Here’s a family rule that has been around for forever: if you’re playing at a friend’s house, you have to come home by 6:00 pm for dinner. Simple. Set in stone. Not up for debate.
So tonight, 6:00 comes and goes and Ethan and McKay are still at the neighbor’s house. It’s 6:22 before they finally pop open the back door and charge into the kitchen.
“I’m glad you’re home boys,” I tell them. “And for every minute you were late, you get to work on an extra chore after dinner.” (I’m quite pleased with this brilliant new policy since I happen to have a pile of socks in the laundry room in dire need of approximately 44 minutes worth of sorting).
“That’s not fair,” says McKay. “You didn’t warn us!”
“Hasn’t there always been a rule that you need to be home by 6:00?” I ask him.
“Yeah, but there has never been a rule that you were actually going to enforce all the rules.”
He makes me laugh and he sorts my socks. What a great kid.