“Im going to build a tree house…Im going to make it three HUNDRED stories high! And Im going to put a big platform on the top so I can watch for zombies, and then one day Im also going to invent a button…”
“Yea, A Button…a magic button, so I can push it and the entire worlds information will be in my brain automatically!”
“But…when that happens, wont you know everything?”
“Oh….maybe…but if I forget it? It will be easier to put BACK in…”
Ahh…such is life. With a ten year old boy whos imagination is LIMITLESS. To be young again.
Dear random people who think they know what their talking about…
I have a thing, or two, to tell you,
You often tell me that I need to encourage Dylan to “Slow down” and “Get in touch with himself” I should teach him to be “Sensitive” and “Caring” and all the above…and while that is all good, I have to wonder…have you people ever been around a boy?
I once heard that the definition for a boy is: n’ a noise with dirt on it. Which, for those of you who have never been around boys for longer than 10 minutes. This. Is very, accurate.
Dylan is…all about adventure. He is all about noise. He is “Rough” and “Tough”. Heights are his friends, and danger his companion. Falling out of trees, is nothing more than something to brag to his friends about. But, I get it. Not many people appreciate the roughness that comes from a 10 year old boy. Some, would even go as far to call him a “Brute”. Let me, explain.
I realize, when people go shopping, they are, for the most part, looking for a calm outing in town. Where they get this fantasy? I have no idea. I heard that somewhere, and applied it, before quickly dismissing the fantasy that shopping with three kids would be anything BUT a calm outing. When you shop, I can understand how it would be a little…unnerving to come down an isle where Dylan has ‘Set up base’. When you go to select the item you needed, and out from behind the display jumps a wild 10 year old boy, who is shooting right through you – I get it, it wasn’t in your “Things to see before you die” but let me explain something, if I may…he was saving the world from zombies, weird, I know, but just play along. Pretend you were ten, the grocery store, is anything BUT a store, it is filled with so much more than just groceries and random health foods. To you, a 10 year old boy – it is a war zone, a battle field…and you (random person), happen to be in his way, hes not being rude, you just do not exist in his mind…therefore, you are not there. In your place was a “Zombie” and he was just doing some good – protecting you, and all.
I also realize that when you see him hop on his bike, peddle as fast as he can before jumping on the seat, throwing his head back and yelling at the top of his lungs – you might be alarmed. I was too. The first time I saw him do it. But, as you might have witnessed, now I high five him, tell him good job, and pretty much encourage him down this road that is bound to end with a broken bone.
I get it. You’ve told me. But let me tell you something.
After his teeth are brushed, and his clothes are changed. After the lights go out, I get to witness something that you don’t. Every night I listen, as he climbs out of his bed, and up into the bed with his sister. I listen as they exchange a few words, and I hear them giggle every once and a while…and without prompting, I can hear him, every night, without fail, tell his sister he loves her. I hear him tell his cousin he loves him…and I listen as silence sweeps in around them…taking them off to dream land.
I see him hold the door open for his sister, and I see him go back to open it for someone who might be struggling with a large box. I hear him address you as “Mr” or “Mrs”, and I see the random acts of kindness that he does – without any pushing, prodding, or encouraging. You may see his wild side – I see plenty of it myself. But I also see him when he comes home from school, and goes straight to his cousin who sees him as his hero.
You once asked me what I would do, when his imaginary guns, turned into weapons. How would I feel when he came home one day, and unleashed his pent up anger by killing everyone in their beds while they slept. How would I feel, knowing I had taught him to use a gun.
To be honest, it wasn’t me who taught him about guns…and for the longest time, he didn’t play with guns, he wanted nothing to do with guns. But when he started to show an interest in them, when he discovered them, on his own…I took the opportunity to be the first one to teach him all he knows about them…and while you may gasp in horror, let me tell you what I told him the first time he started to “shoot someone”.
“Guns are made to kill. Guns don’t kill. People do. Guns are doing their job. Always treat a gun as if it were loaded. Never point a gun at a persons head. Guns, were made to kill.”
I may have even driven the point home a little to hard, because his sister wont touch one. Terrified it will go off in her hands. They know. What guns do. Guns were made to kill, and kill they will. There is no undoing what has been done. You cant say “Opps, lets try that again” there isn’t any undoing it. Once the trigger has been pulled, there is no un-pulling it. He knows this. He understands this. Which is why I can confidently say I know he wont come home and shoot everyone while they sleep.
Its rare, yes, for a day to go by, without him talking about “Zombies” and “Guns” and “Weapons”. I realize this kind of talk might be alarming to the everyday, random person. But that isn’t what hes all about. He does have a soft spot in his heart, he does care, and he does understand. Infact, I might go as far as saying he understands a little bit more than you do, because while your concerned about what he “Looks like” Im concerned about what he actually thinks, and how he thinks. If he likes guns, then Im going to drive it home as hard as I can, the safety of them. Which is exactly what we have done.
He knows the difference between play and real. He knows that jumping out from behind a display with an imaginary machine gun wont kill anyone (unless, he gave you a heart attack, which, in that case, Im sorry). He knows that real guns, were made to kill, and that they will do their job. He knows this.
Hes strong willed, and determined.
Hes someones hero, and someones brother.
Hes a friend.
…and all in all Id say hes a pretty good kid.