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Being a YES Mom

chinese boy and his mother at garden

When I was a kid, we went swimming a lot. My grandma lived in this great condominium complex and hardly anyone used the pool. That meant that my brothers and I had the pool largely to ourselves almost every day in the summer. It was a deep pool — four feet or so in the shallow end — so that meant that it was a chilly pool even on the hottest days. But being kids, we didn’t care.

On occasion, my parents would take us in to swim in the evenings. My parents would usually opt out of swimming. Now that I’m older, I totally get it: That water was damn cold, and it feels different to my old brittle bones than to the young bones of children. But when they would brave the frigid water and get in, it was like Christmas in July. Nothing was better than having the parents do something fun like that with us. Parents! In the pool! Swimming with us!

I see that same excitement in my kids when I get involved with their activities. I’ve tried to bottle that feeling so that when they ask me to do something fun or something decidedly kid-centric, I do it. I try to ignore the cold or the mess when it makes me hesitate. When you decide to say yes, not only are you going to have fun — even if you’re terrible at the monkey bars or will look silly doing hopscotch — but you’ll make your kids’ day and you’ll be more active. So whether it’s riding bikes as a family, playing on the swing set, or going down the slide at the playground, try saying “yes” the next time your kiddo wants you to join in on the fun. You’ll rarely regret it.

When’s the last time you did something ridiculously childlike for your kids’ sake? Jumping around in two feet of snow was it for me!Erin

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