The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Say Yes

You asked me for the cardboard box.

I wanted to say, “It needs to be recycled.”

But instead I gave it to you, and you created a castle.

You asked me for three plastic bags. 

I wanted to say, “Those are for the trash.”

But instead I handed them to you, and you made a shirt and a pair of pants.

You asked me for the empty water bottle.

I wanted to say, “We need that to fill up for the playground.”

But instead I handed it to you, and you showed me you could drum a perfect beat.

You asked me for a page from my magazine.

I wanted to say, “We don’t tear magazines.”

But instead I handed one to you, and you showed me you were a master of origami.

You asked me for your old cowboy boots.

I wanted to say, “Those don’t fit you anymore.”

But instead I found them for you, and you told me, “The sheriff’s in town.”

You asked me to put on your favorite song.

I wanted to say, “We’ve heard it so many times.”

But instead I played it and listened to you sing completely in tune.

You asked me for a roll of tape.

I wanted to say, “We’re almost out.”

But instead I gave it to you and watched you create a sculpture.

You asked to tear open a teabag.

I wanted to tell you, “That’s messy.”

But instead I said yes and marveled as you created a city in miniature out of leaves. 

Even when I want to say no

You ask me to say yes.

And I marvel at what I would miss.

About Samantha

Samantha Hines lives with her family in Newport, RI, and is a high school English teacher (twenty-four years and running). In the last several years, she has published in ADDitude and Adoptive Families magazines; and her blog, My Three Sons, was named by Adoptive Families as one of the Top Twenty Adoption Blogs on the internet. She is also the author of "Different Drummer," a blog about her son who was recently diagnosed with ADHD. In September 2012, she began her Ph.D. in Humanities at Salve Regina University. You can follow My Three Sons on Facebook and her blog at

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  • Thank you all so, so much for your kind words. Edgar reminds me every day to appreciate his way of seeing the world.

  • This was just so beautiful to read. My kids are so creative like that, and too often I say no when I should say yes. Thanks for the reminder!

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  • I love this so much Samantha.

  • Karen

    Such a beautiful commentary on all of those true individuals (our children) who ask us to look and live outside the box.

  • Maureen Donoghue Maurer

    I love this – responsive and creative parenting! Just goes to show how much you learn from your children!

  • Richard

    It’s always difficult to say “no” and now we know why no actually means yes. Sometimes a child’s creative mind senses something beyond our wildest dreams. Ahh, to be young again. I love it! Richard

  • Catherine

    It is so much easier to say NO than YES .And yet…

  • Lori

    WOW, WOW, WOW! I love this and it so resonates with me. Thank you for these important reminders about how much there is to marvel at when we relax and say “yes!”