My son complains I don’t play with him. I am not a play person – I like to do things. I like to travel. I take him places, I nurture his dinosaur passion. But to sit and play? Not my cup of tea.
As he approaches his eighth birthday, his interest shifted from all sort of Lego to guns. He still plays with Lego but he loves his Nerf guns – the plastic type, with foam darts and balls.
Visiting friends in Calgary, I heard the dad saying how many times he played with guns in his childhood and this didn’t turn him into a violent person. And Today’s Parent published a good article about the subject in 2010 – but still current.
I always hated guns. I came from a violent country and lived for over 20 years in a violent city. I still remember the nights I woke up with the sound of (real) guns and moved to another room to feel safe and make sure no lost bullet would find me. It’s an experience I don’t recommend anyone.
I moved to Canada in 2005 and took me five long years to sleep a full night without hearing strange noises and get worried about my safety.
And then I found myself running around the house with a Nerf gun in my hands and, with my heart racing, hiding from my son during what we called a Nerf Gun War! It was incredibly fun, for some reason. From Nerf gun wars, we moved to targets around the living room and I realized that I was, yes, having fun while playing with my son. And, mind you, playing with guns!
His dad was a sit and play type of guy and I always think about the fact that my son was not going to have this kind of attention while he grows up. And here I am, the mom that hates guns, having gun wars with my son. We even took two little guns for a trip to the ski hill and had a blast while running around a little forested area. And as we pack for a family reunion in Jamaica, two water guns found their way into my son’s backpack.
So, before labeling myself as a mom that not plays, I should say that I have to find what I like to do with him and embrace it. Even if this means a little violence-oriented fantasy play!