Have you watched “Yes Day?”
The recently released Netflix movie is based on the premise of a mom and dad who say “yes” to their kids for 24 hours. The parents feel guilt over all the typical answers of “no” and decide to spend a 24-hour period of time simply saying yes.
Well, it’s a movie. And are things really ever simple in a movie? No. Because then no one would watch. But let me say it’s a hilarious hour and a half of all the things that could happen when you tell your kids yes for a 24-hour period.
Its hilarity masks a truth, though.
Don’t we all feel some guilt over the avalanche of nos? And the absence of yeses?
Before we had kids, I still remember a parent talking at a conference we attended, and she said “say more yeses.” No one called me mom, but there I was thinking “Ok. I’ll file that in my ‘things I really want to do as a mom’ box.” Fast forward 16 years (because our oldest turned 16 last month and I felt all the things about that). The desire to say yes more is still there. But sometimes, it’s so hard. Right? And it’s not that I want to say yes to all the things they ask for. It’s that I want to say yes to all the time they ask for.
Sometimes it’s the simple things. My youngest walked in the room before bedtime and asked if I could do double french braids for her before school in the morning.
But can I be honest? My first thought was “that takes 10 extra minutes and mornings are already a struggle.” I wanted to say no. But double braids it was the following day.
Mom, can you walk with me around the neighborhood?
But my head says “but I wanted to do just one more load on laundry.”
But the yes keeps us fueled with memories, stops to remind of us the love we have and breaks the monotony of a life lived with a to-do list with no deviation. It’s a yes to noticing them. It’s a yes to hearing their stories and stepping into their world. It’s a yes to letting them feel loved. So simple, but sometimes so hard.
We have a fairly long road into our neighborhood. The road is what my kids consider their “practice ground” for driving. As we pulled into the neighborhood, they used to crawl on my lap and steer the car. Now that they’re older, we swap seats, and they “drive” us home. But so many days, I give a quick no.
“Mom, it’s my turn to drive in the neighborhood today. Can I?”
“No, we need to get home so that we can hurry up and leave again.”
It’s the typical response. I don’t want to take a few extra minutes. But a yes would be so easy and not even be that much more time. So why does the no fly out of my mouth instead of a yes?
“Mom, can we stop by the animal shelter and see the kittens?”
My girls asked this question repeatedly two summers ago. My ‘no’ grew wearisome to them so they convinced the babysitter to take them. Why couldn’t I have simply said yes?
These days are gone before we know it, and we will wish we said more yeses and spent just a little more time. My to-do list often takes precedence over my to-love list. We love our people by giving them our time and a whole lot of our heart.
What if we said yes as quick as we said no? Spontaneous fun would erupt into memories that we will laugh about for years. So here’s to more yeses and less nos. More time spent together and less stress of endless lists. More yes and less no. I’m pretty sure your loved ones will approve. POV