Rule breakers drive me crazy, yet I am drawn to them. I do not break rules, if I can help it. I have this order/control freak thing, in me, that thinks if everyone followed rules, then the world would be a better place. This is a trait my ten year old son has inherited. He is pleasant to be around and is polite. However, today I had an eye opening experience.
Austin has been our tennis player for the past few years, but this year, while it was too cold for tennis, he decided he wanted to play basketball. He knew the “rules” and he is small and fast, so I figured he would do well at it. This morning at the frigid cold crack of dawn we bundled up and headed out to the gym. I haven’t been to any of his practices, since I am normally hauling his younger sisters around. It was my first time to see him play. I was frustrated after the first few minutes, because I soon realized my son was not being aggressive. When one of his teammates would get a foul he would look up at me to see how I was reacting. It didn’t take long, for me to catch on, that Austin was afraid to get a foul. That would be breaking a rule. I yelled from the stands and encouraged him to go after the ball and get in their face and he FINALLY did. Sure enough, after blocking a ball, a tad too aggressively, and knocking the other kid down the whistle blew. His eyes shot up to the stands where I stood. I immediately jumped up and yelled “That’s it son knock him down”. Now, had this been a child that enjoyed being brutal and breaking rules, encouraging him to knock someone else down wouldn’t have been such a good idea. However, with Austin, I knew he needed to know that I was okay with it and he had done a good job.
As a writer, I realized, that I get to break the rules all the time. I just do it on paper in a world that I create. I can run red lights, sneak out of the house when my parents are asleep, kiss vampires, talk to dead people, you name it, I can do it. All my life writing is where I have broken the rules. Everyone needs to be able to break rules sometimes. The pressure of being perfect and never getting to live a little is too much for anyone. Especially, a ten year old boy. Maybe I’ll introduce him to the world of writing (which I seriously doubt he will be excited about) or allow him to be a little less perfect. He doesn’t have to follow all the rules. I’ve decided that if you don’t break a few rules you’ll never find out who it is you want to be.