When I was a young mother I learned to say “yes” as often as possible to my children, because too often my immediate response to any inquiry that had the potential to throw me from either my task or my time was “no”. No, we couldn’t take the paints out “right now”. No, I didn’t think it was a good idea to buy a goldfish. No, we couldn’t go to the park for the second day in a row. No, that sounds like an idea that just wouldn’t work. No, you can’t have or start a bark collection. Just because.
And why? Just because…it sounds messy, I’m tired, I’ve tried that before, it sounds unreasonable (or dumb), I just don’t want to, and besides, there’s always tomorrow or later hidden even in the “hmm…let’s ponder that a while….”
One of the beauties of homeschooling is in allowing the born-within natural bents to blossom and grow. But too many times I still find myself saying “no” because, well, it is just easier. But what if my son grows up to be an accountant when what he really liked to do as a kid was play with aquatics? What if my daughter becomes a very good librarian when all she really liked to do was play and craft with things from the outdoors? Or conversely, what if I always made her go outdoors when all she really wanted to do was to become a writer? In other words, do I celebrate and encourage their interests or do I let my *adult sensibilities* knock them into “reality” and tell them to just get back to their chores, their schoolwork, to the societal expectations of what is success, and to their proper play with “real” toys?
So this week I am practicing saying “yes” even more. Yes, you can buy a fish tank and rig up a light and do the whole deal. Yes, you can sleep outside in the tent. Yes, you can learn to make pies. Yes, you can have a garden plot all to yourself. Yes, you can. And furthermore, I’ll help you and I won’t laugh or say I told you so if and when it fails.
Sometimes, the art of saying “yes” begins with ourselves, speaking it into the little girl or boy within. Sometimes it’s all right to shush up the adult and let the kid play. I’m learning.
Joy to you,