Lessons from New Year’s Eve

We spent New Year’s Eve with Chad’s siblings and their families.  To get our tired buns off the couch, crazy Uncle Tommy came up with a crazy game. In short, after some trading and passing face cards, whoever had the lowest valued card had to do a crazy act. For example…

Aunt Laura had to blow bubbles in the toilet.

Aunt Lindsey was supposed to eat a tablespoon of Miracle Whip, but her heroic hubby volunteered as tribute and did the disgusting task for her.

Uncle Tommy had to put his face in the snow.

Lots of cousins opted to drink a teaspoon of lemon juice.

You get the idea.

Before we started the game, we brainstormed possible consequences. Crew was really uncomfortable. He snuggled close to me on the couch and told me he didn’t want to play the game. He thought he would have to go downstairs. I assured him he didn’t have to play if he didn’t want to and that he could sit by me.

When the game officially started we had adult rounds and kid rounds so that we could adapt the challenges accordingly.  Luckily, the challenge was known before the round started so you could opt out of that round if you wanted to.  (If “drink a raw egg” would have been up, I would have pulled out!)

I thought Crew was going to sit out the game, so I was surprised to see Crew jump in and play on the first kid round.  I was proud of him for facing a fear and doing something that stretched his comfort zone. He didn’t lose that round, and Cousin Zoie had to jump in the snow with no shoes on.

Later, during one of the kids’ rounds, the “loser” would have to eat a teaspoon of flour. Crew decided not to participate that time.  And I was proud of him again.  When you say NO you risk not looking cool. You risk people thinking less of you.  You might get made fun of. You risk people thinking you are not brave. Some people might be disappointed in your choice.

I was proud of Crew because it takes just as much courage to say NO as it does to say YES.

Crew jumped right back into the game on the next kids’ round and participated fully.  You can see him “licking a shoe” in the picture below:


Later that night as I snuggled by Crew, we talked about his decisions that night.  I told him I was proud of his decision to play as well as his decision not to play.

Crew and I discussed how it is important to take risks and do things that make you uncomfortable because that is how you grow, but it is also important to respect yourself and do what feels right to your conscious. You do not let others, even family, determine your limits or your boundaries.

After I kissed Crew goodnight, I snuggled up with my Facebook and saw this graphic on my newsfeed:


I was amazed how I was just talking about points #1, #3, #4, #7, and #8 with Crew.

  • If it feels wrong, don’t do it.
  • Don’t be a people pleaser.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Don’t be afraid to say NO.
  • Don’t be afraid to say YES.

At the time I didn’t know Crew and I were talking about self care, but I think that is a great label. I spend time teaching my children about physical self care like brushing teeth and washing hands and eating healthy, but I need to talk to my children more about emotional “self care”.

A stupid, crazy game on New Year’s Eve ended up being our perfect opportunity.


Our special talk backfired in my face the next morning when I tried to get Crew to try a green smoothie. Our exchange went something like this:

Mom: Crew, come try this new smoothie.

Crew: No thanks.

Mom: I promise it is really good.

Crew: No, I’m good.

Mom: Get your buns in here and come try it.

Crew: (with a big grin on his face) Mom, it takes just as much courage to say NO as it does to say YES.

Mom: (laughing) Go to your room 🙂





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