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Happy Birthday to Lincoln Joseph, who is 8 today. I could wax poetic about how he’s growing up too fast (he is) but we just had a couple of really fun hours with him.

He had the option of the traditional family party … or a YES Day. Have you heard of this? Me either. It goes like this: 

He gets to ask for whatever he wants, do whatever he wants, go wherever he wants to go – all within reason of course – with whichever members of his family that he wants. (His first ask was at the crack of dawn, when he asked if he could get up for the day. Ugh Yes.)

I’ll be honest and say I was disappointed about no party, but then I realized we could play along. Except I hadn’t gotten his present yet … I had a plan but it had not been accomplished yet. I ended up giving him $25 … so lame. 

But instead of being disappointed, I asked for him to come over here for a bit, if he chose to of course. He did.

June 4, 2022

Dear Lincoln,    

Happy birthday!! 8 is a lot of years! We’re so happy to be your Nini and Papa –

And spending time with you is really fun. Can’t wait for Nini Camp!

Ok so you can use this money these 3 ways, your choice. 

1. Keep it and spend it however you want. 

2. Give it to me to keep for Nini Camp.

3. Hang on to it until Tuesday and I will take you shopping to get some stuff for your fort! I have some good ideas. 

Also, I heard it was yes day today! So you may have 2 yes’s right now from me and Papa! Anything within reason, like go to the park, play uno, have Nini toast, play creepy baby – you choose whatever you want. 

We love you oh so much!

Nini and Papa

He got this fabulous costume at a garage sale on the way – “THE WHOLE COSTUME!!” 

Of course he had to go put it on. 

And he wore it for the rest of his YES-visit. 

His first ask? Go Fish. With me, his dad and his big sister. (This kid whoops everyone in the family at chess and he picks Go Fish. One of a million things to love.)

We played two games, then Lex and I got cut. Just a boy and his dad now, the competition was fierce, voices rose, there were exclamations of joy and defeat and cries of “BRO!” and “Oh MAAAAN!!” and “COME ON!” In the end they tied, which was a pretty good place to end.

Ask #2? To go play at my park with his dad. (It IS my park, after all, for they deemed it to be Nini’s Park some 13 years ago.) 

All the rest of us were cheerfully invited, but only Dad had to say yes. So we all cheerfully declined, and the two of them headed for the park.

Yes. This is it. He’s HUGE for it, yet he still wants to go every time he visits.

And that was a wrap! It was lovely, better than a party, and it really makes me wonder about kids and traditions, and nostalgia. Go Fish, we’ve been playing since he could pick up cards. He still has me read The Cat In the Hat to him at every sleepover. He always wants my Nini toast for breakfast. And he always enjoys himself on the silly playground.

For the longest time I’ve thought that these were simply traditions or rituals, comforting and enjoyable. But today, on his YES Day – his choices felt nostalgic to me. Eight years old, not quite a big kid but not a little kid anymore either. Except he sort of was, today. A little kid. 

All the Nini love showing through here.

What’s that? Well, I thought you’d never ask! 

Nini Camps kick off on June 13th with Mason! We’ll be doing a bit of traveling, as will Lexi and I the following week. Then after the 4th of July, Lincoln comes and finally Callie. 

I promise some recaps – these are always beautiful weeks for me. Mason is heading into his senior year with his chin up – I can’t wait for a better look inside his world. I expect to suffer from feelings around Lexi heading off to college next year, for sure. She did almost cry at the idea of this being her last time – of course it’s not, dear child! But it will be different, and we both know it, and it will be weird and a little sad some of the time I think. Lincoln – he’s got his own whole week planned, and he is ridiculously excited already, which makes me excited too. 🙂 Callie is last, and we do a lot of our camp time on the fly so who knows what her week will hold, but there will inevitably be joy and sunshine and kindness because she just sort of sheds those things wherever she goes.

But back to today – Lincoln’s YES Day – I sort of love this idea and maybe we should think about how often the “automatic no” comes out. I wonder what it could look like if we practiced giving more yes’s out of love, just for the sake of the other person’s pleasure. There was delight in it for all of us today, no doubt about it.

Before I leave though – tell me, what do you think he chose to do with his birthday money? 

With love,

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