I Could Have Said “No” Today


A mom holding her son at the kitchen table.I could have said “No” today.

No, because we’re in a rush. No, because I don’t want there to be another mess. No, because I want to sit for a minute. No, because to be honest, Mommy doesn’t feel like that right now.

I could have said “No” when you asked to jump in the shower with me before school this morning. But then I would have missed your sweet preschool voice belting out U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

I could have said “No” when you asked for waffles for breakfast. But I would have missed out on smiles and whipped cream and happy faces on our way out to school.

I could have said “No” when you asked if you could paint, but I wouldn’t have the picture of a giant heart hanging on my fridge.

I could have said “No” when you asked if we could take the dog to the beach instead of our usual route. There wouldn’t be so much sand in my car, but I also wouldn’t have this shell necklace you made around my neck.

I could have said “No” to helping me make dinner, but I would have missed out on all the knock-knock jokes you heard at school.

I could have said “No” to extra snuggles before bed, but I wouldn’t have heard so much about your day if I had told you to go to bed on your own.

There are plenty of times to say “No” during the day, and most times, I have to say it. No, you can’t run in the parking lot, no, we can’t buy another toy, no, we can’t have ice cream for dinner, no, you can’t watch another show. No, you can’t have a phone, no, you have to do your homework, and no, you can’t see your friends after school today.

That’s why I look for times during the day to say an unexpected yes, even when I don’t want to, especially when the only reason I’m not saying yes is because “no” would be easier.

I could have said “no” all day today, but I’m looking for more times to say “yes.” I know sometimes it makes us slower, messier, or more tired. But I think it makes us happier too.

Do you find yourself in the habit of always saying no? Where can you start to say yes?


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