They will say no most of the time.
When you ask them to watch a movie on a Friday night.
Or go for a walk after dinner.
Or search for sand crabs on a warm summer evening on a beach vacation.
But sometimes, if you are lucky, you get a yes.
It might be begrudgingly or with a small dose of smug attitude. It may be because of some guilt you dropped or a promise to let them do something else the next evening of their choosing. It may even be the result of a little threat from Dad.
But sometimes, if you are lucky, you get a yes from your big kid to do something together, and for a brief moment, time stands still like a portrait an artist doesn’t want to finish because he doesn’t want to give it to someone else.
And the moment after they say yes, you hear the giggle you fell in love with so many years ago when playing LEGOs or hosting tea parties or letting her walk around in your favorite heels.
Or you feel the familiar warmth of a hand, now larger than yours, that rests comfortably in your palm from years of walking through parking lots or crossing busy streets.
Or you see a smile cross your daughter’s face, one you’ve seen a million times when you used to walk into a room, and you are so grateful for just one more appearance.
In these challenging teenage years, they will say no most of the time because that is what they are supposed to do.
In saying no—to be with their friends, to forge new paths, to figure out who they are meant to be—they prepare themselves for their future and they prepare us for our new world as well. A world where we are no longer the center of their universe.
But sometimes, when we are lucky, we get a yes. And it’s up to us to make the most of it.
There is still so much magic to be had with our big kids, with our growing kids, with our kids who are no longer kids.
And I plan on taking advantage of every yes because I always want them to know I’ll never stop asking for just one more moment with them.
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