Every culture has it’s rights of passage. For some it consists of a blood ritual, or getting tattooed by an old guy in a hut smoking banana leaves. Or perhaps you may have to chuck a spear into a lion at what I would assume would be fairly close range and then run like there’s no tomorrow (because there ain’t gonna be for you). Whatever it is, every culture has that one thing that separates the men from the boys.
For our culture that right of passage has become blurred over the last fifty or so years. As the family continues to disintegrate so do customs and social identity. Becoming a man in our society has gone from early teens to the early thirties. Something just seems wrong with that.
There comes a time in every young mans life that a warrior ethic develops. Try to suppress it, you will develop some very bad behavioral issues. Teach the boy the proper context to use his aggression, strength and imagination and you will have a very healthy and productive member in society.
That’s why we have regular wrestling tournaments in our cottage. Basically I just stand there and toss every kid that jumps on me. It helps develop bonding, team work and lets all kinds of energy out. It also helps to establish pecking order in the house and lets the boys know the old man still has a few moves left in this dumpy, decrepit body; until recently.
This particular day I bet the boys that if they pinned me I would let them stay up all night and watch TV. What happened next was a fight for my life. The first hit came from Ken who ran behind me and tackled me at the knees, next Ray jumped off the monkey bars and landed an elbow to my lower back. As I was trying to stand up, Adam started kicking me in the ribs.
At this point I seriously started thinking my title was up for grabs this time, So I rolled over and did a couple leg sweeps and slammed Ken on his back. Just then my two sons decided to jump in by kicking me in the head. All bets were off at this point.
I then struggled to get to my feet with seven kids hanging off of me. All I could think of was “I’ll be darned if I’m going out this way, killed by elementary kids”. Just then my wife wife yelled for us to come in for dinner. As the kids ran inside I took a seat on the ground and thanked God for letting me hold on to my pride for one more day.
It’s hard to admit when your on the downhill side of life and the youth and vigor of yesterday is gone. But until that day when I’ll be forced to admit defeat, I’ll keep on showing them the old bull is still standing guard. -Launch