I am essentially nonviolent. I don't even like Bruce Willis movies, honestly. I design sweaters, I bake bread, I read the poetry of Sharon Olds and Billy Collin aloud to my friends.
I homeschool my boys.
We have nearly completed our first history "unit study" of the year, which was chosen by both monkeys as the story of the Vikings. We have read several books, translated sentences of runes, made a movie, intereviewed a man who can trace his ancestors to Vikings, handled thousand-year-old coins, worn Viking helmets and felt the heft of chainmail, and memorized years, names, customs, religious beliefs, and accomplishments.
Tonight, I have just finished designing, cutting, and sanding two Viking longswords with my friend Kevin, who happens to have a wonderful wood shop in his garage and had girls, not boys (but is now the grandfather of three boys).
I made sure we took the router and cut the very authentic grooves down the middle of the swords. These grooves were for blood.
And I know that my two monkeys will love these swords. I will give them leather strips to decorate the handles, and perhaps they will paint the blades, or paint Thor's hammer onto the handles. Also, I know that they know what the grooves were for. And I have a certain abiding, yet unsubstantiated faith, that my boys are and will remain nonviolent.
I just hope that someday they will realize that their mother stayed up late making swords for them, for their entertainment and memory of history, and because she loves them. And maybe when I'm in my dotage they will read Sharon Olds and Billy Collins to me.