Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: In the shadows of pirate swords

They've raided my silverware drawer again for pirate swords, and I find irritation creeping into my voice as I  bellow down the hallway for someone to bring the butter knives back so I could PUL-ease swipe peanut butter across the hollow body of a celery stalk.

But, mom, the oldest protests, the foam swords are broken and these are the only swords we have left to defend the pirate ship!

Everything is pirate swords. Or light sabers. Or riffles.

And there are not enough foam swords on the shelves in all of the greater Chicagoland Target stores to keep my boys in the business of being brave.

So sticks from the backyard are carried like guns and butter knives are confiscated from the silverware drawer first thing in the morning after I unload the dishwasher.

It all drives me sort of crazy -- this constant need and desire for battle that's seemingly engrained in their biological make up, their genetic codes.

I lose sight of who they are when I get all wild, demanding butter knives be returned to my lunch-making hands.

When I deep groan internally after the oldest has been carrying on about the complexities of fighting an imaginative Darth Vader.

When I instruct them to stop light sabering the old My Little Ponies my mother dug out of the basement instead of treating them how I did -- combing and braiding their hair before frolicking about in the grass and building relationships with each other.

When John was away it was harder to sleep because I felt like I couldn't really turn off. {And it wasn't just because the dog, who now needs therapy, took his growling to the next level each time a car passed our house at night.}

But, rather, it was because I was thrust into a role that doesn't come as naturally to me as it does to John; he is the natural protector of our family.

Sure, if someone were to burst into our home I would get all mama bear and go into a blind, flesh-ripping rage of protecting my children ... but the desire to battle doesn't come as naturally as it does for my boys.

One night while John was gone, I prayed for God to watch over us as we rested. Not a full second after we'd said amen, my oldest son turned his eyes to me and told me I didn't have to even think about that.

Because not only would God protect us, but he would, too.

It's my job, he'd said.

I glimpsed the kind of man my four and half year old will one day become as he boldly proclaimed his intentions.

Thankfulness coated heavy the irritation that often emerges thick in my mind during the play battling, all the imaginative scenes of good versus evil unfolding in my living room and all the stolen butter knives morphed into pirate swords.

Because these moments are ones of play, yes, but they are also of building the desire to protect, to ensure good defeats evil.

And I surely know, I am reminded every time I read the headlines that the world needs more good pirates defending the ship.
Simple BPM


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6 comments:

  1. I truly love how little boys learn from their daddies and watch over the family as well. Fynn has been playing police officer lately... And while the pacifist in me crimes as he fashions guns out of jenga blocks, cardboard and painters tape, I love his fight for good :)

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  2. I love this piece! The world certainly does need more worth pirates on the good side of the fight. The line about your play with the ponies verses his....frolicking in the grass and building relationships! Oh, my. That made me laugh out loud. So true!

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  3. Oh my...my heart caught in my throat reading your son's reply to your prayer for protection. For these little boys will one day become men...and I hope and pray they would be men of courage, who are not afraid to stand up and fight for what's right. Yes, the world needs more "good pirates defending the ship".

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  4. Hahaha!!! I love this, especially since I witnessed the pirates swords and light sabers first hand. Those are some wise words coming from Mr. G. And tonight I will raise my sword in honor of our boys, and boy moms who are raising courageous boys.

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  5. Oh my goodness...your last line...isn't that just the truth! I love this bigger picture moment. It's really sweet.

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  6. From one boy mama to another I just have to say that I understand this piece all. too. well. The boys are natural fighters and protectors. Dom more than Anthony, but they both try so hard. And they are both so cute while doing it.

    And your dog and my dog can have therapy together. Every time a light passed my window while Nick was gone she growled a low growl, too. At first it was alarming then just... annoying. She is a protector, too.

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