Recently I have been guilty of breaking the rules. Twice in quite frequent succession. Let me elaborate.
Last weekend there was a flower viewing party (read "cookout") at the neighbourhood park. A bunch of the old guys I golf and play baseball with put it on ever year and so I bought some beer and shochu and took myself along. It was a great time, lots of families and little speeches, I got to give a little farewell speech (very short). However, I broke a major rule. Never eat meat cooked by a half sober fifty five year old guy who is more interested in getting it out fast than making sure it is done. I also broke the don't eat raw deer meat rule. I mean everyone else was doing it so I figured it would be okay. Now I am riding day four of some kind of stomach parasite. Went to the doctor's today and I am now on medicine to clear things up and get my good bacterial juices flowing again. Will I never learn.
The other rule I broke is for me much more interesting. Last night as the family is all bedding down for the night I and trying to get the oldest boy to settle down. So I tell him I am going to bundle him up in a cocoon. He is a caterpillar and in the morning he will be a butterfly. So our conversation turns to the whole business of becoming a butterfly. What if its too hot in the cocoon? (helps the wings grow) Then we talk about being able to fly. At this point I think we are both on the same page. I mean we are both imagining flying. So we are talking about not having to walk places and stuff like that. Then I offer up he could fly all the way back to Canada. His response is no way, a plane is so much faster, however, he thinks he could fly up and ride on top of the plane on the way back. I still think we are in the same ball park. The he mentions that when we go to a hotel the next time he could fly up the stairs while we walk. I top this with he could just go outside and fly up to the window. To this he looks a little concerned. Well we would have to have a signal. So he could find the room. He figures I should stick my arm out the window and wave. I think about this and imagine the difficulty of trying to spot an arm. So I offer back that we could flash the lights twice. To me this is clearly a better option as it will show up clearly at night. Once he sees the general vicinity of the window he can fly up and find us. No he doesn't like this idea. Then he offers up this cool blue light that he bought on our last road trip. I figure this would work great it would be different and easy to see at night. From here we move on and the conversation slowly peters out. Then I am lying in bed thinking about our conversation.
I think we were in two totally different places. I am thinking about the possibilities of flying in a totally abstract way. However, to the boy, he is imagining himself with these wings, trying to do stuff like travel or find his family. And at the time I didn't notice. I was caught up in my own mental wanderings. So when engaged with my children I need to try and be present in their frame of reference . A rule I break far too often.