These rules were designed and decreed by wife Ruth in summer 1972 when she was employed outside the home. I was the househusband in charge of four daughters; Catherine 11, Elizabeth 9, Anastasia 8, Stephanie 5. Two older siblings, Victoria 19 and Fred 17, were beyond a rule framework and had the run of the city. Summer Rules were written on poster board and posted in the kitchen. Here they are and bring merriment when our children reminisce.
1. No dressing or undressing on 1st. floor.
2. On the porch by 10 p.m. – exceptions allowed.
3. No more than three friends inside the house.
4. No more than eight children on the porch including Bartlings.
5. No standing on the railings.
6. Make your own bed every morning.
7. QUIET upstairs after 11 p.m.
8. Each child is allowed one friend at a time when we go to the beach.
9. No friends on Saturday or Sunday.
10. Put away bikes at the end of the day.
11. Nobody outside family is allowed to ride the bikes or skates.
12. Maximum of three hours a day TV.
13. Out of bed by 9:30 a.m.
14. Clean your room every week.
15. Stay out of the garden when Moonlight-Starlight is played.
16. No neighborhood children on roof of house.
17. Hang up swimsuit and towel after swimming.
18. Put all dirty laundry down chute.
19. All eating and drinking restricted to kitchen.
20. Nobody is allowed to leave the neighborhood without parents’ permission.
Signed : Betsy Bartling, She’s cool
Cathy Bartling, Super Woman
Stacy Bartling, Maybe
The blog “TRAILING CLOUDS OF GLORY DO WE COME” (9/8) was my response to the happy chatter of grade school children at play during recess at Minnehaha Academy next to Becketwood Cooperative at recess time. When recalling the freedom of childhood play and the “delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood” I thought of my children and RULES FOR THE SUMMER. I have been accused, which I gladly accept properly understood, that I am a gospel reductionist. With that in mind the law is changed into gospel and serves as pattern for freely lived loving life for self, others, and community. I think my children patterned that in line within the framework of RULES FOR SUMMER. Their signatures indicate a playful response to the rule of law. Respectful to the rules but with a large elastic clause applied by the enforcer. Little surprise that Shakespeare once again has it that the rules were often “more honor’d in the breach than in the observance.”