The sidewalk chalk emerged last week. All down the block there are toddler scribbles, preschool stick figures, grade school rainbows, flowers and hopscotch games.
You cannot help but hop yourself down the sidewalks as you fully digest this first sign of Spring.
The girls and I spent the afternoon drawing suns and rainbows, making our names in multi-colored bubble letters and creating elaborate flower gardens. Eloise’s hopscotch game went down by 4 houses and numbered to 65. Astrid licked the purple chalk a few times.
We walked down the block to join our neighbors in the craft and came across this drawing by one of them.
A girl running with a handgun.
It stopped me in my tracks.
Now I don’t have a toy gun policy but we don’t own any for them to play with. Not on purpose, they’ve never made that request. We do have squirt guns I guess. I frankly have never thought about it. I also am not naive and if you don’t buy them guns – their guns are made from sticks, toothbrushes and fingers. I grew up in the 70′s when cowboys and Indians and cops and robbers was in it’s prime. My brother made me play. He had toy guns. I’m okay with it. I am also related to many hunters that I love dearly. I believe my husband also may belong to the NRA, but we have a don’t ask don’t tell policy.
And if this picture was of a great bear hunter with a rifle or an old West cowboy it probably wouldn’t have bothered me – but a modern day girl with a handgun and a sinister look – I disapproved.
Where were the rainbows, the sunshine, the flowers, the kittens, the butterflies? Where was foursquare, the hopscotch, the tic-tac-toe. Why do young children feel compelled to draw pictures of gun-toting bad girls? Why do they even know?
So weigh in readers – no wrong or right answers. Am I a rainbow smoking overprotective prude? Do you see nothing wrong with this? Not looking for an intense debate, I just am curious as I was just so shocked and sad and needed to explore my feelings, ahem. Maybe it is really no big deal?
Oh motherhood, how hard you are.