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There's something flawless in the lawless. This picture of Archer (above) is one of my all-time favorite shots; from the motion of him running, arms open, the seersucker jacket that was JUST too small but not so small he couldn't wear it one last time...
The photo was taken days before Archer's fourth birthday at my Nana's 80th birthday party at a local golf club. Some kids were outside playing golf on the mini-course and we asked if Archer could join them.
Thirty minutes into his time, one of the security officers approached us.
"Is that your son in the jeans?"
"No jeans allowed on the green! He must vacate the premises immediately."
I tried to reason with the guard. Nobody was there! It was just us! They're nice jeans! But it didn't matter.
"I don't make the rules ma'am, I just enforce them. Please don't argue with me or I'll have to call for back-up."
Back-up? HE'S FOUR. And THEY'RE JEANS.
I reluctantly adhered to the security guard's orders, called for Archer to come back inside. He was crushed, of course, and I explained to him that there was a dress code and that...
What's a dress code?
...next time we'd remember to dress him in slacks or khakis or whatever the hell little boys are supposed to wear on golf courses, stupid archaic rule that make no sensewhatsoeverwhatthe....
What's a rule?
And then we talked about rules. Specifically silly rules that seem silly even to adults but how we must follow them anyway. Usually. Not always but usually. It was the first time we discussed what it meant to follow rules, to break them, to understand the sometimes arbitrary nature of rules and laws... of order and when it's important to fall in and out of line. That it's okay to disagree with rules but that there's a time and place to fight them. That one can follow rules but still lead. Break rules and still be ethical.
He'll be seven in May, which might as well be tomorrow. Seven. He is the most law-abiding rule-adhering person I know and yet, when he grows up he wants to "change things" (specifically the Los Angeles traffic problem).
I often think back to the day on the green, of Archer in jeans and me all pissed off trying to explain to him (and myself) that even when they make very little sense, there are rules that we must follow...
At least until we're older and clever enough to find a way to change them. Archer Sage, I'm looking at you, kid.
Your photos are amazing, you guys. I'm having so much fun checking them daily, marveling at how beautiful your families are, your lovely stories. I'll be featuring some of your photos next week and am already completely overwhelmed with the task of picking a winner. I mean... how in the what? If you haven't already but would like to participate for a chance to win a $500 Best Buy gift card c/o my ad network, Federated Media, upload (up to five) photos to flickr.com and tag them #CapturedPhotoContest_GirlsGoneChild. Don't forget to make them "public" so I can see them. For more information see: my last "captured" post. For rules and regs go here. Best of luck and thanks for sharing!