Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Entonces, mami dice...sí

It isn't something Carlos and I ever actually discussed, I don't think, and I'm not sure exactly how it came about. My best guess is that Carlos got it intuitively, as he seems to do with so many parenting issues, and I read about it somewhere and then started working to implement it. But from the very beginning, we've enjoyed being able to say "yes" to our kids. I was laughing yesterday at how many times both Joel and Ariana completed the following pattern: they would make a request, explain why it was important to them, and Carlos or I would consider it, then we would all join in gleefully on the phrase, "Entonces, mami (o dadi) dice si'." *see footnote

Neither of the kids ever went through the typical toddler phase of saying no to everything, and we try to avoid the typical parent phase of saying no to everything, as well. It is amazing how deeply entrenched it seems to be in our programming. Especially when Ariana was younger, I was surprised at how often my default response was to say no. However, if I stopped to actually consider the request, there really wasn't a reason to veto it. Messy? Possibly. Requiring my attention and assistance? Probably. Dangerous? Usually not, provided the aforementioned attention and assistance, or at least not after a minor modification.

I remember as a kid a friend who wouldn't even ask her parents for permission to do things (and we are talking about things that my fairly conservative parents would have approved without hesitation) because she was pretty sure that the answer would be no. She decided at an early age it was easier on everyone not to even put them (or herself) in that position.

How often do we do that with God? Assume that He will say no, and not even bother to approach Him? Sometimes we may just do things our own way anyway, as if hoping He won't notice. For things that we are unable to wrangle on our own, sometimes we still hesitate to ask, as if it is too extravagant or too frivolous to expect our Father to care.

Being infinite means that nothing is too big OR too small. He cares about flowers and birds, and has even greater love for us. Read Matthew 6:25-34, 7:7-11, Romans 8, and the hundreds of other passages that depict a Daddy who delights in saying yes. You may find that "entonces, Dios dice...si'."

*Entonces...=Then, mami/daddy says yes. By the way, I have often wanted to post Spanish stuff in here, but I have problems with the accents and any other special characters when I hit publish and it refuses to accept the codes. "Si" has an accent mark over the "i"--without it, it means "if". Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice accuracy and just use an apostrophe.


Polly said...

Thank you for visiting my blog! I LOVE SALLY CLARKSON. ;) I can't wait to read more of your posts when I don't have a toddler crawling all over me! Have a great evening.

Polly said...

PS I think you and I have similar viewpoints on certain authors DobsonEzzoetal ;)

Polly said...

Alright, now I've got time and it's my *third* comment. Sorry about that. This post is so true! I say yes to so many things that I think many parents would say no to, but why not?? My grandmother has taught me this. "oh, let him play in some flour while you bake..it's a bit messy {this coming from the CLEANEST woman on earth--a true neat freak} but he'll love it..." Freedom in exploration. Plus, I think then the toddlers listen to you when you do say no because they sort of start to understand that, oh yeah, there must be a reason behind it. at least that's my theory. ;)