A Bedtime Poem for Alex #SOL16

For Alex

Tonight, in your glow-in-the-dark rocket ship pajamas,
we read Where is the Green Sheep?
I showed you my favorite sheep,
the bed sheep, who reads a book under the covers.
You asked me to guess your favorite sheep
And laughingly, I answered "the shooting sheep" 
except there's no sheep with a gun in the book
and it isn't really funny.

Tonight, you told your aunts and uncles
you want to be in the army when you grow up
so you can kill people.
Bad guys. 
And I suggested you be a meteorologist
because you have that funny personality
and like to predict the weather.
And no one gets killed over a 5 day forecast.

Your play is full of battles and wars
And bad guys you shoot to kill. 
I don't understand this type of play.
I know tea parties and teddy bears and 
dressing Barble for the big dance.
I know playing school with stuffed animals.
I want to understand 
but I want you to understand, too.

I want you to understand that bad guys
weren't always bad guys 
They were babies once, fresh & new
blinking in the light, innocent & helpless
at the mercy of those they were born to.
It's not so easy to know 
what anyone truly deserves. 

Tonight, as you sleep under your Lego comforter
I pray you focus on creating 
and making and building and growing 
and nourishing and envisioning 
and supporting and uplifting.
Let the battle be one for goodness
and acceptance and understanding.  
Let the bad guys we fight be our own selves
and the parts of us that judge and gossip;
the jealous parts, the greedy parts, the mean parts. 

And I still think you would make a really spectacular


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