In yesterday’s post, I began to write about letting my little boy have weapons. I started out vehemently against the idea of weapons in any way shape or form. These posts are a confession of sorts. They tell you a little bit about how and why I changed my mind. Follow along, won’t you?
Over time, I came to realize by reading many illuminative books, written by men, that our little boys are hard wired to be hunters, protectors, and defenders. (Books like Bringing Up Boys, Wild at Heart, and Raising a Modern Day Knight) Through extensive research, both secular and Christian, I came to understand how our society is emasculating our little boys and “butching up” our little girls.
We are not meant to be homogeneous. We are meant to be unique and different and exceptional. We are designed to complement each other in life and in marriage. My strengths are probably his weaknesses and his strengths are my weaknesses. Girls like to talk. Boys make noise. Girls tend towards more orderly, quiet play (now, I was a total tomboy and could out run and out climb the local boys, but still liked to play house and sing into my hairbrush). Boys tend towards being rowdier, slaying dragons, catching bad guys, and saving friends.
My son still loved caring for our animals, played “zoo” with his stuffed animals and “let’s cook” in his plastic kitchen (as well as with me in the real kitchen) and he even watched Dora, but there was never any doubt that he was all boy. During his rowdy times, he was pure energy. He was driven to protect me (at that time, the only girl in his life), to the best of his ability. Just like a super hero. Just like Spiderman and Batman. And it was a good thing. How are you helping your little boy become the man he is supposed be? Is your idea of protecting him actually emasculating him? Are you telling him that being hard wired to protect and rescue is not the way he is supposed to act? Are your words and actions negating his innate self worth?
It took a while. Years, actually. I eventually came to believe that weapons themselves are not evil. School shootings are not caused by guns nor even by gun ownership. They are caused by mentally ill people, most of whom have acquired the weapons they use by illegal means. They were not young people taught to respect the power of weapons and to deal with them responsibly. They were people who see weapons as a way to power, a way to exact revenge, or a way to get attention.
So, my son had Nerf swords in the beginning, followed by Nerf guns. He had wooden swords and Captain America shields. He totally got into super heroes. He wanted to save people, to help people. We set the rules very early on. We never attacked people or animals (even pretend). We could imagine bushes and trees were dragons or Doc Ock. We had discussions as to what was appropriate. We worked to save or defend. We never acted maliciously. We never set out to hurt people or animals.
When he was a little older, we talked about fishing and hunting. With projectile weapons, the goal was: one shot, one kill. A quick, humane kill, but only, and I stressed the ONLY, if you plan on eating it. No shooting birds, chipmunks, or squirrels just for the fun of it. Killing is not fun, but at times, it might be necessary. When I was a child being raised by a single mom, there were times we survived on what friends of the family killed and cleaned for us.
Have I got you completely scared yet? Let me know what you are thinking in the comments below. I only ask that comments be respectful.
Tune in next time for the conclusion of this story. I’ll see you then.