I’m not a huge rule follower. I guess you could say that I like to follow rules within my own limits, but I would never call myself a “rule rebel.” More like a “rule independent.”
For example, I follow society’s rules and laws. I mean, I don’t shoot people or speed all the time… okay, I speed a little. Sue me. I wouldn’t rob a grocery store. I wouldn’t sell drugs on the street, but I have been known to be an antibiotic hoarder who can help friends in the middle of the night when the pharmacy is closed. I still don’t think I like to follow all rules. That’s because some rules are just silly…really silly. So silly that I think they’re made up just to see if people will follow them.
My kids are huge rule followers. Go figure…I’ve produced three of the biggest rule followers ever. Go me! This is a good thing. (Although, I should point out they don’t always follow MY rules.)
Definition of a rule:
– One of a set of explicit or understood regulations
– Governing conduct within a particular activity or
sphere. In groups, rules indicate which behaviors
are appropriate or inappropriate.
(Yeah, yeah, yeah.)
I think of rules more as optional guidelines…and, quite frankly, some rules are just meant to be broken.
Okay, I break rules a lot. I may as well purge. Not huge rules. Some rules. But you should know…I break them only when sanity and safety are at stake.
So here goes…
I sent my daughter to Israel with a phone. Phones were NOT allowed. What? I glanced over that rule faster than the size zero’s fly off the sale rack at Barney’s.
Here’s the thing. If I’m going to send MY CHILD out of the country for a MONTH, then I NEED her to have the ability to contact home. Even ET needed to phone home, and he built an elaborate machine to do so.
I wanted my daughter to have the option, if need be, to reach me. I needed her to have that extra assurance just in case she needed it. I needed to know that in case of an emergency, she could get a hold of me at any time. My sanity was at stake! (Well, you get the drift.)
For all who don’t understand this craziness, let me give you the diagnosis. It’s called “Jewish Mother Syndrome.” Unfortunately, there is no cure. You’re genetically born with it, and sadly, it never ever goes away. EVER.
I weighed the options and decided this was a rule I was going to break. I made this decision because I am a mother and there’s no one on this earth that can tell me (rule or no rule) that I can’t talk to my child immediately if she needs or wants me. I am a mother first and foremost in this life – period. (I mean, I guess if she was in jail, that’s another story. She wouldn’t be able to talk to me on a whim…but she’s not in jail (and besides…who looks good in orange?)
So, I broke the rule. However, I made sure that when breaking the rule, my daughter knew there were guidelines to bringing her phone and we discussed them beforehand.
She’s no longer in Israel – (the teen mission she was on felt the need to bring back the kids for safety reasons) – When I originally wrote this post, she was still there and I delayed it until she was home safe and sound.
While she was still there, I could only sleep at night (barely) because she would Skype me with an app that we had downloaded before she had left. She had an amazing time, but I worried daily and I counted down the days until a decision was made to bring those kids back home two weeks early. Knowing she had that phone provided both her and me with just a little bit more sanity than we would have had otherwise given the circumstances that were going on in Israel. In hindsight, it was absolutely the right decision to make knowing today what we know.
She was able to sneak a Skype to me at night and we would kiss through the phone. I was able to see her beautiful smile and have peace for that very brief moment. Rule or no rule…
Was it wrong to break the rule? In my opinion? No, not at all. I didn’t even think twice about it. It wasn’t even a consideration.
Sometimes we need to evaluate the options and decide if the benefit outweighs the risk, if the crime offsets the punishment. I always go back to that “Survivor’s Kid Theory” which drives me to make decisions based on survival.
Was taking a phone essential? No. Was it allowed? No. Was it right? Yes! It was right for me.
Someone makes each rule, and while I’m sure the world would be full-out anarchy if all rules were disregarded, we must still be true to ourselves as well.
It’s funny because most of the rule and law makers are the biggest hypocrites themselves. They are the ones breaking rules and laws the most.
It is important to recognize when a rule conflicts with your personal morals.
The “no phone rule” conflicted with my morals. Morally, I have an obligation to my daughter to keep her safe and sound to the best of my ability throughout her life. While sneaking in a phone really didn’t affect that, on a personal level, it did.
Whether you think I’m right, wrong, or just crazy…it’s okay, because at the end of the day, I have to be at peace with myself and the decisions I make for my family. And in the end…it just comes down to the basics. I’m just a mom who loves her kids and wants to protect them any way I can for the rest of their lives.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
– Apple, Inc.
Until next week,
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