O: Why is mommy going over there?!?! She is not supposed to go over there.
J: It's ok, O. Your mom is just a little bit of a rebel.
P: Daddy, is rebel-ing ok?
J: It is, Pen. Sometimes, it is ok to do some rebel-ing.
I hopped a fence. Well, that is not really fair or accurate. I shimmied through a gate, and, for context, it required virtually no actual shimming. The gate on the hip high enclosure was locked, but locked so loosely most adults could easily pass through the opening. It was left more than ajar. What would that be? Open.
It was open. It was essentially open, but I wanted to take a picture inside the burnt-out, century-old house, so I shimmied through the gate, much to the horror of my oldest daughter. Jim, who has been at this for over a decade at this point, knew better then to be horrified and just looked on bemusedly.
I shouted over my shoulder, "Anyone want to come do some rebel-ing with me?"
O and P, in unison, "NO!"
But, I as I turned around, I saw her, just past the gate, venturing barely past the threshold of the old stone structure, my not-so-tiny P. She skittered back quickly, but not before she stopped and touched the cool stone of the decaying structure.
It is tough. We want our kids to follow the rules and be good citizens, while at the same time, we hope to teach them to trust their judgment, and recognize when a rule is worth breaking, either because the reward out weighs the risk or, more pressing going forward, that the governing body that is creating the rules has overstepped and requires challenge.
Side note: I hereby, acknowledge all of the very sound research about prepubescent and pubescent humans lacking the neurological ability to adequately asses risk. Please see here.
Regardless, it did my rebel heart good, to see my Tiny P creep past that barrier, challenging herself to take a risk and to venture into the unknown. It is something all civic minded people are going to need to engage in going forward. Sometimes, even the rebels among us might need a little inspiration.