Mother's Day weekend we planned to grill for dinner but wouldn't you know it, the grey clouds and rain rolled in. Our grill is under the patio, so we decided to cook up our meat outdoors anyway and eat inside.
Now let me explain to you what happens when James goes out to grill (which is right next to the sliding glass door) and the kids can't go outside with him....it is as though James has gone out to play in a giant pool of melted chocolate and is mockingly waving to our sugar-loving children from the other side of the glass door...or maybe as if he's gone out to some secret party full of bouncy houses, ice cream buffets and an inviting pit of dirt (for Jack). They lose their minds. There is crying...desperation as they attempt to maneuver that darn lock keeping the glass panel between them and bliss closed...lots of pounding on the glass...and crying. Did I mention that one already?
You get the idea. So yeah, we let them out. We said they could go out and sit at the table under the patio while Dad grilled. But the lure of the soft rain was too much for them. Three sets of shoes and three hoods later, off they went.
Mia, who had been wearing a bathing suit all day (there was no swimming, just wishful sunshine thinking), happily twirled around in her swim cover up and rainboots. They she says, "Mama! This is so great! We've never ever ever played in the rain before!". Don't be silly, of course you have....oh wait. No you haven't!
Nothing like a "you've robbed us of our childhood for the past 4 years and are finally letting us be children!" line from your 4 1/2 year old, to send you into a mommy-guilt stupor.
I guess this just reinforces the theme of our Boys Will Be Boys post....we've spent a lot of time saying "no" to things because it means there will a mess to clean up later, we might get a little wet/dirty/slimey ourselves, it will be loud, something (or someone) could break, or it just requires effort from us that we aren't up for giving. There are also times we say "no" out of a genuine concern for safety or because it's not the right time/place for the acitivty.
We are trying to be more conscious of those times we are saying "no" from a place of selfishness, laziness or fear. "No" is not a bad word for our children. They need healthy boundaries. But they also need the freedom to be children and say, play in the rain.....even if it means muddy shoes and soggy clothes. Because even though it leads to a dirty, wet pile at the end, it can also lead to this.....
That sweet, snotty-nosed boy was simply giddy. They all were. And you know...the cleanup wasn't too bad and they all slept great.