I waited until my first born was the ripe old age of five before I introduced him to any shows with fighting, swords, blasters, guns, or wild play. What a good Mama, Yes? Of course that means Brody was three when he first saw Star Wars, and Asher (only one at the time) learned to walk with a Light Saber in each of his sweet little hands. We called him General Grievous. So much for sheltering our children from violence. But with older boy cousins and neighbors who all carried a full arsenal of weapons around the cul de sac, I knew we had to give the boys a proper education.
When i finally gave into the the manly rite of passage we know to be Star Wars my brother, sister-in-law, and their two padawans called to share their excitement with us. My Brother said as we said goodbye, "may the force be with you." I had to stop myself from saying "and also with you," cause that just seemed a little sacrilegious somehow.
I know that we all have stories of our boys and their Star Wars fanaticism, for the force is strong with all little boys. But I have to share my favorite recent Star Wars story. It was lunch time and the boys were gathered around the table to pray before we ate. Brody and Asher both wanted to pray and so Brody, being older, went first.
This was his prayer: "Dear Lord, thank you for my mom and my dad, my brothers, and the missionaries who tell people about you."
Next came Asher's prayer, "Thank you God for being God... and for light sabers."
Brody opened his eyes and exclaimed, "You can't pray that!"
"Why not?" My smallest big guy challenged.
"Well, because God's real but light sabers aren't!"
Asher thought about it long and hard and finally shrugged before starting in on his lunch.
I admit it must be confusing. After all he can see the light sabers we have strewn about the house, but God??? Invisible.
Many wonderful conversations about good and evil, anger, hate, goodness and love, the good side and the dark side, and which side they want to be on have filled our home since we embarked upon our quest through this Galaxy Far Far Away... Brody often busts out with his Yoda impersonations at the most apt moments, (which doesn't surprise me since he did wear his Yoda-ears nearly everywhere he went for for an entire year!)
I recall the time Asher was afraid of going into Chick-filet because of "the big cow." Brody said solemnly from within his five-point harness, "Mmmm, I sense fear in you, young padawan... fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate, and hate leads to the dark side... Mmmm."
We all laughed, but Asher still asked to go through the drive-thru.
Tonight Yoda had to speak those same words to me...
I got so frustrated trying to teach Caleb his Math lesson I had to put myself in time-out in our room. Matt was sitting on our bedroom floor playing Legos with Brody (Star Wars Legos of course,) when I came in and said, "I know I shouldn't be angry, anger isn't a primary emotion, it's usually fear or frustration that we experience as anger. I'm just frustrated." Matt didn't look up from his play, as he quoted Brody's beloved Yoda. "Mmmm yes, fear leads to anger, and anger leads to the dark side."
"I know!" I laughed aloud while Brody keeled over in a fit of giggles, "I've already turned to the dark side... I feel like a Sith Lord!"
"Be careful, or the children know this, they will." Matt smiled and gave me a wink. I went back to Caleb's desk resolved again to teach him with goodness and patience, not anger and frustration. I needed a fresh dose of "the force," I guess.
May the force be with you too, as you teach your younglings well.