When we drove past a local park yesterday, Joshua as usual sighed, "I hope I can play at that park one day." With a quick glance at the clock, I recalled my earlier spontaneity commitment and I turned into the park. I smiled as I could 'hear' shocked smiles and 'yeses' in the seats behind me.
I sat in the car listening to Drew fight about being left in his car seat, and chatted on and off with Megan as she went back and forth from being young enough to play on a park toy to being too old to play on a park toy.
And in my defense before the real story begins. I gave fair warning at ten minutes, five minutes and two minutes that play time was winding down...
Into the car returned Megan. Followed by Luke. Joshua straggled slowly behind. And then came the first call, then the second, all the while Ellie went into her 'fifth amendment' mode. (If you know Ellie, you can picture the scene well.)
Ellie stood and stared, ignoring my kind pleas to get in the car.
(Wanting to capture stubborn moments more frequently on camera, to have frequent evidence to blame Mike for 'the gene' he passed down to Ellie, I got out my camera.)
My kind pleas, began to get an unkind tone to them:
By now the four buckled up children were getting inpatient too. I blame what happens next on another commitment I made a few weeks ago, that in addition to more spontaneity, I would try my hardest to say 'yes' more than 'no'. .
Luke, ever-thinking-outside-of-the-box-Luke, has a suggestion. And Luke, the always-prepared-cub-scout-Luke, announced as he gets out of the car,
"I'll go rope her."
And then it was over.
It was a good thing we were the only ones at the park as the kind pleas were long forgotten as I walked towards my children, telling Luke to remove the rope and go buckle up and with an added touch to the bum, firmly told Ellie to GET!IN!THE!CAR!NOW!
And all that because I made a commitment to do and be better.
Guess I'll keep to my rigid schedules and say no...
Spontaneity and saying yes more, doesn't work so well for us.