Friday, November 4, 2011

Children and Rules

Playing Dress Up
I remember one of the hardest things about being a child was learning the rules of growing up.  To a kid, things were always black or white, good or bad, and right or wrong.

The way I learned best was by listening to and minding my parents, yes, but I also I learned by testing the very rules they imposed, and then finding out that there were consequences.  I spent a lot of time thinking about rules in the "naughty chair" ...

From a child's vantage point, grownups had it easy.  They could stay up as late as they wanted.  They didn't have to go to school every day and sit in a classroom.

They could do anything they wanted to do and, most important, they held the key to just about everything in a kid's life, too -- what they should eat and when; what they should wear; where they could go; when to come inside; when to take a bath; when to go to bed; when they should get up; when to pick up toys or clean their room; even what they could watch on TV.

Growing up couldn't come fast enough. I could hardly wait not to have any more rules ...


by CJ Heck

Parents sure have lots of rules,
things to do and not do.
I’ll be glad when I get big
and growing up is gone through.

I won’t need a dentist
or a barber for my hair,
and I’ll go buy a chocolate cake
that I won’t have to share.

Maybe, I’ll stay up all night,
eat junk and watch TV.
If I want, I’ll sleep all day.
No more rules for me!

“How will you get up for work?
You might get fired”, Mom said.
“You won’t make any money
by sleeping late in bed.”

Why would I need money?
Who needs money anyway?
Rules are bad. When I grow up
I’ll do fun things all day.

"How will you pay your rent?
How will you buy a car?
How would you buy your grownup clothes?
(you’ll be bigger than you are) .

You’ll have to buy the food you eat.
You’ll have to have a phone.
How will you pay your heating bill,
‘cause surely you’ll buy a home?"

I hadn’t thought of all of that.
I can’t do that stuff.
It doesn’t sound like fun at all
and I don’t know enough.

Mom said as I get bigger,
the rules get bigger, too,
but when we start at my age,
growing up is fun to do.

She said, "People grow like houses,
step by step, and brick by brick.
That’s the way we all grow up
and having rules is part of it."

(from the book, "Barking Spiders 2")

Isn't it funny, how we long for the days of childish innocence and gentle rules ...

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck

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