5.06.2013

On saying yes

One of my parenting philosophies is to say yes as often as possible.  Not to ridiculous things, of course.  We have lots of healthy limits around here.  But if it's not unsafe, unhealthy, or unkind, then I try to say yes as much as I can.

It's not always my instinct to say yes. I had to learn this lesson the hard way when Jude was a toddler.  Sometimes I'd make the mistake of saying no too quickly.  In typical toddler fashion, he'd throw a tempter tantrum.  I didn't want him to believe we get our way in life by throwing tantrums.  Yet I'd also wonder why the heck I said no in the first place.  (There's an old adage about this very thing: pick your battles.)

On Sunday, Indigo and I went out to a coffee shop together.  She brought a few art supplies and did some drawing.  I did some meal planning followed by some reading and journaling.  As we were driving home, she told me she felt the music in the coffee shop was too loud to really relax. This took me by surprise because I felt exactly the same way.   As we pulled into our neighborhood, she suggested we go on a photography adventure.  Indigo and Evie love to search out spots to take photos and they also love to be followed by my camera.   It's the documenting of an adventure!  As much as I adore photography, I frankly wasn't in the mood at that moment.  But Indigo persisted, "Mom, it would give us a chance to relax... together."

I acquiesced and pulled up to our neighborhood gazebo, hoping to snap a few photos and be on our way.  She had other ideas and beckoned me toward some trees.   Follow me, mom.

Hidden behind the trees was an open field full of wild flowers.  It was breathtaking -glorious - flooded with light.

adventures with indigo

She danced in the fields, brushing the flowers with her fingers.  She slowed to examine them in all of their simple glory.

adventures with indigo

Afterward, she led me back to a woods, walking on top of a log as if it were a balance beam as she made her way there.  The strong sunlight was filtered by the trees creating the most magical, yummy, sparkly bokeh.

adventures with indigo

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She climbed a tree.

adventures with indigo

When she jumped down, she discovered the head of a dandelion gone to seed.  She was enthralled by it and the way each seed blew in the wind with her gentle puffs.

adventures with indigo

adventures with indigo

As we headed for home, I felt deeply grateful for this lesson I learned when Jude was just a wee one.  To say yes.   I thought of how much I would have missed had I said no.  Not just this time, but cumulatively.  Saying yes to messes, to spontaneity, to unexpected adventures!  Our children have so much to teach us.  Though we see, we often don't really see.  They show us the wonder and the beauty that abounds all around us.

Sometimes we just have to be willing to say yes.

6 comments:

  1. Your relationship with Indigo sounds like mine with Em. I'm just in wonder of that girl sometimes, it's so fun. You're a good mama!

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  2. Beautiful post, Rachel, in every way. I am struck by the thought in these times (and I'm thinking of my own "yes" times) the impulse to say "no" is usually a holding back, a selfish grip on "my time", "my plans", "my convenience". Saying "yes" is showing love, and it does feel incredible to choose loving others instead of loving myself.

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  3. This is a beautiful reminder for all mamas out there- thank you. What pretty brown eyes she has! :)

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    1. thank you so much for your sweet words, erin!

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  4. Love this post! I've been trying to do the same thing, lately. It's great for bonding--M loves choosing what we do, and that I meet him in his space. Like you, I've reaped some unforeseen benefits...

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  5. such beautiful photos and words. she is so stunning!

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