Superheroes are all the rage around here these days. At any given moment you can find K smashing two little plastic figurines together in a raging battle of good versus evil.
I hear phrases like, "you're not the target market" (courtesy of the Lorax, K just told me) and, "watch out or I'm going to punch your face!" What? Are those phrases a 4 year old should say? Well, target market is waaaay over his head and thankfully he just talks about punching in the face with his little action figures, doesn't really care to do it for real. He and his buddies (about 4 other little guys in his age range) get all dressed up, bounce around the trampoline like they have super powers and say crazy stuff too.
Shay often runs around pretending to be the Hulk. He calls any and every super hero hulk. In his not yet 2 year old mind, superhero=Hulk! With a washcloth wrapped fist, he makes noises like Iron Man, but cries out, "HULK!"
All this fighting, pretend shooting, and good versus evil dominates a lot of time in our little guys' lives. 4 years ago, when K was first born, I NEVER would have thought that it would be this way. We had no toy guns and had a plan to never introduce them. Enter eating toast into the shape of a gun. And moving to the country where guns are much more a part of life. Am I worried that violence and darkness will win? Honestly, I don't even think about it.
What? I don't think about it? Not really. We teach our kids to play and we teach our kids how to live. Kids have incredibly active imaginations. They need to have space to play, to use their minds! They also need to be taught that pretend doesn't equal reality. Korban knows that guns aren't meant to be pointed at people. He knows that punching his buddies in the face would hurt. And he knows that we love him enough to teach him that a real battle rages inside of us. The best part? Praise God, the good guy always wins!