Everywhere I go there are rules — dif­fer­ent ones for my homes and my school.
My mom tells me yes and my dad tells me no — I’m ei­ther go­ing too fast or go­ing too slow.

I shouldn’t throw toys — un­less it’s a ball
I’m out­side — 
and it’s sum­mer — or fall.
I can’t stay up late, watch­ing TV, 
I can’t al­ways hold it when I have to go pee!

I get real ex­cited when I can help out
So ex­cited, some­times, that I let out a shout!
“TOO LOUD! BE QUIET!” I’m told with a roar,
Then help­ing out turns into a chore.

I get mad some­times, be­ing told what to do,
I’m try­ing my best to be good for you!
I wish adults would re­mem­ber,
though it’s a bit sappy,
The best rules are just two: Be nice and
be happy. 

The other day I read a quote at­trib­uted to Neil de­Grasse Tyson that said “We spend the first year of a child’s life teach­ing it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down.” Being a par­ent is a bit like be­ing the wind try­ing to bal­ance a tightwire walker. Stressful for the wind, but how much more so for the tightwire walker who’s try­ing to do it them­selves? My son is in­her­ently full of joy, and I tried to put my­self in his shoes while writ­ing this, while adding a re­minder at the end for adults to keep some per­spec­tive.

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