Yesterday, in a moment of frustration that included a foot stomp, a pout, and perhaps some hands on the hips if I'm remembering correctly, one of my children said, "I am SO BORED with hearing no!"
And well, I rather disagree with that statement. Because NO, it is not okay to eat only popsicles for breakfast and lunch. And NO, we are not going to get ice cream for dinner (again). And NO, you can't just push your brother when he's in your way or annoying you. And NO, you most certainly cannot watch a movie in the middle of an absolutely gorgeous summer's day. And NO, I am not driving an hour and a half on such a day so that I can drop you off at the skatepark and wait while you play, then drive you home again. And NO, tying a collar around the neck of the cats so you can walk them on leashes while they get tangled and frustrated is NOT okay. And No, no, no, no, no...to all of them, all the time.... is certainly sometimes how I feel. Don't you? It's impossible not to. Yes, I can change my language and redirect and find alternatives and positive solutions. But the reality is that life includes some limits, many necessary, important and good limits really, and those amount to a great deal of 'no' uttered from my mouth during the course of a day.
Which is all to say that I LOVE when I can say yes. And I seek out the opportunity to do so whenever possible. And I pause, I really do, before answering a question with a no, to see what other options we have. But oh, the easy yeses. They are the best, they really are.
Such as....on an August afternoon when everyone is hot and spent and grouchy and cranky and not engaged in anything at all besides irritating each other and declaring their "boredom with the word no".....
In such a moment, when someone asks, "Can we please just go swim?" The answer, without a doubt, is ABSOLUTELY, YES!
Not boring at all.