Kids ask for a lot of things. I know, I’m stating the obvious again. I feel like I am saying “no” all day long. In fact, my youngest son Tiger cries at the mere mention of the word.
Mommy can we watch a movie? No.
Mommy, can I have 15 pieces of candy? No.
Mom, can we get a pet rat? No. Never.
Mommy, can we run at church? No.
Mommy, can I move to grandmas? No.
Tiger can’t ask the questions yet, but if he could they would say
Mommy, can I stick my fingers in the light socket/moving fan/knife drawer/kitty litter? No.
Mommy, can I spit my food out and throw it across the floor? No.
Mommy, can I pull the kitty’s hair out? No.
Mommy, can bite you? No.
There are, however, a few things that I
never say no to try to never say no to.
1} Mommy, can I help you cook.
I have to fight every instinct in me that wants to do things my own way and in my own timing. I have to fight the desire for convenience and speed. And when I am successful in my fight against self, the rewards are so satisfying and much farther reaching than what I would have gained by saying ‘no’.
A boy with boosted confidence. A closer relationship with my son. A meal more readily eaten by my picky one. An interest cultivated.
2} Mommy, can I help you wash the dishes? YES!!! Please do! I almost always say. Even though wash the dishes might be translated into play in the water and soak the kitchen floor. I am the sole dishwasher in this house, electric and manual, I’m it. So I take any interest I can get in helping. I know that saying yes now will pay dividends later when they are older enough to scrub all the food off of the plate. For now they just follow the process… Fill one side with soapy water, wipe off food, rinse in clean water, place in drying rack.
Sometimes I have to go back a little while later and finish the job, which takes more time. But like I said, I don’t want to squelch any desire to be helpful because the day is coming when it actually will be helpful :).
3} Mom, can we do a craft with you?
My kids know me. They know that I love crafty things. I think they ask me this question when they really want to spend time with me, and that makes me want to say yes, every time.
4} Mom, will you read us the Bible?
We try really hard to have family worship time on a regular basis, generally right before bed. When the kids are getting to bed late, or we are out of our normal routine they ask this question. Is it a stalling technique? Probably. But even so, I want to impart to them that reading God’s word daily should not be an afterthought, rather a priority and a privilege.
My point in writing this post is really to remind and encourage myself to say yes to these things more often. I want to be able to step out of my chaotic day and take in the bigger picture. I have four lovely children who want to help me, spend time with me, join me in my interests, and worship with me. This is not a burden, not in any way.