Today I said yes

She unearthed the stamps and ink pads I had hidden in the back of the closet.

Oooohhh, Mommy! Can I use these?

And, oh, how I wanted to say no.

Gifted to her nearly three years ago, I’ve let her use them once.

Because I’ve been saving them.¬†For what, I’m not sure.

Like china that sits in the cabinet for special occasions, they languished in the closet.

But today I said yes.

Though my inner control freak wanted to tell her not to mix the inks, I held back and let her create.

And I am so happy that I did.

Because she’s a kid and her only job is to explore her world.

And it’s my job to watch her.

Those of you who have been around for a while, you know that I’ve come a long way.

And that makes me so happy.


  1. So fun! I have a hard time letting go during craft time too :P I am working on it.

  2. Leigh Ann

    Oh, I struggle with this too! It took me way too long to remind myself that a) play doh is super cheap, and b) we have a TON of it anyway, so who cares if the colors get mixed? I'm trying to be more of a "why not?" mom too these days. The delight in their eyes when I say yes is priceless.

  3. Laura

    I constantly have to sit back and remind myself that my 2 year old is a *child* and that he should be playing and exploring. The cars on the floor and the toys pulled out of his toy chest means that he is imagining and exploring and learning how to be a person in this world. My aversion to the mess is so not nearly as important as his childhood. It is so easy to forget though.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  4. mosey (kim)

    Ah yes. Taking our own twitchy fingers off the controls. I'm 8 years in and still figuring that one out.

  5. Sherri

    Oh, this is HUGE for you…and I know it is easier for us to say no to those things. But better for them if we can make ourselves say yes.

    And that smile says it all. So sweet…

  6. angela

    Yay you! Abbey mixes the inks, too. But that doesn't make me cringe as much as the forty-eight pounds of glitter that ended up on Dylan's floor today . . . Sigh.

    Katie looks so happy, and that's well worth any browned up from mixing ink stamp pads :)

  7. babybabylemon

    Yay! go you! Somehow in my reader I skipped over the title of this post and thought it was someone else's blog post. I was reading it, thinking "that's funny. This sounds exactly like Nichole." And then I got to the picture of Katie's adorable face and all was right with the world.

  8. Elizabeth

    Can totally relate. My girls love to watercolor and well…mixing is part of the fun, I guess. It's good letting our hair down a bit, isn't it?! =)

  9. ksluiter

    Look at you not even putting newspaper or anything down underneath! I love messes. It's a bit of a problem. I hate cleaning them up, but I love to watch how much fun Eddie has with a mess. I sort of want him to get an easel and paints for his birthday!

  10. Sarah Caron

    Saying 'yes' can be the hardest thing, I think. But it's so, so worth it.

    Now, tell me more about those adorable stamps. I want to order some for summer rainy day fun.

  11. Julia

    I love this! I also have a problem with the "yes" on messy projects, because I really love having a clean house. But some days, it is so worth it!

  12. twertman

    I love this and can completely identify! It's not only good for us but out of this world great for them when we say yes. Just look at that amazing twinkle in her eyes. So happy.

  13. TheKirCorner

    I get this…oh how I get this. I hate a mess, I have no problem saying YES to things that aren't markers or glittery..but oh the MESS, something in me just clicks and loses it…(does that sound familiar) . But you're so right, our job is to let them be kids, to let them get messy and dirty and spotted with ink…and i'm trying. Thank you for being an inspiration for that today. xo

  14. John

    I'm far from a control freak . . . far . . . but even I'm cringing at the thought of cleanup here. I'm so glad it turned out well :-)

    I fear how quickly I'd say "yes," if smiles like that were guaranteed.

  15. Jaime

    Yay Nichole!!! You should totally come to my house…you will either die of a heart attack or feel way better about your sense of organization! Hahaha!

  16. julie gardner

    Look at that face.
    She is simply lit up with joy.

    "Yes" is a powerful word.

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