Last week we were treated to about 4 inches of snow. While that’s just another day for many of you, it’s a rare treat here in North Carolina where we live. My kids have only seen a handful of “real” snow events and let me tell you, just hearing the local weatherman forecast potential snow is enough to get them wound up for days on end.
Around 9 pm last Friday night the snow began to fall – and fast. It was actually what we call a “thundersnow” – a thunderstorm with heavy snow instead of heavy rain (an even rarer event here!). My children piled up beside the bedroom window with blankets and sat, rapt with anticipation, for an hour. When the thunder began to subside and the drifts began to pile up, I made the decision to let them go outside and play in it. For once, it was totally my idea. They didn’t even have to ask. I came up with the game plan and announced it to them. They were beyond shocked that Mom would even think of allowing them to play in the snow at such late an hour. They were simply overjoyed at the fact I would allow them to do such a thing.
So, before I could find time to change my mind, they were up running around the house looking for boots and hats and mittens.
At 10 pm I was bundling up my kids and sending them out into the dark, snowy night. Why on earth would I do such a thing, well beyond bedtime? Simply put – I did it because I can. And should, once in awhile.
I don’t know about you, but I spend a good deal of time, perhaps TOO MUCH time saying “no” to the kids. Or saying “later” or “maybe another time.” It wears them out and if I’m honest with myself, it’s lazy parenting on my part, more often than not.
They had the best time. They were hollering and whooping and having more fun than I’ve witnessed them have in a long time. It was pure joy for me to watch them revel in just being able to be a child. They tromped in the snow until nearly midnight! When they finally came inside, I had a fire waiting for them and allowed them to stay up long enough to get dry and warm and enjoy some hot chocolate.
I learned a valuable lesson that night.
Sometimes you just have to be a “yes” mom and let your kids do something wildly out of the ordinary. Thankfully, as home educators, this opportunity presents itself more readily than it might for other families. We are home all day with our kids. We have opportunities to make memories with our children just about ANYTIME – not just between the hours of 5 pm and 7 am.
So why don’t we take advantage of it a little more often? Odds are we just get too comfortable with our routines and it’s easier to say “no” than it is to say “yes” to our children’s desires.
Do something radical. Try being the “yes” mom a little more often. You will be blessed. Your children will be joyful and thankful, and who knows what kinds of memories you will make for a lifetime?
Photo Credit: Lindsey Cox