After I get all my hugs and kisses, I go to the garage and get into my car, ready to drive to work. This morning Big Man came to the door as I was about to leave. “Wait! I have to tell you something!” he yelled from the threshold.
I rolled down the window. “What is it?”
“If you see somebody, and it’s a bad guy, tell us. Call us!”
“Okay, I will,” I answered.
There was no particular impetus for this request that I know about. It’s not as if Big Man lives his life in fear of bad guys, but he doesn’t like to let his guard down either.
Big Man and Buster like to keep the family protected from bad guys. They don’t always have a sharp picture in their minds about who these bad guys are, but they have little doubt they’ll know ‘em when they see ‘em.
Whenever they build forts, they make sure the entrances are well-protected so the bad guys can’t get in. They keep plenty of Nerf ammunition behind the ramparts in case the bad guys are foolish enough to try them.
Big Brother is not as interested in erecting fortifications throughout the house anymore. He fights his bad guys in Fortnite. He does his best work for the forces of light from the couch, a game controller his only weapon.
One evening, Big Man barricaded the two of us in the back room so we could watch TV together without being bothered by any bad guys. In that instance bad guys might a have been a euphemism for big brothers. I’m not sure. All I know is I had to dig myself out of the room when I wanted a snack. Next time, put the barricades on the far side of the fridge, General.
Clearly, these boys don’t have a consistent picture of who the bad guys are. That’s understandable. Lots of people have trouble identifying bad guys. The world changes its mind about who the bad guys are all the time. I’m not worried about that.
What’s more important to me is these boys know what good guys look like. I’d like them to know who they see in the mirror.
I have many aspirations for our boys. I want them to be happy and successful. I want them to find their talents. I want them to form healthy relationships. High on the list of things I want is this: I want them to be, in the big things and in the little things, good guys.