We have taken great pains to raise a sensitive and caring boy. No TV for the first few years and then only PBS for quite a while. He had a doll as a toddler. We played classical music and went to many art museums. Countless hours have been spent appreciating and caring for nature’s beauty. But, our foremost and steadfast rule has been no weapons of any kind in our house. And to our credit and his, our son is remarkably thoughtful and caring, as nine year olds go.
However, it was around about age six the slippery slope began. His friends had all discovered Star Wars and swords were the rage. Okay, we conceded to a couple of nerf swords. He was thrilled, but being the verbose and precocious child he is, he challenged our judgement. “I thought we didn’t allow weapons in our house?” “No, we don’t. Fencing is a sport and a skillful art.” was our, on the spot, bullshit response. As he very seriously engaged in sword fights with his friends a new personality escaped from deep within his bones. Our delightful son, who loved to change his dollies diaper was the harbinger of a growling, sinister and menacing pirate posturing for ultimate power and domination. I was appalled and distressed. How could this be and how was I, a peaceful, tree-hugging, Mother Earth loving woman going to live with an evil, tortuous villian running through the house brandishing weaponry shouting “Die, you landlubber! Die!”?
Well, the raid was a success. The peace camp has been invaded and taken over by screaming, snarling little packages of pressurized testosterone. A bit of advice, if you should visit the peace prison, don’t even think about giggling or cooing cuteness as he charges past in his little Calvin Klien boxer briefs because this is all very serious business. It’s not funny and he his not cute!
Our hands are in the air, as we surrender to reality that the boy in him needed to be free. He has since acquired quite an arsenal. Nerf guns, bows and arrows and his most recent score, a cap gun. A present from us, no less. I don’t believe I have ever seen his eyes shine quite so bright. Still, that quizzical look seeped in and he turned to me and said “I didn’t think you would ever let me have a cap gun!” I just shrugged and smiled as he ran off to kill all the villains in the back yard. I now knit contentedly as nerf bullets whiz past and caps are fired off in rapid succession knowing I am well protected.