My children don't believe in Santa Clause, and they never have. That's never stopped people from asking them what they want for Christmas. Jayden also knows that when I was younger my siblings and I use to use bows and arrows. In fact, I have a very vivid memory of my brother and I in the yard using them, something we did many afternoons, when a package arrived from our grandmother. It was a box of Ny state apples. While we sat down to enjoy one the box we'd been using for our target was moving ever so oddly across the yard. We presumed the wind had carried it and we decided to see who could hit it. I've no idea if my brother did, but I distinctively remember hitting it myself. Only to see the box fly up in the air, hear a yowl and then the box move more quickly. Turned out, one of our barn cats was under the box. He escaped completely unscathed.
Before leaving America we doggie sat at my parents house for them. Aside from dealing with a dog who was as terrified of thunder as my three year old was, I went up to the attic and dug out my old longbow. I also dug out my brother's old crossbow because it was child sized. I then took the boys outside and after reminding them of my funny story about the cat we set up a target and had fun. Jyaden has never forgotten that story. Nor has he forgotten that his grandfather has a bow and arrow. Add all that to the fact that he loves everything about knights and castles (swords, shields, knights, and the elusive bow and arrow) and his request was a bow and arrow. Only, during a video chat with his American grandparents it went more like this: "Poppy, if you send me a bow and arrow for my Christmas, a real one, I'll send you a really nice Christmas card."
There was more, but it was lost amongst gobs of laughter at the wonderful kindness of a seven year old's idea of giving our Christmas cards. A few days later it turned out that my parents indeed bought the boys bows and arrows for Christmas. That was a hard secret to keep because I knew how excited they'd be! They spent weeks this past winter playing Bow & Arrow with a coat hanger and sticks until Daddy brought them home some really nice toy ones, which lasted until every last arrow fell apart.
The boys knew a package was coming from their grandparents, but they had no idea what was in it. I kept telling them, "I wonder when that last Christmas present will arrive!" We waited for the postman all the way up to Christmas, and then came the New year and we had to wait again until the mail started running today. I'm pretty sure our package man is use to being run over by the boys and myself as he brings us packages, but today there was much screaming to go with it. Mostly because Mr S had his ipod on with headphones and I was in my pjs and didn't want to go collect the parcel myself!
|ignore the blur, there was too much excitement for them to be still!|
After I managed to change Morgan's bow to a leftie, and get their sites on (that was new to me, as I didn't have one) Jayden and I colored a quick target on the box it arrived in. He was desperate for me to mark one of the targets as googolplex, but I told him I couldn't make that many numbers. He settled for 1,000 & 5,000. Which, by the way works as a math lesson if they keep track of their own scores...
Then, after getting it all set up, and the boys saying their good-byes we took the target outside and got everything all set up just for Jayden to say, "I'm too scared!" He'd pulled the string back and let it go and slapped his arm with a guard on. So we had a quick lesson about the right and wrong way to hold the bow, string, arrow, etc. Once I proved to him that it wouldn't slap him if he used it correctly and showed him it came with an arm guard and then helped him do it the first couple of times they were good to go. Until Morgan became worried that touching even the shaft of the arrow would hurt him. Telling him it wouldn't didn't help him as much as it should have, so I poked myself with his rounded arrow to prove it wasn't going to hurt me to just touch it. Then, the fun began.