Tuesday, October 29, 2013

THE REAL BATTLE

Jenson had been asking for a sword for some time.

He wanted to be the hero, and Ruby was to be the princess for him to save.  This may have had something to do with the fact that we had recently watched The Princess Bride.

So last week we made one.

But playing with the sword was not to be the real battle.  The real battle was going on in my head.

I had had a head cold, which then turned out to be sinusitis, for about a week.  Have you ever had sinusitis? It's awful, and my whole face aches from it.  I've never had any issues with my sinuses, but since moving to the country I've suffered from it a number of times.  The first time I had it, I was convinced I was going to need a root canal because my teeth were hurting that bad.

Anyhow, on this particular day it was affecting my ears in a very bad way, and I was still at times feeling feverish.  The sound of my own voice was piercing my ears, let alone the sounds that were coming out of the kids mouths.  Amplified by the high ceilings and the concrete floors in our home.

I might have put the sword making off, but I had promised, and he was starting to nag, so I set forth.  Every sound hurt my ears.  My patience was wearing thin.  I wanted to get this done and move on, but, as you would expect, there were many interruptions.

My mind was not on the task.  I wanted to climb into bed, pull the covers up and get into this book.  Of course this made the situation even worse.  I should rather have been taking a leaf out of this book, and been more mindful of what I was doing, observing what that moment actually required.  But I didn't, and at the moment when Mila took the sword and bent it in half, I lost it.

Being mindful, and present does not come easily for me.  Even more so lately.  My head is a whir with to do's, things, stuff, distractions.  Being mindful is hard.  But being mindful is something that I really, really want, and need, to practice.

Do you practice being mindful?  How or what do you use to help?

If you would like to know how to make a sword for your budding hero, here is how we did it.

Get all your stuff together

Draw the blade and handle on a large piece of cardboard and cut it out.  Draw around it, then cut out the second shape.

Pressing hard with a ballpoint pen, draw a line along the middle of each blade.  Then pinch the cardboard along the lines.

Cut a piece of newspaper as long as the blade and roll it tightly.  Secure it with sticky tape, then tape it inside one of the blades.

Lay the other shape on top and tape them together.

Cut a long piece of foil and glue it onto one side of the sword, shiny side up. Fold over any overlapping edges and tape them.  Cut another long piece of foil and do the same with the other side.
At this point, if you need to duck out to get more firewood (because we still need the fire going when it's nearly November!), make sure you put the sword somewhere out of the reach of a two year old, who will most likely obtain it, fold it in half and remove one side of the foil.  Therefore, making you repeat this step.

 Draw the shape of a handguard onto card and glue foil to each side.

Tape the shapes together around the sword.

Wind some string or wool around the handle.  But don't be too fussy, it will just get ripped off.

If your four year old is anything like mine, he will most likely lie on the floor and give you a mean snarl, while posing with his sword.

There you have it. Your very own "hero sword".

I hope your's lasts longer than 24 hours before it is pulled to pieces and completely destroyed!

But seriously, happy playing.  Because that's what it's all about!

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