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When my sons were 8 and 11 their oldest cousin was leaving to start college at the University of New Hampshire.  Her mother and grandparents were driving her in the grandparents’ motor home.  My sons and I were driving over in the car to say goodbye and deliver a pie for the journey when this exchange with my youngest took place;

Son: “I wish I was going with them.”

Me: “Why don’t you ask if you can. It’s fine with me.”

Son: “Why didn’t anyone ask me to go with?”

Me: “No one knew that you wanted to go along. Why don’t you ask?”

Son: “What if they say no?”

Me: “What happens if you don’t ask? Will you be going?”

Son: “Well no, of course not.”

Me: “If you ask and they say no, where are you?”

Son: “Well I’d be staying home.”

Me: “Well if you ask and they say no, you haven’t lost a thing. If you ask for what you want and they say yes, where are you?”

Son: “I’m going on a trip. Yes! Will you ask for me?”

Me: “Oh I think you should ask for what you want. Will you ask Grama or Grampa first?”

Son: “Grampa. Definitely grampa first. He’s easier.”

We practiced asking and son flew out of the car when we arrived and headed for Grampa.

Grampa said he thought it was fine but they would ask Grama together. Grama said yes.  My son would not drive the 2 miles back to our house to pack a suitcase. He was afraid that they might forget and leave without him. I went home and packed but forgot his tennis shoes. His grandparents bought him a pair on the road when they realized he was barefoot. He had a great trip and special memories. He got to see Niagra Falls on the way back.

To this day, he’s 31 now, if faced with asking for something big he says, “It’s Niagra Falls time.”

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