Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"My default answer to everything is no. As soon as I hear the inflection of inquiry, the word no forms in my mind, sometimes accompanied by a reason, often not. Can I open the mail? No. Can I wear your necklace? No. When is dinner? No. What you probably wouldn't believe is how much I wanted to say yes." -Kelly Corrigan, LIFT

My days are filled with my children's questions and my answers. I field many, many, many inquires every hour:

"Can Buzz Lightyear fly?"
"Can I fly?"
"What's for dinner?"
"Can we have a sleep over?"
"Will you buy me high heeled shoes?"
"Can we have dessert?"
"Will you push me?"
"Can we have a snack?"
"Will you give me a manicure? With little flowers on each nail like the babysitter does?"
"Will you come now?"

Before kids, I fancied myself a patient, positive person. After nearly seven years at this parenting gig, I realize that I am not the patient, positive person I previously thought. (Granted, before I delivered my children into this world, I hadn't experienced the tyrannical nature of children's constant, continual spray of questions, firing like rounds from a machine gun. (A little too harsh, perhaps? Sorry...'twas a long, questioning morning at the MusingsdeMommy home.)

After a question is sent my way, my tongue perches at the roof of my mouth, readying to produce the "N" sound, preparing to say NOOOOOO. And to try to hide my penchant for No-saying, I've devised ways to say No without actually saying No.

"Let me think about it."
"I'll see how the evening goes."
"If you eat healthfully..."
"You guys go out first and I'll meet you there."
"I'll be right there..."


It's so heavy, brooding and dark. Necessary, at times, but not at ALL times. Yes, on the other hand, reverberates; so lively, powerful and affirming. Punctuated with possibilities, ruminating with promises.

When I started reflecting on this, my stomach sank in misery. Why am I so quick to jump to No? What am I, on a subconscious current, teaching my children about life? Are their questions truly that outlandish? My children actually lob their questions and then I hear them quietly pleading, with me, the winds and the universe, "please say yes please say yes oh please say yes". Am I that transparent?


Today, I'm putting my negative responses on notice. I'm bringing back Yes. In an effort to be more adaptable and accommodating, positive and affirming...to both my children and myself, I'm replacing my old, tired, reflexive No and finding simple, inspired reasons to embrace Yes.

Yes, you can.
Yes, we can.
Yes, I will.