Burying Weapons of War for Peace


There’s a story in the scriptures about a group of people so penitent and contrite that they buried their weapons of war deep in the earth as a symbol of their promise never to fight again.

It’s a touching gesture. But after today, I’m not so sure those weapons weren’t buried by frustrated mothers who were sick and tired of all the arguing over whose sword was who’s.

Let’s just say there is a plastic toy sword being buried deep in our city’s landfill as we speak…

It all starts so innocent, doesn’t it? A gift. Yesterday somebody gave us a toy sword as a present. Just because! So nice. So thoughtful. One caveat: I have two small boys who are very much into toy swords. That’s right. Two small boys, one sword. One sword, two small boys. Houston, we have a problem.

Oh sure, we set timers and tried to take turns. We calmly lectured (ok, so maybe not “calmly”) about the virtue of sharing, and attempted again and again to broker “deals” (that sword for my special Lego ninja…) but it was all in vain. There was crying, wailing and gnashing of teeth at every turn from the moment they opened the package till the sun went down.

“It’s my sword!!”
“No, it’s my turn to play with it!!”
“My turn was too short!!”
“You said I could have it after breakfast!!”
“But I just waaaaant it!!!”

After hours and hours of this, I’d had it. As only a fed up mother can do, I snatched the sword out of their gimme-gimme clutches and dramatically marched out into the cold night air with it. All the children waddled behind me like incredulous little ducklings in their cold, stockinged feet, wondering what in the world I was up to with that crazed look in my eye. Down the driveway, through the snow, and around to the side of the house where the big black trash bin lives, I thrust the three dollar piece of plastic down into it’s dark depths with flare.

“There! It’s gone! It’s nobody’s sword now! Problem solved.”

Tell me someone else has moments like these.

My mother-in-law was notorious for cutting the electric cables to the TV as her no-nonsense attempt to snap her children out of it’s captivating spell. Cut them! Just like that. With real scissors! She did this several times. (I’m not sure whether they kept buying new TVs or if they got to know the TV repair man pretty well.) I used to not be able to wrap my head around such drastic measures. Talk about brazen.

Now I totally get it.

As a result, my husband and his brothers grew up learning how to splice wires together and fix things. Who knows? Maybe my boys will grow up to be archeologists.

I can only imagine what other mothers have buried deep in the earth, during their more colorful moments, over the ages. I can’t be the only one.


6 responses »

  1. Thank You! Thank You! I will confess I’ve had these moments. Now I know I’m not alone. Brave of you to share and brave of you to not fish it out later. Good for you!

  2. I found this sooo funny and thought to myself….’been there…done it……got the t shirt! LOL My daughter now does the same with her offspring and…if things don’t get cleared up…in the bin!…..and she means it!..with five children raging from 8 to 14yrs it has taken some time but…it works! Good for you!

  3. Dear Margaret,

    I loved your story–it was so well written, and funny…….and so relatable. It’s been a few years since I was in the “fray” but the skills you develop as a parent are useful throughout life. Keep up the good work with your parenting and your writing. Thanks, Irene

  4. Eighteen years of brokering, bargaining and begging my identical twin girls to ¨get along¨, ¨share¨, ¨no fighting¨ ; life has a way coming full circle. My twins had twins! Yea!!!

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