The Queen of Yes

By Diane Stark

Last Friday, I had a million errands to run and a little boy who would’ve much rather stayed home and played. “I’m sorry, Bud, but you have to go with me,” I said. “Daddy’s not home from work yet, and I can’t leave you home by yourself.”

Nathan sighed. “But I just got a new Lego set, and I wanted to build it today.”

I shrugged. “Sorry, Buddy. You’ve got to go with me.”

We headed to the drug store so I could pick up a prescription. When we got back to the car, I noticed something. “Nathan, the snow cone place is open. Do you want to go?”

I don’t think I need to tell you his answer.

After our treat, we stopped at the dollar store. Nathan’s big sister’s birthday was in a few days, and I wanted to pick up some decorations.

“Mom, can I get this notebook? It has Darth Vader on it, and I need a new notebook to draw in.”

Something that costs only a dollar that would encourage my son to be creative, instead of burying his nose in a screen? Yes, please. “If there’s a Luke Skywalker one, get it too,” I said.

After that, we went to the grocery store, where Nathan’s favorite kind of cereal was on sale. “Grab a couple boxes,” I told him.

We also got string cheese, strawberry banana yogurt, and chocolate milk – more of Nathan’s favorite foods.

On the way home, Nathan said, “Mom, I’m sorry I whined about going shopping with you. It was really fun. You were like The Queen of Yes today.”

I laughed. “The Queen of Yes? What does that mean?”

“You said yes to everything I asked for today. You made the errands fun.”

I thought back on our day and realized that I had said yes to everything he asked for. And minus the groceries, I’d spent less than five bucks for the snow cone and two Star Wars notebooks.

“I wish I could always make you this happy for five bucks,” I said. “And I really wish I could make your big brothers and sisters happy that cheaply.”

The following day, I would be taking my daughter, Julia, and her best friend to a nearby city for a girls’ day to celebrate her upcoming birthday. She was turning 16, and I really wanted the day to be special. In that moment, I decided to be the Queen of Yes again tomorrow.

The three of us woke up early and drove an hour to the nearest big city. Their mall had several of Julia’s favorite stores, which the mall in our small town did not include. The bigger mall also included a Cheesecake Factory, our predetermined lunch destination.

I followed Julia and her friend into dozens of clothing stores. I was impressed with both girls’ interest in getting good deals. In each store, they would meander around the front of the store, checking price tags, but almost always, they would do their actual shopping off the clearance racks in the back of the store.

The clearance racks were fine for Julia’s clothes, but I had something special in mind for her accessories.

I’d spotted a Pandora store, and I knew that for months, Julia had wanted one of their rings. When we walked by the store, I said, “Let’s go in so you can show me which ring you like. Then I’ll know what to buy you for Christmas this year.”

Julia smiled and started looking at the rings. For 15 minutes, she and her friend oohed and aahed over the sparkly jewelry. Finally, Julia pointed to one ring. “This one’s my favorite,” she said. “Do you want to take a picture of it with your phone so you’ll remember at Christmas?”

I smiled. “That won’t be necessary.” Julia’s mouth dropped open as I motioned for the sales clerk to come over.

“Mom, I can’t believe you,” Julia said, nearly jumping up and down in the store. “You’re the best mom in the world.”

“My mom bought me a ring for my 16th birthday, and I still have it,” I said. “You won’t remember which shirt you got on our trip today, but you’ll remember the ring forever.”

Julia hugged me. We both had tears in our eyes.

When the sales clerk came over, I said, “It’s her 16th birthday, and she needs something special to commemorate the occasion.”

Julia tried on her favorite ring, as well as several others. She finally settled on the one she’d originally chosen. “It’s so pretty, Mom,” she said. “It’s like the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen.”

And when Julia refused the jewelry box, insisting on wearing it out of the store, I knew I’d really accomplished something special.

At lunch, I smiled as I watched my daughter staring at her new ring as it sparkled when the light caught it. “I love it, Mom,” she said repeatedly.

At home that night, she showed her new bling to my husband and her brothers. “Mom wanted me to have something really special for my birthday,” she said. “I love my ring, but the whole day was amazing.” She turned to me. “I can’t thank you enough, Mom.”

“She was the Queen of Yes, wasn’t she?” Nathan said.

Julia smiled at her little brother. “Yes, Nathan, Mom was definitely the Queen of Yes.”

While I can’t be the Queen of Yes for my kids every day, it sure is fun when I can be. It’s something I hope they’ll remember, and maybe even do for their kids someday. Or better yet, let me be the Queen of Yes for my grandbabies too. Although it’s a long way off, just the thought makes me smile.

In the meantime, I’ll start saving my pennies. Being the Queen of Yes to a teenage girl is definitely more expensive than doing it for a nine-year-old boy.

But I have to be honest; it was also a lot more fun.

About this writer

  • Diane Stark

    Diane Stark

    Diane Stark is a wife and mom of five. She loves to write about her family and her faith. Her essays have been published in over 20 Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “The Queen of Yes”

  1. Linda O'Connell says:

    Diane, this is such a relatable and loving story. I so enjoyed it.

Leave your mark with style

Comment in style

Stand out from the crowd and add some flare beside your comment.
Get your free Gravatar today!

Make it personal

avatar versus gravatar Close