You know that moment when you look over and notice that your 5-year old son has drawn a picture of a monster holding 2 guns along with an army of "minions", also ready to shoot at any enemy in their path... and you are in CHURCH? And that he drew this masterpiece in the coloring book from one of the children's bags that belongs to CHURCH?
I have blogged several times about my fears and struggles with raising a girl in this princess-centered body-image warped world. But I also have 2 boys. Yikes! And I am constantly at war (pun intended) within myself with the whole boys-love-guns thing. I don't love guns. I don't even like them. At all. And I don't have a brother, so I did not grow up with "Hi-Ya! Pow! Pow!" screaming through the rooms of my house. But I live in that world now. For being quite a book nerd and computer lover, my kindergartener is a boy. And he is fascinated with guns, violence, swords, enemies, good guys, bad guys... the whole gamut. Usually my husband handles it better than I do. He grew up playing Mortal Combat and did not turn into an adult who beheads others, so chances are, if we are the best parents we can be, and instill proper morals and values in our boys, they will also grow up to be properly functioning adults. However, for all the times he tells me "not to worry about it" when my son attempts to chop down Darth Vader in his Wii game, even Daddy found it disturbing that our little guy drew this lovely image in the church's coloring book. I think his words were: "Ummm.... buddy? Not okay in church."
We do believe in the importance of discussing violence with our kids. We are proud of our soldiers and thankful for their service. We know that violence has served a purpose and will continue to serve a purpose in many corners of our world and in many circumstances. We also teach our kids to stick up for themselves. We do not want them initiating violence, but if someone pushes them down, or pushes one of their siblings down, we give them free reign to open up a can of their best whoop-ass on that kid. We also talk about guns. We talk about how guns kill people and are not funny. This is hard as many of my son's idols (Luke Skywalker, Han Solo) use guns. "But it is okay, because they are good guys, right Mommy?" Ummmm.... ???? Are guns okay? Sometimes.... I guess??
So for all of the battles I fight for my daughter, I fight twice as many for my 2 boys. Guns scare me. Violence scares me. Teenage boys shooting up classmates in the school cafeteria scare me. But, like my daughter's love for princesses, I guess there is a certain love for guns that I have to accept in my household.
But I think next Sunday morning we may just stick to the crossword puzzles, okay little guy?