I am a peace loving person...I really am. When my sons were little, I did not buy them guns. I didn't believe in it and it was against every moral fiber of my being. I bought them legos, trucks and pretend tools...everything I could think of that a boy would want to play with...but no guns. I did notice that every lego creation turned into a gun, and every stick in the yard could be fashioned into a gun, but I held strong and did not buy them guns.
When my youngest was around 10, he wanted a BB gun for Christmas. I said no way. My husband was fine with him having one and learning about guns. We even watched "A Christmas story" where the stock line is "be careful or you'll shoot your eye out" after the kid got a Red Ryder gun. That Christmas, behind our tree was a Red Ryder gun from Santa. I caved...but I made about 100 rules for the gun to include never shooting at something alive and so on. Both boys played with the gun and shot at things for a month or two and then lost interest.
Fast forward to last year...my oldest son started getting in Air Soft guns. He was invited to a friends house for a war. They were all going to run around in the woods and shoot at each other. Of course, I said no. "I don't want you shooting at anyone with a gun. Never, ever...you will turn into a serial killer...isn't that how Klebold and Harris started?" "Come on Mom", he said..."it's just a bunch of guys pretending...I mean, we could be doing drugs." The drugs thing always gets me. When they are doing things that I wish they wouldn't, I always think...they could be on drugs! "OK" I finally gave in, "but take your brother with you. And wear eye protection". I tell you, I am getting better and better at this mother thing every year!
Last week, while I was in Florida, my oldest let my husband know that is was his turn to have a war at our house. Having a war at your house is a good thing for me because I can hold every single thing that needs to be done over both of the boys heads..."If you don't do your homework, there will be no war" and "you better clean up that basement or there will be no war"...and so on. Last night, I had an english paper delivered to my bed at 10:30 pm to prove that my oldest's side of bargain was indeed held up. Some righteous house cleaning was done as well...all in the name of war.
There are certain things that must accompany a good war at someone's house. You must have cheap pizzas. My husband offered to make some of his pizzas again and the offer was declined. "We need store pizzas dad, that's just how it works". You also need chips, wings, store brand soda and doritos. Someone must bring a game system if the owner of the home does not have one for the times of peace. And, they have to talk really loud during times of peace because they love the sound of their 16 and 17 year old voices. They also have a dress code of sorts. Eye protection is the universal "mother" rule and then dark clothes or fatigues to blend into the woods unless you have a really great gun. The other rules are as follows: No shooting at the house and no shooting at the dogs...other than that, it is a free for all.
The group started at this number, but you never know how many will show by the end of the war. They start around 10 am (that's early for teenage boys) and will go all day. They make teams and scenarios and run through the yard all day shooting at each other. I can look out the windows and witness a gun battle at any time. Not my favorite thing to see but I do have a sense of humor and they are kind of funny. They sneak and crawl and hide...and they are pretty serious during the war. This is important teenage entertainment.
I must state again...I am a peace loving person. These boys though...they look like giant preschoolers dressed up as pretend soldiers. They drink a bunch of cheap soda, eat lousy pizza and chips, and burp really loud after which you hear a big laugh from the basement...and they plan the next game.
Good and bad, funny and ironic, young men but still boys that like to pretend.
I just stay away and let them know when I need to go outside so I don't get shot. I wish real war was like the one's at my house...no one gets hurt, they have a great time, and a big burp can reduce them all the uncontrollable laughter.
The world would be so much nicer....
We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,