It wasn’t too long ago that I was a wild teenager busy rebelling and doing everything my mama told me not to. She drew a line in the sand and I would triumphantly race over it. Thirteen odd years later and I, too, am a mom of three wild things.
And you know what I’ve learned? Say YES!
Say yes to messes, loud noises with pots and pans, sandy feet on newly mopped floors. Ahem—no I haven’t lost my mind, work with me little mama. Say yes to letting your child make his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A piece of cake with breakfast? Why not every once in a while?
Something happens when we give birth. We tend to lose our free spirits, our carefree nature. We turn into women who are responsible for the newborn nestled in our arms. Suddenly—the whole world seems dangerous. We struggle through two years of sleep deprived nights and being a watchman to keep our children alive. And by the time our baby makes it to 25 months of age, the first word that comes out of our mouth is NO.
No—no, we don’t shove forks into the wall.
NO! Toliet water is not a place to bathe our baby dolls.
NOOOOO, you cannot fingerpaint on the walls.
No! Don’t touch! The stove is hot.
They hear no all day long. And you know what? Jesus said yes to us as much as possible.
Say yes to 10 more minutes before bed, say yes to pounding puzzle pieces in place, say yes to riding bikes barefoot. OK, I know that last one could be a doozy, but in the words of Danny Silk,
“There’s learning going on,” when you let them discover for themselves the natural consequences of riding a bike barefoot.
Say yes to the wardrobe your child picks out. My 3-year-old wears her ugg boots and snow boots outside to play or to the store even though its 101 degrees here in Nebraska.
Face it ladies, life is messy. And the best life lessons I’ve learned from are the ones where I made the biggest mess, whether or not I had to clean it up afterward. And you know what? God said yes to his people often. He said NO under three circumstances through out the Bible. 1. He gave rules and boundaries in order to protect our hearts, souls and relationships. 2. He said no to going against the order of his creation. 3. He said no to loving things more than him.
Scripture says: “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1st Corinthians 10:23-24.
So the next time your ‘wild thing’ wants ask you something and it’s not going to put his life in danger or give him permission to be disrespectful … say YES!
For more of Heather’s great perspective on motherhood, check out Heather’s book Mama Needs A Time-Out: Daily Getaways for the Mom’s Soul.