I was a very strict parent, especially until my sons turned 13. My boys still comment on how I wouldn’t let them watch “Rugrats” because Angelica was mean spirited.
But on Dec 31, we always celebrated “Break the Rules Day.” As long as their actions were not mean-spirited or destructive, they could break all of the rules. Have ice cream for breakfast; watch as much TV as they wanted; even have baguette duels with French bread we had picked up for that purpose.
It was always a special day in the house, and I would wake up early the next morning, pick everything up and clean up and we would be back to normal. It was my way of providing the order I needed to survive as a single parent while also recognizing their need to sometimes go wild.
Years later, I know I was far from a perfect parent, and there are many things I would do differently. But I still believe I made a lot of good choices, too, and “Break the Rules Day” was one of them. I’m guessing that the fact that my sons and their partners are spending New Year’s Eve together is a sign that they bonded over it. And that one is a paralegal and the other is in law school shows I did instill a good sense of order.
I am going to a different party tonight, and I’m glad I won’t have to pick up after them in the morning. But I think I may have ice cream for breakfast for old time’s sake!