Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, March 15, 2012

MRA - Mommy’s Rifle Association

by Brittany Fonte

I yell, “Young man! Not at people or animals!” Then I sigh a sigh that can only be explained by too-long hours as chauffer, chef, dietician and disciplinarian. I breathe out what I have held in for so long; carbon dioxide lifts for shifting tides.

Maybe by biological osmosis, certainly by cruel (cryptic?) fate, I have become the mother I said I’d never be. I have born a boy who knows no boundaries but, perhaps, barbed prison wire (in papier mache). I am too late for “Scared Straight.” He is too young for boot camp.

Maybe he hears me, but he does not halt his ongoing slink to the hiding space beneath the sink, the place where his errant arsenal is hidden. There, he threatens dust bunnies or a toddling sibling with levied legos, and musses his also truant tresses by way of U traps in petite plumbing playgrounds.

I am the overprotective ova-producer; and I am trying to delay the inevitable male gun-play with minimal rules and minimum fuss. I fuse what I know to be true from bleeding with Buddha with what might work, if screamed, if coupled with physical force or big, big bribes, neither of which I can offer when configuring icing on classroom cupcakes, thirty minutes till school starts.

He is too young to know that dead is forever; he is too frank to finesse a new rule to such an old and genomic game. His little sister is, now, the Cyclops of Cyprus, or the virtual villain of the month in Sesame Street attire. And he is nine, or will be nine in four years, and in four years I will wish, only, for my own fortitude of character…and Restylane.

When I was nine, I learned tragedy sitting at a graffitied desk, dreaming at a brainy boy’s back, rereading history and then watching the future: the space shuttle Challenger. There was dream debris in the elementary school desks, sent by Hope’s detonation, by pieces of everyman’s mother sent through space: a sentry. We watched this live; we knew “never again” by the look on our own teacher’s face and the sound of a scientific misstep. Somewhere.

I want to warn my son about his abstract ammunition; I want to wean him from the glitter of violence beneath its sliver of grown up. But all I can do is pull him from his sub-sink clubhouse and warm his skin with kisses on this day, January 28th. I breathe in the smell of his lavender shampoo, his baby lotion, his still-fetal faith in the magic of the imaginary. I breathe IN. Oxygen.

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