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I was walking out of Kroger yesterday, and suddenly I was gripped by nostalgia. Years ago when my children were young, there was a little mechanical horse outside of our Kroger, and it only cost a penny to ride it! Well, needless to say, this was an absolute highlight for my kids each time we would go to the grocery store, because I would let each and every one of them ride that little red horse. Sometimes one by one, sometimes with a bigger kid hugging a younger sibling in front of them on the saddle, or two little buddies that wanted to ride together.

A simple thing, but I hadn’t thought of it in ages, and as the memory of that swept upon me through the cold winter air, tears came to my eyes as I thought of it. I texted each of my six kids and asked, “Remember when you kids were little and we’d stop on our way out of Kroger to ride the mechanical horse?” and each one from oldest to the youngest texted back, commenting on how fun that was and how much they loved it.

I tried to imagine myself as I must’ve been back in those days. Grocery shopping with a young brood of children, certainly 2, 3, 4, or more in tow each and every time. And certainly pregnant for many of those years as well. We often had two carts of groceries that we were bringing out, because I only shopped every two weeks, and it felt like a major event in both planning and energy and logistics!

I imagined the patience it must’ve taken to get us through the store, to field the many requests for items, to constantly keep in mind my very modest grocery budget, enduring my hurting back while largely pregnant, and anticipating the awaiting process of unloading and putting away at home.

It would’ve been easy to say no and keep on walking to the van, but that mom said yes. Yes to the penny horse. Yes to the smiles and laughter. Yes to the simple joy of a little ride for small children that were out on errands with their mommy.

I want to encourage you today to be a mom that says YES.

Yes to the penny horse.
Yes to bundling up the whole bunch of kids into winter gear to go sledding for 20 minutes, and then have them all turn around and come back in. (filling the back door with soggy mittens and boots and coats!)
Yes to hot cocoa.
Yes to one more chapter of the book they love.
Yes to making tents and eating popcorn and family movie nights.
Yes to playing board games and working puzzles at the kitchen table.

In fact, my wish would be for you to say YES to as many happy things as you can. Make it your default answer. Save your No’s for the times when it has to be that way. But be a Yes mom, as much as you can. Because when you look back at the years you spent with your kids during their childhood, you are going to love what you see, and so are they.

They get one childhood, and thanks to homeschooling, we get to be a huge part of that. Make it a good one.

Lots of love to you and yours,