Young Guns

You know how when you’re expecting your first child, you mentally list all things that you and your child will never do?

For example, here are a few.  In no particular order:

  • No television until they are 2 years old.
  • They will never eat in the car.
  • A Happy Meal will not be a dining option.
  • Homeschooling is for weirdos.
  • Yelling is not to be tolerated.

And then when they are, say, 10 months old, you realize that you’ve broken every single parental promise you ever made to yourself?

I swore many years ago that I would never ever buy weaponry for my children.  I have a deep and abiding fear of guns.  I’m not anti-gun, mind you.  I believe strongly in the right to bear them.  But when I was but a child, I nearly had my head blown off by a friend of my parents who was demonstrating his new hunting rifle while we were out in the country at our farm.

I felt the bullet whiz over the part in my hair, and turned to see a significant hole in the wall behind me.

It left an impression.

I’ve had friends with similar views, who later confided to me that after a strong anti-gun stance, they threw up their hands when one morning their son fashioned a gun out of a piece of toast and shot his sister at the breakfast table.

I’ve been lucky, I suppose.  Jensen has leaned more toward the arts than to all the usual boy-centric interests.  Well, of course with the exception of his fascination with plumbing.  And dogs.

Recently we were invited to a birthday party for two of Jensen’s very best buddies.  These are boy’s boys.  Testosterone in abundance.  And they wanted to have an air soft party which is a party that involves guns and shooting tiny pellets at other party guests.  The host, a dear friend of mine, knowing that we are of the paranoid ilk, also brought along crafts and various wheeled bikes and scooters for the children of gun-phobic parents.

Jensen showed absolutely no interest in the whole gun aspect of the party, and was looking forward to just seeing his buddies and being within close proximity of E (his beloved) who now delights in ignoring Jensen’s attentions.  And btw, he is not in the least bit dissuaded.

I assured Fiddledaddy that I would have everything well in hand, and that he need not worry, our boy would not want anything to do with shooting his friends.

At some point during the party I was chatting with my girlfriends, and turned around and caught sight of this:

That’s my son, in the middle.  Holding his gun high in the air.  This will be the cover of Homeschool Monthly.

A few moments later, Fiddledaddy called.  “I was just feeling a little paranoid, and wanted to check to see how everything is going.”

So I sent him this picture:

I think we’ve turned a corner.

And I’m just along for the ride.


Have a fantastic weekend, my friends!

6 Responses to Young Guns

  • I had the same vows when we had our first child… and now, the mom of three and a proud Air Force family, my views have become more along the lines of “We don’t shoot people” and “We don’t pretend to shoot in the pews of the church”

    Ya gotta draw the line somewhere!

  • Welcome to my world! 😉

  • At least he has high fashion eyegear…

  • I understand completely. I never gave my oldest (who is now 16 – How did THAT happen!) any gun related things. Not that I was anti-gun, quite the contrary, but there were a lot of parents whose kids my son played with who were VERY anti gun. They were all “we don’t hurt people” and guns are bad etc. So really I did not want to deal with the peer pressure.

    Then we took our then 3 year old to visit his grandparents “Up North” (which is just about everywhere for us southern Floridians) and what does my most wonderful mother-in-law do? Give my kid squirt guns and proceed to chase him around the house shooting him. I pretty much gave up the fight right there.

    Now my 16 year old has a knife AND wants to spend his Christmas money on a gun. BUT he is very level headed and my husband grew up hunting much younger than that. My 8 year old wants an AirSoft machine gun of all things. And it is true – you can restrict guns all you want and next thing you know the pbj sandwich is a gun shooting you in the back. It is just how boys are.

    I read a great article about this several years ago, and one mother of several boys explained how this was all learning how to protect your family and be courageous. And after thinking a bit about that I think she is right. Somebody has to do it, and women and “girly men” saying “Can’t we all just get along” won’t cut it in many situations. Rock on dudes!

  • The beauty of having children when you are 12, like I did surely…elsewise how would I have children who are in their 30s now…is that I wasn’t smart enough, aware enough of the dangers of life or something. Because I simply viewed parenthood as an adventure and don’t remember making any such promises to myself. I considered each day a success because Social Services didn’t show up and take them away 🙂 Some days, though, I hoped that they would. Just kidding. Sort of. Who remembers that long ago, anyway?

  • I was shot in the face with a back scratcher turned machine gun in the local grocery store by a young lad, much to the horror of his parents. I merely said, “3 boys”. We grinned and continued our shopping. I don’t claim to know what makes my boys tick, but when I hear something ticking I duck and take cover. Without a doubt, it’s a grenade. 🙂