Rules Were Made To Be Broken

Everyone knows my philosophy regarding "rules". I don't like to be told what to do and only believe that "rules" apply to other people. Apparently, this genetic trait has been passed along to my offspring, because as children, they had a tendency to hold my same views where "rules" were concerned.

Quite frequently when leaving the gym where I work out, I swing by the Subway there to get lunch. While I am waiting in line, I usually check my phone to see if I've missed any calls or texts while working out. During my wait, I generally send replies to those missed messages and return any missed calls. One day while ordering my sandwich (and talking on my phone), I noticed this little note taped to the counter...right in front of my face. It said: "Please refrain from using you cell phone while ordering". The lady in front of me caught my eye. She noticed what I was reading and sort of nodded toward the which point I simply waved my hand and said, "Hmmm...I've never noticed that before. Oh well, it doesn't apply to me anyway." If she thought this was odd, she didn't say so (she was most likely a fellow rule breaker too!). Anyway, you get the idea about my beliefs concerning "rules".

Over the years, my own children at times have stretched a few rules themselves. Fortunately, Robby has been there to save them from their self-destruction. However, one rule we tried to enforce strictly, for safety purposes, was the rule pertaining to the trampoline usage. The rule was really quite simple: "Only 2 people were allowed to jump on the trampoline at a time." Simple...don't you agree? Well, for all of our efforts to enforce this rule, it was to be broken...and it wasn't the ONLY thing that would be broken. Those boys would definitely be found out when this rule was broken!

It was summertime and as usual, the kids were outside playing. I was inside cooking dinner. Every burner had a pot on it. Ryan refers to it as, "The day Mom almost burned the house down". He does so because in the midst of preparing dinner, David ran into the house (not crying or appearing upset in any way), presented me with a tooth (yes, you heard right...not broken, but a whole tooth) and informed me that his tooth got knocked out while jumping on the trampoline. I just stared at the tooth for a moment and thought...I KNOW there is something that I'm supposed to do with this tooth...think, think, think. Immediately I picked up the phone and dialed a local hospital, where they informed me to put the tooth in a glass of milk. I then called our dentist, who instructed me to meet him at his office as soon as possible.

At the same time, next door at my mother's house, Ryan was telling her about David's little accident. That's when she noticed a trickle of blood running down his face. She brought him next door (while I was preparing to leave for the dentist's office with David) to show me HIS injury. THIS is when Ryan noticed the smoke coming from the stove! In my distracted state of mind, I had forgotten the dinner that was cooking. After taking care that the house indeed did NOT burn down, I realized that Ryan also needed stitches in his head! "OK", I finally managed to inquire, "How many people were jumping on the trampoline?" Wide eyes bulged around the room, as I soon discovered that ALL 3 BOYS were jumping on there at the same time. I had no time to deal with the broken rule issue at that time. I had to get that tooth to the dentist quickly...while my mother headed to the emergency room with Ryan.

When everyone was home...with Ryan's head stitched and David's tooth wired back in (he had actually broken the bone in his mouth), we had a little "rule discussion". I had to make them realize that rules were made for their protection (these words felt ridiculous coming out of MY mouth). And although, I still do not agree with ALL rules, I do agree that they tend to make the world a more controlled and safe place to live in. And in the case of safety, I will concede that rules are definitely NOT optional. the case of the "Subway cellphone rule", I'm not sure it is completely warranted; I AM capable of multi-tasking, after all!

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