Reversing my no’s

Yesterday, my mind was all bound up with too much, too much, too much. The day had been full of too many kids in my house who had been spending too much time together with too much time on their hands. There is too much pollen puffing off the trees with every passing breeze, and it’s making my eyes and throat itch way too much. There is too much dog poo in my yard, too much pent-up energy in my Labrador, and way, way, way too much laundry.

Typically, my saving grace on days like these comes at around 6 pm when a white diesel truck rattles into the garage. But today Ty had a mountain bike race after work. He’s been putting in way longer hours than normal (too much, too much, too much work) and hasn’t been on his bike enough. The kids and I all wanted to support his biking-ness, so we packed a backpack with almonds and bananas and potato chips, water and Capri suns and we headed out to the start line.

Once the race had begun, we had nothing to do but wait in the woods for Ty’s speedy return but this was a 17 mile race, so we had some time to kill, which was just as well for the kids. Waiting in woods such as these is nirvana for kids. This was a part of the valley that was new to all of us, even though it’s just a few miles from our home, and everyone¬† wanted to explore. Except for me. I wasn’t really in the mood for much of anything except sitting and sneezing.

I always know that I’m not in a proper frame of mind for parenting when I want to say no to everything the kids want to do, without even thinking about it. The kids wanted to balance on the log fences. No, I said instinctively, snapping the word in a way that was oddly satisfying. Okay, I softened when I looked at their dirty little faces, staring up at me. “Actually, why not?” It got to the point where my kids were actually waiting after my “No” for me to reverse myself.

“Can we chuck rocks in the river?” No. Actually, why not?

“Can we hike down that trail to see what is at the end of it?” No. Actually, why not?

“Can we climb that hill of rocks?” No. Actually, why not?

“Can we take off your hat and braid your hair?” No, actually why not?

The evening sun squinted through the valley, and filtered through the pollen, it looked almost misty and altogether beautiful. It was nice to wait for a while, in the woods.

Written by Momscape founder Susie Michelle Cortright. Follow her on Twitter.

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