. We should be content with what we have, and so on and so forth.
But sometimes you do say YES. That day I said yes to bubbles and it was beautiful.