I have really been trying to say yes this summer. Yes to ice cream and swimming and friends. Yes to exercising and campouts in my bedroom floor. Yes to just doing nothing.
I’ve been focusing on relaxing and letting go of the control that I love so much, and at times it has been a little scary. Like when I gave Charlie and Maddie knives and told them they could cut up their own apples when they asked. I cringed with every slice.
Sometimes, saying yes has made me really uncomfortable. Charlie wanted to rearrange his bedroom last week, so I trudged upstairs and moved furniture around while he gave me instructions. I began organizing his overcrowded bookshelf (it’s holding all of his crafts from the summer, which is a lot) and he was like, “What are you doing?” He was seriously offended that I was messing with his stuff. He said, “Can I put that back?” and of course I had to say “Sure. It’s your room, you can decorate it however you like.” So now his bookshelf is stuffed with crafts and Legos and Lego boxes and stuffed animals and all of the boards he has broken in karate. There are a few books on there, but you can’t see them. My type-A self just keeps picturing that bookshelf.
Last month I said yes to something that made me both scared and extremely uncomfortable. Several weeks ago, Maddie stood in front of the cabinet in our kitchen that is full of my good wedding china. She said, “Why can’t we ever use this? Let’s use it.” She wanted to have a dinner party for Aunt Betty, who was packing for her move back to Florida. I thought for a minute, then agreed.
Maddie checked out a book on parties from the library, made a menu, and invited Aunt Betty (who is actually her great-great aunt) for a fancy dinner. Everyone was instructed to wear their nice clothes and given strict orders that there was no burping or pooting at the party, and you must say the prayer or you would be asked to leave. She was serious.
We had great fun planning the party and getting ready that day. Charlie and Maddie were so excited to use our nice china and crystal, and to see my MeMa’s silver. My heart nearly beat out of my chest while I watched Maddie carrying those plates full of food across the kitchen to the table, and I held my breath the entire time they were filling the crystal glasses with ice. I actually practiced how I would react if one of them dropped a plate or glass on the tile floor, because I was pretty sure that was going to happen and I didn’t want to overreact when it did.
As you can see, it was a lovely dinner in spite of my discomfort!