This past weekend, King Pen was going through some old junk in the shed, and came across a little knife in some fishing gear. It was really grimy, but underneath all that, it was obviously well made, and to King Pen’s eye, perfect for a boy’s first knife. As he scrubbed away years of dirt and gunk, I could see him picturing his son traipsing out in the swamps with it. His eyes glazed over as he remembered his own, exciting knife-wielding days as a young lad, chopping through the Brimberry, killing snakes and shaving untold years off his mother’s life.

(I’ve come to accept it. In time, HeroBoy, the Duke, and Chipmunk will all shorten my lifespan by at least ten years with their exploits into the wild. It’s just a matter of fact.)

Anyway, so I see my husband, eyes shining in expectation and eagerness, and I think, oh, how sweet. He’s envisioning this beautiful father son thing, circle of life and all that, and then, my eyes wander down, to my son. Who has practically sprouted wings– his body shaking like a puppy, he’s downright salivating over this knife– and I realize, with horror– my husband has just armed my five year old.


My mom alarm screams into action. Wee-ooh, Wee-ooh, Wee-ooh. Emergency lights blinking, panic in the streets, oh-my-gosh-what-has-my-husband-done-I’m-gonna-kill-him, I-gotta-sit-down-or-I’m-gonna-pass-out kind of moment.

Well, it was too late. Damage done, despite my feminine swoon. HeroBoy is now the proud owner of his very own weapon. Of course, there are a hundred rules, of which we were busy laying down. When asked to relate the rules back, this is the comforting reply I received:

He declares, with all confidence and seriousness, “Number one: No running!”

And then he’s stumped. He pauses, thinking hard, trying to recall what any of the other rules are, knowing his status as Knife Owner hangs on accuracy, “And uh… number two…No killing!

Oh, that’s entirely comforting.

PS… For the record, he is only allowed to carry the knife in it’s sheath when he is with Daddy. He can’t take it out without permission, or cut anything, or use it in any way unless he is under the watchful eye of an adult. He just gets to carry it, until he’s eleven or twelve, when he can have it to keep. It is not in his possession at any other time, not in his room, not anywhere accessible. BECAUSE HE’S FIVE.

Heaven help us.