As mothers we need to say "no" a lot. There are many safety issues we must deal with, and many things that the answer must just be, "no".
Our world is crazy and kooky and just down-right fallen. Life is not like when we grew up or even like when my own children grew up.
Still~~~~we want to allow childhood to be as free and open as possible. Sometimes we need to think creatively at what can be safe and fun for our little ones where the answer to the question, "can we...?" will be a "YES!".
Years ago we lived on a fairly quiet street. Not much traffic, no side walks or curbs, although there was the grassy indent next to the road which filled with rain with any downpours. My children were little, but not toddlers. They were not allowed to play near the road. They knew the trees they could not go past which would put them in the "no" zone. I would sit on the concrete steps of the house and they would play happily.
One day we had a big downpour, the indent was filled and I was asked if they could play in the "lake" by the road. My son had just received a simple wooden sail boat that year and they wanted to let it sail! The answer was "no," but as I contemplated how it would be so fun for them, I brought them back and talked about how the "lake" is by the road where they can not play. I then explained the new special rules of playing in the "lake".
Those days will never be forgotten by me. They played so joyously, as well as followed every rule. It is good to say , "yes" at times.
Five years later we were in another home, this time on a hill with curbs. They were now older, the move had been okay, and the season very hot and dry. The summer days were full of fun at the new home. Then the day came when we had a wonderful thunderstorm. It rained and rained as we watched from the windows. After a while the thunder stopped, but the rain continued. I said "get your flip flops on!" as I ran to get the big umbrella. They walked and stomped up and down the road along the curbs, with rain gushing down the gutters. Eventually the umbrella was just a prop as they were as wet as their feet. So many laughs and giggles. I am sure the neighbors wondered about us, but another memory was made that will never be forgotten.
As mothers we can be creative to be able to say, "yes" more often even if it is not what they expect. Life is full of "no," so let's keep thinking how we can make memories with "yes".