Oooooo this is going to be good. I love Mommy Says Yes Day. It’s also known as Yes Day, Parents Say Yes Day, Daddy Says Yes Day... whatever you prefer. In our house, Matthew requests that he not be involved in the mayhem so it’s “MSYD” for us. Haha!
This was born from a post my friend made in the summer of 2012 about giving her kids a “yes day”. It just so happened that 8/31 was coming up and that happened to be a Blue Moon and what better day to have as a “Yes Day”?! We were still feeling the sting of the divorce and my kiddos needed a day to be carefree and super happy.
I explained it to Isabelle and Carlee who at the time were 6 and 3.5. Isabelle was completely shocked and it took a good few hours for it to sink in. “You’ll say yes to... anything?” she had said hesitantly.
Carlee needed no pause. “CAN I HAVE ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST???”
“CAN I USE A LOLLIPOP FOR A SPOON?”
Isabelle came in with, “can I have peas for breakfast?”
“Yes”. Fuckin weirdo.
Then she stuck a toe in the water, “Maybe I’ll have a lollipop after breakfast.” There’s my girl!
Peas and ice cream were had and the day progressed.
Eventually, we developed two sets of rules.
“ABC and LMNOP”
Those two rules pretty much give me the flexibility to veto anything really awful. It’s inconsiderate to sit and watch tv all day. It costs money to buy any kind of candy they want so I just make sure my cupboards are stocked with thinks I’m okay with them gorging on. It’s one day. The sugar-desires always start out huge but sugar isn’t a forbidden fruit in our house and they self regulate really well. They usually ask for a bizarre dinner and for one night, I am a short-order cook but it’s worth it.
The first one was SUCH a success that we decided to make it a thing that happened every Blue Moon. Here we are 7 years later and my kids have yet to miss one... they know that the next blue moon is 10/31/20 and I’m a bit nervous about the sugar on that day but again, they self-regulate fairly well.
In the past, we’ve had pre-planned outings and that helps with the SUPER crazy requests inside my house.
Really though, this is an exercise in stopping and slowing down as a large, busy family. Saying “yes” to the most absurd little things that would normally exhaust me (“Can I play with play doh 10 minutes before bedtime?!”) bring so much joy to them. Even the things that would maybe embarrass more civilized parents (“Can I wear my pajamas to the mall?!”) make me smile because these little monsters are SO happy skipping along looking like a ragamuffin. I have in the past steered them towards things I wanted to do. For example, Baskin Robins has “.31 scoop day” on the 31st of every month and Blue Moons often fall on the 31st so that is super handy.
My advice? Don’t think. Just do it. You won’t regret it and you’ll collapse after bedtime with a full heart.
Here are some highlights:
Glad you asked!!! For this answer, we need to go back a long time ago (1994) to a galaxy far far away (Ballard). Picture an incredibly awkward 11 year old Kate. She didn’t have loads of friends and she was really “weird”. Her parents thought it would be cool to send this awkward preteen to a summer camp at a community center in Ballard where she didn’t know anyone other than her sisters. It turned out to be a brilliant idea... she could have a fresh start! This summer camp had an annual talent show and the boys she was hanging out with were going to do a mashup of Star Wars scenes. They needed someone to play "Princess Leia" and from the sounds of it, she wasn't really the stereotypical princess Kate first imagined. She’d heard of Star Wars, of course, she didn't live under a rock. She’d even seen a few scenes over the years. She joined up with the boys and asked to be Leia. The talent show was the highlight of her summer and she was hooked. She learned about the ways of the Force and she wore a white dress and put her short hair in the smallest little buns possible. She got to be Leia and she got to be Boushh. She went back home to start middle school with a confidence she hadn’t had at the beginning of the summer. She'd even achieved that classic tween goal of having a mutual crush on a boy and then he CALLED HER ON THE PHONE.
It was the best summer of my awkward little life thus far.
That Christmas, my mom gave me a boxed set of the original trilogy on VHS. To this day it’s one of my favorite gifts and most treasured possession. It was what I watched when I was sick and parked home on the couch in junior high and high school. While others watched "The Price is Right" on sick days, I joined rebel forces on Endor.
It followed me to California when I joined AmeriCorps and helped me feel less homesick, it kept me company through my foot surgeries and two weeks of strict bedrest... twice.
When Isabelle was born, John got me LEGO: Star Wars for the XBox and I had a way to pass the time with a small Isabelle nursing in my arms (she was born pre-smart phones). I balanced the her on the boppy on my wrists and played through all of the films as any character I wanted to be.
The boxed trilogy followed me when I needed to gain confidence again. I sought the power of Leia as I navigated my divorce and life as a single mom. I sat in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon and suddenly I wasn't totally by myself while I gestated a small Scarlett in my duplex alone.
I incorporated Star Wars into my online dating profile as a way to filter out the duds. It worked better than I ever thought it would. I asked prospective suitors what their preferred SW viewing order was and waited for the replies. Most were actually “I’ve never seen them but I’ll watch them with you, hot stuff.” (BARF) Or “I start at episode 1 (🚨) and go up from there.” Or “I like the old ones so I start there and then watch the first three” (clearly someone googled). Basically I wanted to look for intelligent answers... someone who had actually put thought into it and men who didn’t include Episode 1 without a damn good reason. Matthew had the best answer. He introduced me to “machete order” and I was ready to walk down the aisle that day. More importantly, he asked me what my preferred viewing order was and didn’t automatically suspect that I’d stuck that question in there to falsely impress the geeks. He was impressed by my answer, the ice was broken and a bond was forged.
Today is the day I get to watch the last episode of the 9 part Skywalker saga. I’m anticipating Leia’s death. I’m not ready for it but I never will be. It feels like losing an old friend or a beloved aunt. She saw me through so many dark times in my life and I am grief stricken at the thought of losing any new possibilities of her presence.
I’ll always have “Empire Leia” though... tucked safely in its VHS box in my closet, untouched by George Lucas’ bullshit additions and completely lacking a slimy slithering CGI Jabba. She waits for the next dark time in my life, clad in her white puffy coat on Hoth, eye rolling at Han, directing the men and leading the rebellion with the strength that I always found lacking in cocky Anakin, whiny Luke and that spoiled brat Kylo.
She is the heart of the saga for me and many others... may the force be with you, Leia (Skywalker) Organa, Princess of Alderaan and General of the Rebellion.
Every year I spend a good few hours at Costco.com making one. Then I print 50, stuff 20 and hand them out to whomever I see on Christmas Day. Let’s be real, most everyone I care about follows me and my crew on Facebook so a card would be pics they’ve already seen and a letter full of information they know.
However, this year I saw someone write “brutally honest” Christmas letters so I decided to give it a go...
If you want a copy, print it. You’re welcome.
*~*~*~ holiday squiggles *~*~*~*~
Dewey-Rollins Christmas Letter 2019
Elijah: Age 4.5. Attends Gloria Dei Lutheran Pre-K where he’s learned to write his name in capital and lower case, and he’s learned that John the Baptist (aka “Jeebuses cousin”) ate crickets “just like my gecko!” He’s super into cheese omelettes lately and has a YouTube channel with one video of himself singing “Mamma Mia” that he watches constantly. His dream is to have a play date with Ryan from YouTube. If you don’t know who that is, consider yourself lucky. He’s a monstrously annoying 8 year old millionaire.
Scarlett: Still missing two front teeth, the Dewey tooth fairy is definitely considering an IRA at this point. She’s excelling in third grade despite “talking a lot, all the time, whenever time is passing, to people who are ignoring her” according to teacher Mackenzie. Scarlett is pretty obsessed with her cat, Domino who won’t stop humping his brother, Pineapple, so we’re all excited for their kitty-ball-snipping surgery in January.
Carlee: Ran for ASB class rep and won this year. Will run for President in 2044. Will cut you if you don’t vote for her. We’re equally proud and fucking terrified. She’s currently studying feminism and is one of the leaders of her schools “Pineapple cult” which we’re allowing because apparently anyone is invited as the the Pineapple is the international symbol for hospitality. Still doesn’t like sour cream.
Jackson: Has spent less of this year grounded than last, so it’s a total win. He’s continuing to rock his hearing aids despite mom having Bluetooth access and randomly playing Disney songs from Spotify when she’s feeling punchy. He really enjoys books about kids who kill each other (“Last Kids on Earth” and “Hunger Games”) so we’ve decided he doesn’t need therapy any more, he’s got a healthy outlet for his frustrations of being 1 of 5.
Isabelle: She totally “doesn’t” have a boyfriend and we totally “don’t” talk about it. She’s in her last year at Cascade K-8 which thrills her as she is VERY ready for high school but mom keeps weeping every time she says that so she’s stopped. Mostly. We got her an “anxiety Beta fish” this year and a little zebra snail named “Gary” to clean its tank but we’re pretty sure Gary died in transport. I haven’t checked. Isabelle is still our favorite. Don’t tell the others.
Matthew and Kate: Still married. Still like each other. Are REALLY enjoying the no-baby phase of this life they share. Isabelle can babysit so they’ve made excellent use of Regal Theater’s Unlimited pass. They’re pretty sure Regal didn’t think that one through. Kate will see Star Wars:9 at least 10 times. Matt will let her if he knows what’s good for him. They’ve decided they’ll have one more baby if it ever becomes possible to gestate a Baby Yoda.
*~*~*~ more holiday squiggles *~*~*~*~
We don’t have family photos done yet, so y’all get this. It’s my new favorite things and it makes me really REALLY happy to see this song get the ending it was always meant to have.
1) Scarlett is in second grade.
2) Gary is dead. Isabelle scooped him out 2 months ago
3) My nominations for “Mother of The Year” hasn’t been revoked. God knows why.