Boys Will Be Boys
Heart to Heart

      Before you read this article, I want you to know that Jon gave me permission to write this and wholeheartedly agrees with what I wrote. This is not a putdown of men in any way, but just a look at the funny differences between husbands and wives and the toys we buy.

      Do you remember some (not all), just some of the accidents Josiah has incurred over the past few years of his life? I do not expect you to recall them all. You couldn’t possibly because there are just too many to recount. Even I sometimes fail to recollect each hair-raising scrape. However, trust me when I say that enough come to mind on the spur of the moment to prevent me from purchasing a sharp object that could potentially cut, wound, or maim Josiah. And I assure you that this cannot be attributed to an overactive motherly mind either.

      I have seen Jon’s eyes pop when he saw our son literally dangling by the neck of his turtleneck, which thankfully caught on a sharp point after falling about 12 feet from the top of a cedar tree. And, I might add, this was after we heard each thwack, thwack, thwack as he hit each branch on his fast descent from above. I also remember his grave expression the time Josiah fell on a very sharp spike, barely missing his eye. Then there were those four trips to the emergency room in one month, two of which were due to Josiah’s accidents—one gash to the temple that required a plastic surgeon and the other gash on the cheek, which required a “special” plastic surgeon. The latter one was caused by falling eight feet from his rope swing down upon a metal gate that he had tied to the end of his swing. Guess who was in the room with Josiah when he got his stitches? Me! Jon by that time was too sick to stay. Oh, he offered, but I knew by his face that the initial patch job at home had been enough for him, so I bid him to stay in the waiting room.

      And do you remember what caused his last visit to the emergency room just last spring? Does razor knife, a cut from the front of his palm to the back of his hand, and the doctor’s command that Josiah could not play sports, climb trees, or do most anything for months unless he wanted to have it ripped open sound familiar? Well, I remember all too well the blood, Jon’s unusual fear-gripped face, his pushing me out of the bathroom while he examined the gaping hand, and then a little later into the car with “We have got to get to the hospital fast!”

      So why is it that these indelibly imprinted recollections cause me to reflect and examine potential gifts for Josiah to make certain that the item in hand could not possibly cut, injure, or maim for life, but seemingly have no effect on the other two men in this house? Not only are they building a tree house for this boy, who has fallen from enough trees in his short lifetime to convince me that he should keep his feet firmly planted on the ground, but guess what they purchased for him for Christmas? I bet you cannot even come close. No, not a pocketknife, he already has several. No, not a saw, he has several. No, not a bow and arrow, he has several. No, not a BB gun, he has one. No, not a paintball gun, he has one. See, I am not opposed to all potentially hazardous toys. It’s the ones that can cut off fingers and limbs and gash arteries that concern me.

      Well, just before Christmas, I was sitting at the computer when Jon and Jedidiah quietly crept up behind me to show me the marvelous gift they had purchased for Josiah. From the looks on their faces, you would have thought that they had purchased a Corvette for the boy. Instead they pulled out a very large, very sharp hatchet. A hatchet, mind you! Does scalping and losing one’s head come to mind? Does gashing one’s leg and bleeding to death come to mind? Does cutting off fingers and hands? Guess what Jon told Josiah after Jedidiah gave it to him on Christmas? “Now son, this is not a toy. This is a potentially dangerous tool. If you are not careful, you could cut off fingers, a hand, or even gash your leg and bleed to death, so I want you to be extremely careful with this. But isn’t it a beauty? This is the most beautiful hatchet we have ever seen. Jedidiah and I have been so excited about this that we could hardly wait to give this to you.”

      Is it just me, or is there something wrong with this? I dare say that most of you mothers would totally agree with me on this matter, while most fathers would ask to see the hatchet and then ask Jon where he got it. I rest my case—Boys will be boys!