That’s Why I Said a Prayer.
I left Dylan alone in the house for 30 minutes while I went to pick up Shane at school. Our computers are password-protected and armed with tracking devices – so I was shocked to find that the cache (internet history) had been cleared when I got home.
“Dylan, were you using my computer while I was gone?” I asked.
“For school, yeah,” he said.
“Is that all?”
He knew I’d figured out something. “Oh, and I might have been reading your blog, too.”
Bill was calling him to help plant tomatoes. Dylan raced out as fast as his size 13 feet would carry him.
I started to seethe. He was lying to me again. And I was sitting, like a lump, knowing this and feeling stuck. My blood began a low, rolling boil.
I went outside.
Dylan and Bill were planting tomatoes, and Dylan was in the process of confessing everything to my husband. Later, Dylan told me, “He’s gentler to talk to than you are.”
This is, of course, quite true.
Dylan was explaining that he’d gotten up in the middle of the night and taken Bill’s phone out of his room. Then he’d started to search the internet – when he caught himself, and got off as fast as he could.
“I just feel like breaking the rules would be fun,” he said. “And I know that it’s stupid, but I just feel that way sometimes…. That’s why I said a prayer in the morning. I just wanted help so that I didn’t keep doing this.”
I could relate to wanting to break the rules. I have broken more than my share of rules – and while it cost me dearly in my life, it was – if nothing else – occasionally exciting.
I thought about it, though, and I realized that my way of breaking rules is lame. It’s breaking free from societal rules that can be both positive and a great investment in Dylan’s future.
“Most people lie, or cheat, or steal, if they want to break the rules,” I told him. “But the people who don’t want to get into trouble do the right things – and still do what they want to do, even if it’s not what everyone else does.”
I made a long list of people who broke all the rules without ending up behind bars: Albert Einstein, Matt Groenig, Jimi Hendrix, Oprah, George Lucas, Jackie Robinson, Eminem, Stephen King, Ghandi, Walt Disney and Abraham Lincoln – to name a few.
I’m hoping he gets the idea – breaking free from societal rules is different than breaking the rules.
A few days later, Dylan got into the car after school. He said, “This is like the third day in a row that I’ve been having a really, really good day. Back when I was thinking about breaking rules, I was like obsessed with it. But I’m not even thinking about it anymore. And it’s been like this for three days.”
I said, “Your prayer must have worked.” Dylan blinked, remembering that he had prayed for this exact result.
He said nothing, but I think he knew.