Mom!  Can I buy a bokkenswordwithawoodscabbard?

Sometimes when Noah wants me to say yes, he speaks as fast as he can, as if not being able to understand him will immediately render me compliant.  It’s as if he thinks I’m distracted enough to nod my head and wave him away.  Smart kid.

But this time I was listening.

Me:  Ok. Speak Englsih.  What do you want?

Noah: (slowly and clearly) A Bokken Sword with a wood scabbard.

Me:  Ok. Speak Englsih.  What do you want?

Noah:  Mom!!!

Me:  Sorry.  It sounds like something you would get at Ikea.  And you don’t like Swiss furniture.

He drags me to the computer and shows me a picture of the following:


Ah.  I should have known.  The Bokken Sword is on the Karate Supply website, the same site where we purchased his Bow Staff and Sais.   Trust me when I say that my home often looks like the cross between a torture chamber and a renassaince fair. 


This time, for $19.95 he gets a hardwood crafted weapon “to practice drawing techniques without the danger of using a sharpened metal sword.”  His brother gets an accident waiting to happen.  And I get a trough full of hassles and quandaries with which I am well familiar.

 The answer to Noah’s question SHOULD be obvious.

 No.  NO.  Nooooooooo.

 Yet, I am conflicted by my ongoing position that boys are going to play with weapons whether you buy them or not.  It doesn’t make them violent; it makes them children.  Deny them and you find yourself with a kid who is  1) disturbingly fascinated with the items he was forbidden to use or 2) hell bent on creating a makeshift weapon with a broomstick, his finger, or the dog whatever else is lying around the house. 

I really don’t mind the weapon thing. To wit, the brothers have spent the last few weeks in a constant state of warfare with the Nerf Raiders we purchased for the holidays.  Nothing is more fun than these guns.  They are learning strategy, patience, and to never attack and unarmed Mommy.  All valuable life lessons.

The Bokken Sword, however, could be problematic, not because Noah will use it to harm anyone on purpose but because people and things could be placed in peril “by accident”.   Still, as black belts in karate, Noah and I have both learned how NOT to hurt people which is probably the greatest lesson offered in the martial arts.  So should Igive him the opportunity to act responsibly with this scary looking (and sounding) piece of wood?  Or fall to conventional wisdom and say “no way sensei!”

The answer lies in an ancient phrase from long ago, passed down from generations and used regularly in our home to address the most pressing and problems that have the most dire implications:

 Ask Daddy.

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