Thursday, September 4, 2008

Viking longswords, now.

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.


Jocelyn said...

I'll have to make abelskivers for your boys. My daughters are 1/4 Danish and one did her own report on Vikings -- we skipped the whole "rape and pillage" part and referred to them as "explorers". Yeah. That was 2nd grade. You enjoy your longswords, I'm busy researching 16th century costumes for my daughter who just joined a Scottish reanactment guild.

Meadowood Designs said...

How fun. I hope you can sew.
They made me paint the channels down the swords with red lacquer paint. I kid you not. One sword blade is now bronze, the other gold. On Saturday we're making a Viking dinner for some friends, then I think I'm DONE with Vikings. No, I didn't tell them about rape, they're way too young for that, but they definitely understand about the bezerkers. And I have them dressed and using their swords on film. Heh, heh, heh. Oh, I have SO much ammunition when they have girlfriends!