Going On A Bear Hunt (Or If You’re A Girl, A Nazi Hunt)

I took Cameron, Justin and Alex to the park this morning. Nothing particularly interesting or out of the ordinary about that. There were two cute little blonde girls there, all dressed in pink. They were with their two or so year-old brother, and their grandmother.

At some point Justin acquired a very large stick. He said he was using it for a bear hunt. I had some concerns because typically when you put any long, narrow (phallic, really) implement such as a stick, a baseball bat, a wrapping paper tube, a piece of scrap wood, a toy rake, a toy snow shovel, a golf club, a flute, a broom, a baton, a yardstick, an empty two-liter bottle, a broken curtain rod, a segment of a plastic race track, an umbrella, a kaleidoscope, a belt, a giant pencil, a flashlight, or a vacuum cleaner attachment into the hands of a boy, it’s only a matter of seconds before it becomes weaponized.

So I kept a close eye on him to make sure he wasn’t terrorizing Alex or the other kids with it. And other than some running around while holding it, which was a little nerve-wracking, Justin just continued on his bear hunt without incident. Then I heard something remarkable. The girls. Playing with their brother. The oldest was explaining that what they would be doing is going after the “Nazis” with guns and swords. After they killed all the Nazis, they’d need to escape to their boat, but needed to be extra careful because if more Nazis are in the water, they might try to sink their boat and drown them.

This all happened while Cameron sat at a picnic table with me, writing in his journal, Alex was sweetly going down the slide over and over, and Justin was just digging in the dirt with his stick. Perfect angels.

It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I’m still confused.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011

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