On Knights & Pirates
Children are surprising. I have said a million times that I never thought I’d be a mom whose son wore athletic gear, and lo and behold.
My brother’s shirt from 30 years ago, but still.
I’m surprised at my son’s love of both knights AND pirates. Two seemingly completely different sorts of fantasy.
And presto. Add a few hand-dyed silks as cloaks from my sister and BOOM: the love of a knight was born. Sprinkle in Jim Weiss’ King Arthur CD on repeat and you have Sir Gwaliwad, feared by dragons and loved by small children. (that’s his self appointed title.)
I’ve promoted knight imaginative play for a number of reasons. Chivalry. Manners. Courage. Hard work. Skills. Endurance. Including your sister as Maid Marion who is an expert equestrian and skilled swordswoman. Help the poor. Charging around with your lance a lot. so punny, Nell.
Then at his nature school, his buddies started in on their newest passion: pirates.
I have to say, pirates have not captured my fancy like knights did. He insists that they’re all bad guys. I guess there’s merit to empathic understanding of bad guys from the inside out? It’s been a first-time-mom struggle. I don’t really want him playing bad guy pirate who ties up stuffed animals and drags them around. I don’t really want him robbing ships.
But his passion persists. And my staunch resistance to him playing bad guy has abated. Somewhat. The world needs pirates too? I do encourage a blend of Robin Hood & pirate. So they can rob the badder bad guys?
My sister gifted him with this for Christmas and it has taken pirate love & lore to a whole new level. The fantastic world of sailing the high seas and rum (thanks, years of reading Tintin) is enticing. I don’t blame him.
The other night AA built an entire castle out of cardboard for the kids in their new laundry-basement-exercise equipment from the 90’s-play-hideout. I watched exhausted as he + heavy duty shipping tape + an exacto blade hewn forth the castle of their dreams. Now we’re back into knights again. Kinda a knight-pirate hybrid. Totally the best part of childhood.
I’m learning to watch their imaginative play and give it nudges in this direction (no one is slaughtered and bad guys are taken to the police) or that (SHARE WITH YOUR SISTER). Helicopter mothering is a hard thing not to do.
Pirate or knight at your house?
amazon links mean I get 0.02 if you purchase on your click through and usborne link is my friend Lydia’s so go buy from her!