A long time ago--a parenting tip caught my attention. It was "say yes as much as possible". It's so easy for me to say no--and have the "yes" be the exception. No is often less trouble. No often takes less energy. I don't have to think hard with No. I can easily overuse No. But, I want my NOs to count for something. I want them to be taken seriously. I want them to be NO, not, "I don't feel like thinking about it right now", or "that would take extra effort that I don't feel like exerting". Now, I know, KNOW, that there are times as parents that we absolutely must use no for those reasons. We are in charge, and we have to look out for our own needs too.
But what about saying yes? Why not yes?
Well, yesterday, Pickle called my cell while I was at work. I was in a meeting. Mondays are one meeting after another--I'm a chain-meeter on Mondays. During my last meeting of the day a coworker walked in with my phone and said it had been ringing off the hook with my home number...I looked at it, and in the past half hour Pickle had called 13 times! And I have a song for her ringtone...my poor coworkers! I quickly texted her to see if everything was OK. She called again. I excused myself and answered, wondering what the emergency was. She said,
"Can my friend sleep over tonight?"
Seriously?? That was the emergency???
Pickle wanted this sleepover with a friend who she hadn't seen all summer. It turns out they figured out that due to upcoming vacation plans and sports this gal was not going to be available any other night before school started. Just last night.
I admit I was a little ticked at the unwarranted urgency of her calls, told her I'd talk to her when I got home and returned to my meeting.
On the way home I thought of so many reasons to say no. No, I was tired. No, I had to return to work early in the morning. No, we don't plan sleepovers the same day--I need some advance warning. No, calling umpteen times was a bit obnoxious. No. No. No.
And then it echoed in my head. Why not yes? (stink)
So I said yes. It didn't end up being much trouble at all, and I made my girl very happy. And that is what I'm unwrapping today with Emily at Chatting at the Sky--the gift of yes.