How (NOT) to play War Games with your Child...
This is a story I heard from a good friend of mine. I like to tell it in my own words...
My friend is a peace activist. She is successful, beautiful and hard working. Being divorced she was raising her son alone, trying to be a perfect mother.
When the little boy started to go to school, he came back home saying, "mother everybody in school knows how to play war games, except me! You have to teach me!"
She was tormented between her ideas and the will of his son. Her son's will won the battle. She was going to fulfill her duty as a mother!
Much as it broke her heart, the next day she bought two sets of tin soldiers in different colors. They lined up their solders on the table. Now they were ready to play war games...
"My soldiers are the good guys, your soldiers are the bad guys" said the boy...
"Yeah... But who are the good guys?" asked the mother.
"The good guys are the Americans of course." ( My friend is an American.)
"I see... And the bad guys are ..."
"Hmmm... the enemy... I mean the Russians..."
"Really ? Russian like the old lady at the the bakery who brings you, your birthday cake every year..."
"No, no, lets say the enemy are the Japanese.."
"Really? Japanese, like our gardener , who takes care of our garden ..."
"No, no, it can't be the Japanese... The bad guys are the Germans!"
"My God! German, like good old Gertha who owns the delicatessen store at the corner of the street!"
This went on and on... Mother and son couldn't decide who the enemy was...
Finally the boy with a blow of his hand, crushed down all the tin solders and bursting into tears, shouted: "Mummy you have spoiled my game! You are terrible ! You are a bad mother! One can not even play war game with you! "...
That was the end of mother and son playing war games with tin soldiers.
I have no idea with whom he played war games from then on, or if he ever did... Neither do I know what games he played. I only know that he spent his childhood with his mother and my friend always tried to be a perfect mother.
Years passed by.
Now the boy was in his early teens...
One evening mother and son were watching Tv. The news was about the launching of a new missile. Some generals were watching the missile with great admiration...
The mother made a disgusting noise and turned her head away...
The young boy, with a mischievous smile on his face , said: "Mummy... I can guess what you are thinking about. "
"What? Tell me..."
"You are thinking that this missile looks like a huge penis and those generals watching it have a hard on ! "
"How right you are! " They were both laughing themselves silly!
After all she hadn't been such a bad mother!
By the way, my friend's name was Joan Baez...
Zeynep Orals book
Leyla Gencer: A Story of Passion
Has been published by the İstanbul Foundation
For Culture and Arts
First English edition: ISBN 978-975-7363-73-6
(Excerpt from a biography.)
AT THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF
Guard Hasan, let's go to the edge of the cliff, the
edge of the cliff!"
A little girl with jet-black hair, pitch-black eyes
-- she is maybe four years old, maybe not -- climbed
up to Guard Hasan's arms, pointing out the edge of this
plain, the very edge of the cliff.
This is a game they both like and play often: Guard
Hasan throws the little girl up high and catches her.
The little girl flies in the sky for a while; then,
while she is falling down, she finds herself in the
trusted arms of Hasan. She wants to play this game,
not at any place on the plain, but always at the very
edge of the cliff.
always existed in the most passionate loves and dreadful
hates, in boundless freedom and helpless captivity,
in shining bravery and miserable cowardice, in hope
and helplessness, in acceptance of fate and challenge
of fate, in wisdom and innocence, in intellect and emotions,
in kindness and wickedness.
All the emotions of the earth could be phrased with
their existence, their adventures.