My aunt and uncle were visiting us in Elgin with their four children (at the time). I loved when cousins came visiting!
They had some rules for their children we didn't have at our house. One was their kids were not allowed to have anything to drink with their meals. Uncle Sam felt the kids would only drink their beverages and not eat their food so his rule was "first eat, then you can have something to drink." I thought this was very cruel - probably because I loved to drink tons of sweet tea!
Another rule was the children must go outside to play everyday even if only for a half-hour. They felt everyone needs fresh air even on the coldest days.
Mom made my brother and I abide by the same rules when the cousins were there. One day, during their visit, it dawned a cool, cloudy windy day. I begged for us to stay inside because it was just too cold to play out.
My pleas fell on deaf ears. The cousins didn't say a word because they already knew it was a lost cause.
So we all trooped outside to the back yard for 30 minutes of play. I could not even think of one thing to do because it was. Just. So. Cold.
I said, "I bet our moms would be sorry about making us stay out here if we got sick and died from the cold." Yes, I was always the dramatic one.
I looked at how we were dressed. We all had hooded sweatshirts on. (We didn't call them hoodies back then.) I came up with the idea of looking like we were freezing to death. We pulled up our hoods and tied them so tight we just had our noses sticking out. We stuffed our hands into our pockets. Then we positioned ourselves right outside the kitchen window where the grown-ups would be sure to see us. We rolled on the ground, shivering, shaking and moaning.
This was supposed to inspire feelings of pity and concern. I imagined my mom and aunt rushing outside to see what was wrong with us. Once out there, they'd feel how cold it was and how cruel it would be to make us suffer outside.
Instead, we heard the sound of laughter at the kitchen sink. No one rushed outside to check on us!
Funny thing, but after all that rolling around, we had kind of warmed up. Tim said, "Let's play hide and sneak (seek)."
"Okay, you're it!"
Off we scrambled to hiding places. We played so long Mom and Aunt Willa Fern had to call us in for lunch.
Did you have a lot of rules and routines when you were growing up? I found out later that a lot of the rules my uncle and aunt had for their children was in their best interest. My uncle had experienced kind of a hard childhood and wanted more for his kids. Sometimes, rule making is a sign of love.
This post is #12 in my series, 31 Days of Life Stories. Hundreds of writers are linking up at the 31 Day Writing Challenge hosted by Crystal Stine. There is a wealth of information on many topics. Go visit and see! I'll be posting under the category "Inspiration and Faith."