Monday, April 19, 2010

Ready, Aim, Fire!

I would describe us as a pretty "Pacifist" household. We (the adults--the kids aren't allowed to have an opinion about this yet) generally shun war-type movies.  Violent video games are forbidden. Even when the boys play Imaginary Battle, the most powerful weapon in their arsenal is: a Nerf gun.  So I was just a little bit shellshocked when I accompanied Derek to a Laser Tag birthday party at a friend's house last weekend. The man who runs this particular outfit set the scene with his pre-party Orientation Speech. He firmly established the Rules, such as: "When you're 'dead', go to the Graveyard (a.k.a. 'The Patio') and have some snacks until the next game starts." He offered some Tactical Advice from his own experience: "When you shoot someone, and you THINK they're dead...shoot them again, just to make sure!" He even touched on some Military Etiquette: "Don't abandon a teammate on the battlefield; it's not the honorable thing to do." The twenty pint-sized commandos absorbed all of his wisdom, then exploded into the backyard, brandishing their weapons, ducking for cover behind camo-painted boxes, screaming out phrases like "cover me, I'm gonna go sniping!" What the...? All it took was a charged gun and a team bandana, and somehow our adorable sons had morphed into miniature Rambos.  (And where do they pick up this stuff? Is 4th grade really such a War Zone? Or is it more of that Boy Brain wiring that I don't understand?)

So for the better part of two hours, they waged a fierce Turf War.  They organized themselves.  They hotly debated and strategized. They regrouped their squadrons and reloaded their stomachs (with Capri Suns, Doritos and Twizzlers--hearty Soldier Fare).  Then the Leader Guy said the magic words..."Who wants to play Adults versus Kids?" Oh, HECK yeah we want to shoot--I mean PLAY with our beloved offspring! He took us Big Kids aside to give us a quick introduction to firing, recharging, holding the perimeter--you know, just some Basic Training. Then we went out there...and got totally creamed.  It was twenty maniac boys against eight parents, so we really didn't have a chance.  But I have to admit, there was something disturbingly satisfying about lining up a perfect shot in your scope, and nailing your son as he dashed fact, I think this kind of exercise might have to become a regular part of Family Bonding at our house! (Memo to Self: we need more Nerf guns...and Twizzlers!)

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