My sister in law gave Gray his very own light saber for Christmas, and he is rarely without it now.
My kids are not allowed to play with toy guns. I feel like weapons are not toys and that there are much better games to play than hurting people. But it's okay to hurt bad guys. But only with swords, not guns. And light sabers are swords. But weapons aren't toys...And...But...
Even I, the all knowing and powerful Mommy, have trouble understanding exactly where we draw the line.
This is a taste of my arbitrary and inconsistent logic:
First of all, guns are real. They are a present part of our culture. Swords are more fictional weapons. It is unlikely that my kids will go to a friend's house and see a sword lying around. However, in our rural community, hunting is a very popular activity. With hunting comes guns, and lots of them. (This the south, after all.) I don't want my kids ever confusing a real gun for a toy. I want to keep them away from even unintentional, accidental violence. Bubba thinks my terrified loathing of all firearms is overzealous, but he humors my arbitrary stipulations.
And they are arbitrary. I own my own contradictions. I admit that part of my double edged leniency comes from a "can't beat 'em, join 'em" surrender, and I let Gray "fight" with his saber.
I came to a realization, as my son was battling me. I was Darth Vader (Dark Vader, as Gray calls him).
"I cut your arm off," he giggled wickedly, light saber raised in one hand while the other hand rested on his hip. He was a perfect image of a proud hero.
"Oh no!" I dramatically collapsed on the floor.
"Leia! Leia! Are you okay?" Gray rushed to my side, gently touching my face.
I'd unknowingly switched sides. Our game had changed from hurting Dark Vader to helping Princess Leia. Whenever he cuts my arm off, he always fixes it.
"I'm okay, Luke," I answered.
"Okay. Come on, Chewy. You're Chewy."
We'd switched again. Now, we were friends, and Tibby became Dark Vader.
Our shifting game taught me that he wasn't just out to wreak havoc with his imaginary weapon. He was conquering evil, helping his sister, and working with his friend for a rightful cause.
Maybe I am spending too much brain power thinking about a stupid light saber. Maybe my differential treatment of toy swords and guns is inane. Maybe my son will one day want to be the bad guy. Maybe I'll change my mind about fighting games one day. I don't know.
What I do know is that my son is a caring, loving little boy. He plays with light sabers and Barbies. My rules may not work for everyone, but they seem to work for my son...for now.
What are your thoughts?
Where do you draw the line?