Our pastor, whose children are grown, was telling those of us in his Sunday School class a couple weeks ago that he used to have “Yes” days with his kids– a day once in awhile where Dad would say yes to every request.  “What kinds of things did they ask for?” I asked him. “Oh, it usually involved ice cream,” he said.  “We’d go for ice cream a couple of times in one day.”
How fun, I thought, but if I tried that with my kids, I think I’d be broke pretty quick. No, make that, I know I’d be broke pretty quick, with a teenager who thinks it’s a bargain to pay $15 for a tiny cosmetic sponge.  I think the key to a successful Yes day, for me, would be not letting them know.   Without a lot of fanfare, say yes to a lot more things, within reason.

As I sat there in Pastor Jack’s class,  it occurred to me that my kids have actually been having a Yes summer.  And luckily, I don’t think they fully realize it.  

Usually, I “let down my guard” when we go out of town on vacation, but for some reason, this summer the vacation began with the final school bell.  It’s been ongoing. In the last month, I’ve bought…gulp…real junk food (“Mom!!!” screamed Emmie from the kitchen on a recent morning. “This is the best breakfast ever! You bought Pop Tarts that weren’t Whole Grain!!!”); I’ve taken a certain teenager to the mall more than usual without complaining, and not minded that she stays up ’til 2 a.m. watching TV and sleeps until noon (I remember doing the exact same thing at her age); I’ve allowed sleepovers with more than one friend at a time; gone back-to-school shopping 6 weeks early with Emmie; I even invited Allison to get a pedicure with me one day (I definitely detected a brief look of surprise in her expression when I announced that!). Without homework or lessons or meetings that we usually have 2-3 nights a week during the school year, we’ve been renting movies and playing games, going on bike rides…my husband even took Emmie and a friend ice skating last night after dinner.  Things are definitely a lot more relaxed around here, and I would venture to say there is even less kid sass flying around.  So as of today, I am officially not looking forward to the start of school.  And usually I’m counting down the days.

But, have no fear, all these yes’s have not put me into the “cool” category in the eyes of my children.  In order to go to the mall, have friends over, etc., there are still chores to be done. Lots of chores.  And it seems like I will never cease to be embarrassing.  Last night, after the ice skating outing, as Emmie and her friend sat down to play “Clue” with Andy and me, Emmie was mortified when I came to the table in my super thick terry bathrobe and flip flops. “Mom, pleeeese tell me you’ve got pajamas on under that robe!!!” she begged.  I changed the subject.  After all, I’m having a Yes summer, too. 

2 thoughts on “Yes Days

  1. I definitely believe that the more relaxed “un-schedule” of the summer days are directly related to less backtalk & power struggles.
    I wonder if it is possible to have a yes-day and just put a $ max on the spending. It’s good practice to come up with fun things to do that don’t cost alot of money.
    And I’m all in favor of Moms having our own yes-day for ourselves; it helps avoid martyrdom and is a great way to re-charge the batteries. Kimbell Museum of Art, anyone? My own I-Tunes download or a trip to the bookstore (by myself!) Oh, and definitely ice cream!

  2. I’ve actually done this without telling the kids it’s “yes” day. It’s just a mental note to myself to loosen up. Usually involves a trip to Target, sadly.

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