As mom life during quarantine continues, I have seen Frozen 2 at least 30 times. It’s hard not to think—how am I going to get through this without losing my ever-loving mind?
I asked my older kids Belle (15) and Torin (13) if they wanted me to come up with a weekday plan. For example, Monday could be game night, Tuesday could be puzzle night, Wednesday could be video games, etc. They turned me down and said they don’t want a schedule, which honestly is kind of a relief to me. So how are we going to survive this? It became a very simple solution. I say “yes” to whatever I can say yes to (within some reason, of course).
Over the past few weeks, I have had to say no to so many things. I had to say no to Belle when she wanted to hang out at a friend’s house. I said no to Torin riding his bike to meet friends. I said no visiting cousins. I said no and canceled our trip to Florida. I have said no to so many things that I started saying yes to things I wouldn’t normally, because—it feels like grace.
So yeah, I have said yes to watching Frozen 2 multiple times a day because it makes Faith, our 6-year-old, extremely happy. I’ve said yes to eating outside when it’s only in the upper 40’s because the kids just want to go outside. I’ve said yes to Torin to learning how to use a chainsaw under the guidance of my husband. Granted, he did cut his leg, but no stitches needed—a valuable lesson. I’ve said yes to Belle baking a new dessert every single night, realizing this is not going to help my weight at all but worth it. I’ve said yes to Faith climbing in bed with us at night. I’ve said yes to playing video games multiple times and days in a row. I have even said yes to Belle and Faith both putting temporary color in their hair (pink, blue and purple) because why not? I’ve said yes to whatever I can because I have to say no to so many things.
A lot of people, including myself at times, have an image of God that He’s always tough on us. That He always wants more for us or that He’s always going to make us do the hard thing. I absolutely know God calls us to grow, receive discipline, suffer well, and more. But I also know without question, God is full of grace. He’s a God who calls Himself a good father to you and me. Jesus says this about Him:
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” - Luke 11:11-13
In a season of having to say no and to see my kids overcome a level of struggle that is new to them, I also want to be able to say yes to them. To give them some good gifts and overall find ways to relax the tension that this pandemic naturally tries to sneak into our home. And those little gifts are actually growing them too.
You would think saying yes to watching Frozen 2 would actually drive me crazy, and I guess I could let it if I wanted to, but the happiness it brings Faith takes away a moment of craziness. I love having her scream, not sing but scream, the songs. I can see the joy on her face. I love that Belle is becoming an excellent baker, making cakes from scratch and not out of a box, which I could never do. It is so much fun watching her be so creative. I love watching Torin stand by his father and learn how to do things around the house. I have been watching him become a man in front of my eyes over the last couple of weeks.
Don’t get me wrong. There are times we need to take a break from each other, and if someone goes to their room and shuts the door, that is our cue to let them have their space. Because as much as I love all this time together, I know everyone needs some time to decompress and be alone, including the kids.
Most of all, Doug and I also said yes to leaning into this time with our kids.
We’ve said yes to asking our children hard questions. We ask them nightly how they are feeling, mentally, physically, and spiritually. We talk to them about what’s going on inside their head, and surprisingly they are telling us. They are being honest when they are having a bad day or their fears of how long this will last. We are saying yes to them, so they know we care, they know we are in this together and that not only will we get through this, we’ll be stronger and better for it.