Saturday, 18 June 2016

When everything has fallen apart, have a "Yes" day.

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Over the past few weeks, life in this household has been anything but easy.

A terrible terrible flu bug has swept through each and every person in our family and taken down every little person one by one, until it then hit Terry too.

So for 2 weeks straight I held buckets, held back hair, rubbed backs, handed out popsicles, checked temperatures, changed clothes, washed hair in the middle of the night, did millions of loads of laundry, disinfected every inch of the house, stripped bed linens at 3am, comforted whiny, worn out, horribly ill kids, and a horribly ill husband...and tried to keep this family and life together, when everything felt like it was starting to fall apart.

Because when the flu hits a household of kids, everyone goes down fast.

So late night bathroom chats, over the dim light of nightlights, were had by a mom and a poor little girl who was up sick literally all night long.

"It's going to be over soon, the morning is almost here, we're going to get through this together"...anything, anything at all that I could say to ease my poor girls aching body. Because when your kids are sick, a mom's heart breaks just a little every step of the way.

And just when Mya started feeling better, just when the last of the bed sheets were washed and the house was disinfected and we thought we were in the clear, it hit Carter, and then Sophia...and then, just when I thought it was over,  I heard the front door unexpectedly open at 2pm one afternoon, and my poor husband walked in from work looking white as a ghost, and we started up all over again.

So, with Terry's birthday falling in the midst of all of this chaos, and just days before he got sick himself, he came home to a wiped out wife, exhausted, hanging by a thread, sick little girl hanging off of her, cranky baby starting to get sick herself and a big rib dinner that I literally have no memory of putting together--but the cake? Well, easy was the key word here---so a donut cake he got. Thank you bakery. And thank you Terry for never expecting a thing, but being thrilled with some balloons, hand made Happy Birthday signs stuck to the walls, made with whatever white paper I could find and some Crayola scribbles, and cheap party tablecloths and some yummy food.  

So after he got hit days later with this bug, and went down hard, he finally peeled himself from his bed and got himself up and out and feeling better again. So I cleaned the entire house from top to bottom, declaring that the illness was officially done, and woke up the next morning and announced to the kids that it was a special day.

"Today is YES day!" I said to them, all it was pretty much Christmas morning.
And they looked at me like I had maybe lost my mind, but they smiled knowing it must be something good.

"Whatever you ask me today, the answer will be YES", I told them.

Their eyes lit up.

"So throughout the whole day, whatever you ask me, I'll have to say YES, so think carefully about what you ask for".

I saw them trying to figure this out in their heads.
Then Mya piped up and said "Can we have a cookie mom?".

I looked at her, and ignored that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my mommy stomache that screamed "It's 7am! We haven't even eaten breakfast yet. Children can't have cookies at 7am!" and smiled at her and shouted "YES! Let's go pick one!".

And oh my goodness, the joy that this brought.

Beaming children, wide eyed, giggling to eachother as they ran to the kitchen to find their cookie. Because sometimes when it feels like everything has fallen apart, a day of simple joys like cookies at 7am, and kids feeling like this day is as exciting as some special holiday, is worth it.
And just after those big cookies were gone, and breakfast was served, Carter piped up and said "Can we go play outside in our pajamas?"

"YES!" I said. And off we went into the backyard.

Then just as we came in and got ourselves dressed for the day, we heard our front door open and there stood their cousin Oliver, beaming too--"I heard it's YES day here!".

And the kids then proceeded to explain exactly how exciting this was, and exactly how well it works "Ask her anything Oliver--she'll say YES!" Mya told him. "It's so fun--try it!".

And he looked at me all wide eyed--"Can we have a popsicle?!".

"YES! Go ahead!" I said, as I watched all three of them tear over to the freezer.

And the questions then continued...

"Can we play with the hose?" ...


And just as I was about to make lunch..."Can you do all my Barbie's hair with me mom?"

...{insert tired, just about to start something, mom here} "Of course I can Mya!".

"Can we play in the sandbox and pour lots and lots of water into the sand and make mud castles {and get ourselves completely and utterly covered in mud}?"

"Go for it!"

"Can we blow up balloons and draw on them?"

--"Sure thing".

"Can we go swimming 10minutes before dinner is ready?"....

"No problem! Dinner can wait".

"Can we have a dance party?"

"Sure thing--let's crank up that music".

Then Sophia joined in..."Can I have a nap?"

"You got it kiddo".

Anyone else want a nap??? My answer will be YES!

So here is the thing--a YES day can't happen every day. Of course it can't. The word "No" is just as important as the word "Yes".  But in a world where we can find ourselves saying "No" so often to our kids, it's fun to throw all caution to the wind for just one day and let them feel what it feels like to hear YES. And thankfully they're young enough that their requests remained pretty innocent--an extra popsicle and some playground dirt on their pajamas is just plain old fun.

And ultimately, what it did for us that very day was it brought us out of the funk of long days, cranky kids, tired mom, sick dad...and brought some joy to a bunch of little people who also needed a pick-me-up.

A little YES Day can go a long way.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. And happy (early) Father's Day dad and Terry! Love you both.

Erica xo

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