I can’t think of a better way to wake up then face to face with the person you are madly in love with. When Brooks is gone, that’s one of the things I miss most. Usually, I’m up before he is and try to get out of bed without disturbing him, so that I can get his coffee started. I miss that too. The coffee maker currently sits there on the counter and mocks me, since no one else drinks that stuff around here. I may make a pot soon, just so I can smell our it brewing.

I was blissfully asleep, The Boy beside me, the dogs at our feet, when my phone rang. I had so much sleep in my eyes I just couldn’t focus on who it was so answered, just hoping it was him. And it was.

Now don’t get me wrong when I relay the following… I have an iPhone and Brooks took an iTouch, so we’re able to do Face Time while he’s gone, as long as he has a ┬áreliable internet signal. And of course, I understand that he sees me all the time with bed head, all puffy faced and bleary eyed first thing in the morning. But remember, he usually wakes up AFTER me so I’m usually able to freshen up a bit. And when he’s gone, I don’t want the image of me looking all crazy being the thing he’s focusing on. Vain, perhaps, but that’s honesty.

So while I’m talking on the phone I’m scrambling to make my hair look half way decent ┬áin the frame, while trying to pinch in some color into my cheeks by casually swinging the phone in Little Brooks’ direction so Big Brooks will be oblivious to my beauty regime (of course, he’s bound to read this, but I promise you he’ll probably laugh because it’s so typical me behavior).

I have to say, what a difference communication has been this deployment! Face Time!? I feel like I”m in the twilight zone! Today’s call, from an internet cafe was PERFECT! Rewind to 2003 when he had to use imbedded reporters satellite phones to phone home! We could see him, perfectly. The picture quality wasn’t blurry in the least, was smooth and well.. perfect! What a gift to be able to talk to him that way, to get him laughing and see his smile. It was pure joy!

So after talking for a super long time we missed church and I decided that because it was such a wonderful day and Little Brooks has been so stellar that we would have a No Rule Day.

We both ran around the house screaming and shouting and dancing all the while chanting, “No rule day! No rule day! No rule day!”

No rule days are wonderful. They don’t occur often, because by their very nature the child has no rules. This is a misnomer in that he may not be unkind or disrespectful. But all other expectations go out the window. Does this sound crazy? Well, perhaps. But you have to look at it from my point of view. Brooks and I are very strict with The Boy. We don’t take any mess. We don’t believe that certain behaviors are age appropriate. We don’t make excuses for his behavior. It is what it is. He knows our expectations and the consequences. We see all his behavior as an outward appearance of the condition of his heart. If he’s unkind or disrespectful that’s his heart speaking. Character is a huge thing around here. We’re raising a future father, a future employee, a future contributing member of society. Whatever he chooses as his life’s path is fine with us, as long as he’s a good man, with integrity, and kindness, and joy. I know it may sound crazy to some, but really and truly this is how we’ve raised him. That child was picking up his toys when he was crawling. No joke. Obviously I’d help him, but he take his toys and drag them and put them in this big ol’ blow up turtle that acted as his toy box. Is he perfect? Heck no! He’s a human being, but we expect greatness because anything less would produce less.

That being said every now and then I give that child a No Rule Day. I love that he keeps his room clean on his own. I love that he does his chores with no back talk. He doesn’t alway smile when he does it, but it gets done. I love that as much fun and craziness as we have, my house stays clean. And Little Brooks is a huge factor in that. So he had pure joy today when I informed him of our surprise No Rule Day. No rules! No cleaning up. No chores. No eating at the table. Eating whatever he liked. No bed time. No limit on video game time. No rules! No shower. Yup, gross, but I guess at seven not showering is some kind of gift for him.

We’ve had a wonderful day, really and truly. We’ve ate too much junk and played too many video games and laughed and danced too much, but hey, that’s a No Rule Day. And I think he deserves it.