Amidst the Boston Marathon bombing and the U.S. Senate’s disapproval of the gun legislation, my 3-year-old son JJ got in trouble at school last week for playing “weapons.”
It’s a game where he and other preschoolers run around the room pretending their hands are guns and their classmates are targets. The boys in his class are superheroes and villains.
Some days JJ is Batman, and on those days he doesn’t carry a gun. It might be a shield or some other superhero gadget. Pretend or not, they’re out to capture or hurt the bad guy.
Ten years ago, a parent wouldn’t think twice if told her son was playing “weapons” in the backyard. In fact, I played “weapons” with neighborhood boys when I was a kid. I dressed like the pink or yellow Power Ranger and we fought the bad guys. Our pretend battles is no different than the ones JJ has with his friends.
Some might think it’s inappropriate because gun violence and terrorism have rocked our country. I disagree.
We’re overly sensitive about child’s play. Kids can’t be kids anymore. What ever happened to “Cowboys and Indians”? Or are those outlawed, too?
As parents we pretend to be bothered by kid games like this because it’s not politically correct. And now I’m supposed to be upset about how my son plays with others?
Well, I’m not upset with JJ or that the other boys in his classroom play weapons.
Somewhere someone is researching the two young men who are responsible for the Boston bombing. They’re probably searching their childhood and wondering if they played weapons.
It’s sad that a few crazy people in the world are ruining child’s play for generations to come. What was once fun is now deemed horrific because of recent events.
“Are you supposed to play weapons?” I asked JJ.
“No,” he quickly responded.
JJ is too young to understand why he isn’t supposed to play such games.
I’ve tried to explain the difference between pretend and real life, but it’s been difficult.
I won’t give up trying to teach him the reality of guns. But I’ll also understand that he is just a child.
Each morning since the Boston bombing, we’ve included the victims and the city of Boston in our prayers.
“What’s Boston, mommy?” he asks.
“It’s a big city, just like Chicago.”
“And people died?”
Tunette Powell is married with two children. You can read her every Tuesday on momaha.com
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