Eleven (and ten) years later, the people we share space with still have a low standard of living. They’re not naturally inclined to look at the devastation in their wakes. I recall the jam-begrimed dining room wall, a line of sweet 3-year-old fingerprints spreading across the cabinets and into the kitchen, where he dipped into his toast again and pranced blueberry fingers across the refrigerator.
If I was saying no to the candy while we grocery shopped, no to the terrible toys at Target, no to most of our friends’ kids’ birthday parties, I had some clear boundaries. Declining things didn’t bother me. I was raised in a world of nos. I needed to learn how to yes.