I watched the boy launch himself toward the teenager. He attacked her with an aggressive combativeness I didn’t know he possessed. I watched helplessly as he struck her over the head and across the face. He pounded her ribs and her stomach and her back, over and over, until she could no longer stand up straight.
The teenager was not one to be taken down that quickly, however. She gathered what little strength she still had and focused it all on the boy’s neck. She narrowed her eyes, drew back her arm and swung at the boy’s neck like a capricious lunatic.
And in one fell swoop, the boy went down. Perhaps, without his head.
I was speechless, appalled and in a state of shock. I blamed myself. Only the worst kind of mother could raise children who could summon such violence at a moment’s notice. Our family needed help.
I looked over to the husband for guidance. I wondered if he blamed himself as well.
The husband was grinning from ear to ear. He leapt off the couch and ran over to the boy and the teenager. “That was the most AWESOME thing I’ve ever seen! Can I play next?”
We used to be such a nice family. Before we got a Wii, that is.
I watched as the husband began to play his game. I waited for him to show the children a more civilized way of playing. Within seconds however, the husband, still grinning, had begun taunting the boy as he swung his Wii Remote violently and expertly through the air. The husband cheered when the boy fell off the tower into the water.
It was obvious I would have to be the one to model for the family proper manners, genteel graciousness, and behavior more becoming a nice family like ours.
At least that was my intention. Before I put that Wii Remote in my hand.
I don’t know how much time had passed, but the next thing I remember was screaming like a madwoman at the teenager, “Oh yeah baby! Bring it! Bring it! Hot Mama ain’t going down!”
Our nice family spent our entire first Wii day bashing each other in the head. The teenager punched the boy’s lights out when she boxed. A sword wielding boy would force the teenager off a cliff to her death. A simple pickup game of basketball would cause the teenager to yell out, “Oh yeah! You got schooled baby!” A scenic bike ride would find the children “pedaling” so fast and furiously they would knock each other down. Even a simple game of bowling caused the cats to run upstairs and hide under the beds. Before long, the husband began to consider himself a true archery expert. I began to consider canoeing the worst sport ever invented. And this was all before the teenager even discovered the pink stroller in the Mario Kart game.
I woke up the next morning with my first Wii hangover. I was a bit ashamed of my behavior the day before. I vowed to myself that it would never happen again. And then I giggled to myself as I remembered the good times our nice family experienced. It didn’t take long to justify the unfortunate Wii behavior to myself. In fact, I decided to get out of bed and play a round of Wii tennis before the rest of the family got up.
15 minutes later my nice family was all lined up, sitting perfectly still on the couch. Not one of us could lift our aching arms above our heads without wincing. The teenager complained about the sore muscles she didn’t know she had. The husband complained about feeling old. The boy wondered out loud who was going to pour him a bowl of cereal because he knew he couldn’t lift the box. I gingerly leaned over and grabbed the Wii Remote. “Um…guys,” I said to my nice family. “Do you think it’s possible to play Wii Frisbee golf from the couch?”
Check This Out!
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a Holocaust movie. And yes, it has some sad and depressing moments. But it’s a good movie, a beautiful movie, told from a perspective not often seen in Holocaust movies. The two boys in the movie-one on the outside of the fence, one on the inside of the fence-will draw you in and make you think. I haven't read the book the movie is based on, written by John Boyne, but the movie is certainly recommended.