Had three 10/11 year old boys here today and it seems the only difference between them and my daughter & her friends half a decade ago ... goodbye Barbies, hello anything can be turned into a gun ...
Same energy level, same noise level, same food consumption, same wondrous ability to spread everything all over the house ... And in many ways they played similar games, even with their different props. Both sets of kids created all these wild elaborate adventures, one group no less or more violent, really, than the other. Sometimes Barbies got tied to the roof of their plastic Mustangs and run off the stairs to the fiery bottom of that pretend cliff. Today the boys routinely interrupted battle to swap weapons so each kid had a turn with the good one. They seemed to have the same creation:destruction quotient.
I know I live in Oz, an isolated land where I think 2008 experienced two murders, probably a 200% jump from 2007. Where boys still come inside for popsicles after they shoot each other in the driveway. (Okay, admittedly, the girls are now wearing those Barbie shoes, which would've left me hobbling down the yellow brick road ...)
But a simple town keeps everything else simple, too. As long as I have enough bananas, juice, and frozen pizzas it doesn't matter if it's Barbies or guns.
7:04 EST tomorrow morning marks the Winter Solstice, technically "the instant when the Sun's position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance on the other side of the equatorial plane" from the northern hemisphere (Wikipedia).
Un-technically, the cusp from dark to light, or at least that's how I see it. Maybe time to celebrate, the longest night or start of the growing day. Maybe time to reflect, the year past, the year soon begun. Maybe time to dance or to read, have a party, take hike.
Or, since John took all the kids to the movies, leaving me an empty house first time in months, I believe it's time to put on some great music and wrap some hidden gifts ...