Today, despite my owwie arm and neck, it was such a gorgeous day that I just had to take my twins to the playground. Soon after we arrived, a neighbor and her 3 yr-old grandson stopped by and the children began playing together.
Just one catch – the boy had a toy gun. It was one of those plastic machine guns that made “real” ‘ack-ack’ noises. He was aiming at the girls and shooting away.
Neither one of my girls had seen a toy gun before, to my knowledge, and weren’t quite sure what to make of this “playing”. The boy generously offered to share his toy with the girls, and instructed them how to shoot it.
I quickly got involved at this point and told the girls it was never ok to point it at someone and that guns should only be used for target practice.
Halle and Zanna were thankfully still bewildered by this “toy”, and in their own creative and innocent way made ‘proper’ use of it – Zanna quickly got to work using it as a power tool to ‘repair’ some of the motorcycle rocking rides on the playground, and Halle quickly followed suit when it was her turn.
Now it was the little boy, whose gun it was, who was baffled. He asked for his turn with it and got back to shooting, but as soon as it was back in the hands of my girls, it was put to more peaceful and constructive use – this time to “repair” the playground equipment.
Eventually the children grew tired of the toy and set to work cooperatively using shreds of grass to build a big nest for birds to use.
…They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. –The Bible, NIV