The Rules

June 2, 2013
The Rules

All throughout my childhood, my mother kept a list posted on our refrigerator. I cant remember a time when it wasn’t hanging there; aside from the times when she was holding it in front of our faces, pointing at the list, and scolding us. The yellow piece of construction paper with green writing was there even before I could read it, but I knew it was a list of rules, a code of conduct for the Lally home. This would explain why the list was used as a prop when my mother yelled at us, trying to get through our underdeveloped brains, that what we had done was not ok. If we had broken a rule, we were sent to our room, the “time out” corner, or we were simply not given dessert. That was the worst punishment of all, and my mother knew that. But, that rule list became outdated, and the marker faded, and the paper ripped; but still, my mother was not ready to let go of “The Lally’s Rule List.” To keep the rules alive, the rules were simply updated and transferred onto a new piece of construction paper, green, and this time it was written in red.

There ere two of us kids. I was the youngest and my brother Brant was the oldest. Our mother’s rules kept Brant from hitting me and me from taking his video games. The rules kept our house under-control, and maybe that’s all my mother meant for them to do, but ultimately they have done more than that in my life. As I grew out of my young age and Brant and I became teenagers, the rules were taken down off of the refrigerator, but that doesn’t mean that any of us had forgotten them. I know for a fact that the both of us kids still follow them. Some rules I wished would stay intact, like rule number eight on the first list, which said something to the effect of, don’t hurt Chad, have fallen by the wayside. But other rules, like number nine, which simply reminded us to smile, have stuck with me since that rule list was posted, and even more so since that rule list has been taken down.

My mother enforced those rules, and even though at some points I disliked her for doing so, I can look back now and want to thank her for how she’s raised us. My mom has become my best friend and I know no matter what I do she’ll be there for me, just like she was when I was younger and would fall off my bike and scrape my knee. She was always there to kiss the scratches and give me a hug. I know she’ll always believe in me, and she’ll always stand up for me because that’s what she was made to do. I’ve grown up with her as my mother and she was fantastic. She understands that us kids make mistakes and knows how to fix them because she’s “Miracle Mom.” So maybe it wasn’t the rule list that I now use as a guideline for how to act as a person, maybe it was the maker of the list and the lessons that she taught me. I only hope I can do half as well as her when its my turn to create a rule list and raise a family.

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