Breaking Certain Rules

On one of those perfectly sunny, grandma-babysitting days, we set off to play in a nearby park. Kids were enjoying the merry-go-round and the jungle gym. But what attracted my four-year-old grandson was the fenced-off tennis court.  Two kids were riding their bikes in and out of the lines on the newly finished courts.

Their parents watched on a bench just inside the gated entrance. The kids laughed as they raced one another, occasionally crashing into the net between the two sides. A sign was clearly posted on the entrance—No Bicycles Allowed.

Just beginning his reading quest, my grandson already knew the word “No”.  He asked me what words came next.

I whispered that the sign asked people not to ride bikes on the tennis court. He may have only been four, but he could clearly see two kids riding their bikes where they shouldn’t have been.

We watched awhile longer and then he reached up to open the gate. I helped lift the latch thinking that he wanted to watch the kids. Instead, he walked straight over to the couple and asked if they knew what the sign said. 

Oh, the boldness of a four-year-old.

The man glared at me and then shrugged his shoulders and said it didn’t matter.

Explain that to a four-year-old. I ushered my grandson from the tennis court and told him that sometimes people don’t like obeying the rules. And, no, it wasn’t right.

I’ve thought about that couple and their two kids. By now, those kids are probably in middle school. What they learned on that tennis court could be impacting their lives today. Wonder if those parents will care if their kids think that some rules don’t matter. How about speed limits when they drive, or drinking alcohol at some random party, or cheating on a test? Oh, the lessons we teach when we think breaking certain rules will not matter.

But wait. I wonder how many times I may have done the same thing. Sometimes it's the little things that matter the most.

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