Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be gun-toting, second amendment-defending, violence-loving, Y-chromosome-bearing 11-year-olds.

For those of you who swear you'll never let your little boys play with toy guns...yeah, so did I.


Once upon a time, in a galaxy land far, far away, I was a liberal princess (who didn't need saving), spouting politically-sound arguments in favor of peace, love, and gender-neutral toys from the turret of my very own feminist castle (in a kingdom free of Tonka trucks, Rescue Heroes, and the bane of my existence, the perpetual thorn in my my side, my Achilles heel...Nerf). And I was happy there, as delusional people often are. I was, truth be told, a bit smug, looking down on all you moms with your boys making pistols out of paper clips and playground bombs out of bark chips.

But then it happened to me. To my sweet, innocent, peace-and-love-loving boys. First came the desire for camouflage. And I'm not speaking metaphorically here: the day came that they stood in Children's Place and rejected the embroidered puppy dog ensembles in favor of those olive green camo cargo pants and t-shirts. This change in apparel was followed shortly by the ka-boom and pow! pow! sound effects only little boys can make sound so authentic coming out of their cherubic, milk-fed mouths. And then: in came the arsenal. The battle axes. The rockets and the swords and the water pistols and the cross-bows. And before my very eyes, they turned into boys who just. can't. get. enough.

But you know. You've seen.

I have nothing left to hide. (And there's certainly no way I'm wearing camo.) Still...I raised them better than this! I raised them vegan, FFS.

So I'm here to tell you, it could happen to you. Even if you co-sleep. Even if you wear your baby in an organic cotton sling made by fair-trade sisters from a developing nation. Even if you breastfeed. Even if you have once purchased a Ralph Nader onesie. Even if you cloth diaper your sons and read them Lewis Carrol and Robert Frost and tuck them into bed under rainbow quilts you found at a Salvation Army in San Francisco while marching in the Martin Luther King parade.

Even then. (I should know.)

And when it does happen, I'm sorry to tell you I cannot help you. In this disturbing world of play violence, there are no comrades at arms. There is no leave or honorable discharge. You've read All Quiet on the Western Front. You know it's true.

There is only the long, steep fall from grace as our once oblivious, soy-milk sipping, teddy bear slipper-wearing children take up their long-range Nerf sniper rifles and--without so much as flinching--shoot a foam bullet right at our heads.

While we're loading the dishwasher. Or the washing machine. With their dirty socks. And that's when you know what you've suspected all along: they all turn on you, eventually.

Every woman for herself.

May God go with you.
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