Bedtime has come and gone. Songs have been sung. Pillows have been fluffed. Blankets have been tucked in. Kisses have been placed on foreheads. The dog has received his last head pat. Off to dreamland we go.
Only we forgot something.
“Mommy, what will Monday bring?”
Our dear Sage needs to have a sense of “what’s next?” It is a regular question in our days, and it helps her organize her world. Tonight during our nighttime routine we forgot to talk about what tomorrow will bring. Since last Monday was a day off, she’s not sure.
“You’re right, tomorrow is Monday, and tomorrow is a school day. Okay?”
“Awwww. I cannot say okay Mommy. Good night and sweet dreams.”
My wife and I crack up in the bathroom, “does she have any idea how funny she is?” “Oh my gosh, so darn cute.” But then we stumble on the gem, “But honestly, she’s right. Honey, I have to work tomorrow, and I ‘cannot say okay.'”
“I cannot say okay.” She’ll do it, and she’ll bring her best to it. It’ll be hard, and there will be moments that are painful and challenging. Others will be easy and joyful. She will persevere, but school is not easy for her. She’ll do it, but she “cannot say okay.”
I admire that so much. How many times are we doing things that we just don’t find okay? Let’s claim it, embrace it! Picking up dog poop? It has to be done, I’ll do it, but I cannot say okay. Sometimes it may be in the face of things I’m just not interested in, but other times it can be confronting inequity or injustice:
- Offering shelter to another family fleeing violence: it’s important, critical, and I will surely do it, but I cannot say okay.
- Confronting racism in the grocery store: I am an ally and it has to be done, but I cannot say okay.
- Addressing street harassment: It is scary and vulnerable, but I cannot say okay.
- Shopping at a more expensive store because I know they pay their workers fair wages: It’s the right thing to do, but I hate how it hurts my wallet, and I cannot say okay.
Like so much that we talk about here on CTWorkingMoms, if we’re seeking to help create and embrace a more accepting and non-judgmental community, that also requires some honesty from all of us. It isn’t always easy. We don’t always want to fill.in.the.blank, and we’re not always enjoying the ride. We do what we do because it matters, but we cannot always “say okay.”
Honesty feels good.