Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Not?

As a mother I too quickly squash my children's ideas because I think they'll be a hassle or create even more work for me. Or sometimes it just seems so insensible at the time.

I don't believe this is a good thing for me to be doing. How are they going to develop this creativity if I'm always saying no. How are they going to learn to think outside of the box if I say no? How are they going to enjoy the little things and experience life's joys if I'm always saying no?

The other night was no exception. We had two or three cardboard boxes in our front room from some current purchases. The kids were cutting them up making cars, doggie houses, and any other random item that they needed right then for their play world. In the process of making doggies houses, they created one for Isaac, the doggy. It was only about 2 feet by 2 feet. The one side was completely open, the opposite side had a large hole cut out. When laying on the ground he could stick his head in the box and out the hole. If he curled up tight enough, most of his body could fit inside the box too.

It soon became time for bed. Groaning from the ranks ensued and Issac immediately asked "Can I sleep in my box?!" I immediately opened my mouth, to say "no way, you can play in it tomorrow," when Beau exclaimed "Sure buddy!" I gave him a look, questioning his own sanity when he smiled, said "look" and nodded towards Isaac. The little boy was grinning from ear to ear, so excited. He grabbed his box and dad helped him put it in his room on the floor, helped him get his head inside and out the other end so it could lay on his pillow and tucked him in.

He stayed in bed, didn't put up his usual fight, and fell asleep. I didn't think another thing of it. The next morning he rolled into the kitchen rubbing his eyes and Beau asked, "How did you sleep buddy!" He smiled and said good. I then remembered. "Did you sleep in that box ALL night?" I asked incredulous.

"Yep!" was the reply accompanied with the largest, proudest grin a little boy could carry.

Really what did it hurt? He had the time of his life. He did something out of the normal. He pretended all night, and he was proud of himself. I say no to too many things, when there really is no good valid reason why not to do it. Why not them really be kids. Maybe they'll show me how to enjoy those small things life are made of.

photo credit: z287marc


Laurel said...

Love this post. I've been doing the same thing lately -- I feel like I've been saying 'no' all over the place and have consciously tried to stop and say 'yes' again. I love the example you gave -- such a silly little thing to us but to him it meant the world to get to do it. Thanks for sharing this reminder, Shalae! :)

Caroline said...

What a lovely story! The struggles of us Moms, we are all in the same boat. I will probably think of Isaac in his box now the next time I want to say no and choose a yes instead.