Marc was a Golden Gloves boxer in his early twenties, and last night, there was a ceremonial passing of the torch. Or at least that's how it felt, because Marc gave Sam a pair of his boxing gloves and let him beat him with them. We've got a game in our family called (oh so creatively) "Fight on the Bed." The game originated between Marc and a two year old Jessica. And in that incarnation, Jess would stand on the bed, in all her two year old prettiness and scream "You wanna piece of me?" and launch herself at him, and he'd slug her with the pillow and knock her down, demanding to see her "war face." Jessie would pop back up, roar at him and attack again. It was their bedtime routine (I preferred reading stories and lullabies, but whatever...).
Once Sam got bigger, though, the game took on a new life. It's now become a ritual, every night that Marc is here to put him to bed, first they go into my bedroom, pile all of the pillows and blankets up by the headboard and fight. Sam kicks, punches, wrestles and does it all with such enthusiasm it's at times alarming to me. Jess will occasionally join in, but she'd rather curl up with me and Harry Potter instead these days, and it's much more a boys thing for them. This is their primary bonding activity. Marc is really into the mixed martial arts these days, and is apparently grooming Sam for the cage. But last night, he broke out the boxing gloves and Sam was so incredibly thrilled by it. He was in there throwing punches, doing what he called "tumbleweeds" (aka somersaults) so that he could kick at Daddy, and then head butting him.
I don't like violence, really, but I understand that Marc does. And more importantly, Sam does. And I think that Marc has the right/responsibility to teach Sam to be a man, however he defines it. And it's not just random violence, it's about "fighting the bad guys" and protecting those weaker than himself. And I'm totally in favor of that. Because Marc's a big guy, and Sam really is just a mini-Marc, and showing him how to use that to it's fullest potential seems like a good thing. Does that make sense? Marc's a jock, but he's also a jock with a strong sense of helping those who need it - he's the best example of manhood that I can think of, and however he chooses to pass that along to my son, I'm completely in favor of.