December 13, 2007

What Will He Hold?

The second thing I remember thinking after we found out that Mr. D was going to be a Mister was, "Some old white guy is going to want to put my baby in harm's way."

So when he mentioned having seen an awesome "real" lightsaber "what you could hang on your wall," the other day, I couldn't take it.

"I will not have a weapon hanging on the wall in my house!" I fumed. Stunned by my vehemence, he burst into tears.

I wasn't raised Quaker. And one of my all-time favorite childhood memories is seeing the original Star Wars movie with my dad when it first came out.

I have a weak spot for the Force, and so Star Wars slipped past my defenses. Part of why my son was so surprised is that he knows I like Star Wars. Or at least that I like the story. He sometimes plays with weapons at friends' houses, but our house has remained a weapon-free zone. Except for the plastic light sabers. It's so confusing.

I apologized. I explained to him that I'm afraid some bad leader will think that something is worth sending other people's sons off to die for, and that it makes me scared to think that it might be him some day. I also told him that I wouldn't change my mind.

And then I remembered all the times that he has been moved by beauty.

And music.

And I held him close, singing a prayer for peace in my heart.

(How do we raise peaceful children
in these violent times? Your thoughts?
PS: Mr. D is featured on the Anti-Racist Parent site today)


Nancy Bea said...

Oh, this is a hard issue. I have three boys myself and despite their proto-Quaker parents and early Quaker school education they all have a predilection for using sticks n rocks n reeds as play guns, bows and arrows, swords, bombs (guns aren't the only weapon!) It TRULY seems ingrained, an instinct...they made these actions when they were tiny, before they even saw any TV or movies.

Our thin edge of the wedge was allowing water pistols ( a beloved part of all-neighborhood summer fun) and yes, Star Wars. I think you just have to keep the reality-checks and dialogue going, and pray!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

no boys here; girls...
wishing i had the answer to this question, being a peace monger too and all! agreeing with you; thinking perhaps if we stop doing one thing and calling it something else; if we put competition into perspective; if we put more art into school and tell the truth about history.
bet you are sorry you asked? ;-)

Cloudscome said...

I knew that was Mr. D.'s head as soon as I saw that picture in my bloglines! He even has cute hair.

Raising peaceful children... the hardest thing. In my Quaker school this week, in a computer class with third graders I was teaching them something about how to start new documents. I let them insert clip art and the first thing one boy searched for was the keyword "guns". I told him no weapons... keep it appropriate for school.. and he just sighed and deleted it. It made me shudder. Both that I was squelching his interest without any further conversation and that he wanted that first of all.