He has blue eyes, big and round and full of curiosity. Why does it turn that way? What makes it go? If I push this button what will happen?
“Hell peas,” He says when he runs down the hallway to my kitchen. I am up to my elbows in dishes or forming the granola into bars, and he clamors at my feet and his chubby fingers pinch my hand with expectation that I will come and “help, please”.
His name is Kyle and I get to chase after him and love on him three days a week. He is joy and curiosity and laughter and frustration and sweetness all packaged up in a 2 ½ foot, thirty-something pound figure. He washes my walls and toys and woodwork (almost every day he’s here) with his own wet rag, shouting “Clean!”, and finger paints in his breath marks on my windows while he watches the buses and trucks on Water Street go “beep, beep”.
My life, my heart, and my home have grown larger since Kyle started coming. I’m not sure what I’d do without his charming little presence in my life. Every day with Kyle is discovery around here.
One of the things I have quickly discovered is how easy it is to be a babysitter (and maybe a mother, too?) and become a “no-person”. “Don’t touch that.” “No-no.” “Uh-oh! Don’t play with that!” “Not right now.”
It isn’t wrong from the perspective of boundaries. My inexperienced opinion is that children feel far more secure and are much happier (in the end) when they know what is and isn’t expected, especially when that is and isn’t is consistently upheld.
It’s okay to say no when no begs to be said.
But I’m learning, then, how important it is to not forget…to say yes.
“Good job!” “Wow! You did that?” “You are so great!” “Look what you did!” “Give me five.”
His eyes light up and he wants to do it again, even better this time.