Rules Can Be Broken
My oldest son, Chris, attends college at Northern Arizona University. This has become a source of excitement for the family, because where he lives it snows. We don’t see things like that in Phoenix, Arizona. So whenever we want a change of pace, under the guise of wanting to see my long lost son, we get it the car and spend the day with Chris. The guise-sometimes Chris is too busy to spend more than an hour or two with us. He is heaily involved with campus life and has minimal free time.
This year, Flagstaff has had an amazing amount of snow. It has been the stuff of Little House on the Prarie Books. Chris said the National Guard had to bring food up to the college campus because the roads were so dangerous. Whether or not this is true, I can not corroborate, but it communicated the seriousness of the weather.
So I am on the phone with my boy and he is telling me about how the rain has made the situation even more volatile. The roads ice up in the middle of the night. Then he says, “I was walking to class and a truck slid on the ice. It had to hit the curb to avoid hitting me.”
Gasp! “Son, maybe you should just wait untill the roads are clear of traffic and then cross the street.”
My son who was a sophomore in college by his second semester says to me, “But Mom, I had the right of way.”
A momentary silence was followed by, “I would rather have an alive child, than a dead right child, so if the roads are icy let the cars go.”
We both laughed at the irony of his comment. A side effect of having an awkward personality in childhood we share the characteristic of being rule people. We like rules because we then know the appropriate things to do in given situations. Looking back I’m shaking my head for the poor boy. Now he has to learn the rules of nature too. I hope they have a class like that to make it easier.