This year, it's the plastic NERF guns.
Now, I am a pacifist. I detest war, violence, guns or weaponry of any kind. However, I live, unfortunately, in a household full of male energy, males who enjoy chasing each other around the house, recreating a fiery shoot-out in the middle of my kitchen . Males who could probably make a career out of faking their most gruesome demise from make-believe gun shot wounds. I have watched as both my sons have flung themselves to the floor and cried out in agony as they pretend to gasp out their last remaining breath.
"Oh Weston, I don't think I'm gonna make it," Nicholas pants as he tumbles to the ground in an Oscar-worthy performance
"Gaaaahead," Weston bellows, "make my day," as he strategically places his final fatal fake shot and puts his sweet younger brother out of his misery.
But amidst the fiery shootout and the graphic death scenes on my kitchen floor, the boys have become somewhat creative.
They have designed their own personal body armor.
In a flash of genius, Weston grabs two of Nicholas's backpacks and straps them to the front of his chest.
"Hey Nick, look, I have my bullet proof vest on!"
Not wanting to be outdone by his creative older sibling, Nicholas grabs a sack and straps it to his chest too. Of course, it is his favorite...the pink Dora backpack. He utters a blood curdling scream and runs after Weston in a firing frenzy, while the smiling pink Dora serves as the imaginary bullet protecting shield.
"Wait a minute Mom." Weston says. "You need to get a good picture of our bullet proof vests." He pulls his brother close, puts his arm lovingly around his brother's shoulder and smiles.
It is a tender moment, a loving time-out from the blood and guts of weaponry and warfare.
For the life of me, I don't think I will ever understand the minds of boys!