My oldest son, Chris, went through a WWE wrestling stage when he was in middle school. Not too long ago the youngest, Nicholas, age 6 at the time, discovered Chris' WWE videos and video games and was drawn in. Soon he was hooked, and now he WORSHIPS John Cena.
When Chris was into wrestling, I mostly ignored it. I cannot stand it because of (1) the violence, (2) the sexism, and (3) the McMahons (who run the whole wrestling empire). My husband actually took Chris to a wrestling tournament when they came through Portland (and he even enjoyed it!). I just waited out the phase...and he was in middle school, so I knew it wouldn't last too long.
|Nicholas with one of his WWE belts|
(used to belong to Chris)
While we were in California this summer, Nicholas spent days telling us how worried he was that John Cena would lose at SummerSlam. The morning he received the news that Cena had lost, Nicholas woke us up WAILING and inconsolable. He knows that WWE is all planned ahead and total theater, and he knew that Cena has to have elbow surgery and would probably be sidelined, but he was upset anyway. He's recovered now, fortunately. When he turned seven at the beginning of the month, he received many John-Cena- and WWE-themed gifts--they were the only things he asked for.
|Delighted to receive a John Cena action figure from his aunty and uncle in Australia!|
|Holding both of his figures up for the photo (John Cena and Chris Jericho)|
|How would you feel about having a WWE belt in your family photo?|
The other day I happened to glance over Nicholas' shoulder while he was watching a wrestling bout, and I shuddered and beat myself up mentally for allowing him to watch this crap. I think back to how strict we were with Chris when he was young...we wouldn't even allow him to play with swords, much less guns (Nicholas has several swords!). How the mighty, self-righteous parents have fallen! But what parent hasn't relaxed their rules by the time the third one comes along, I ask you? (I've seen it happen to my sister and her husband, too, with their three boys, two of whom are obsessed with Star Wars and light sabers.)
Anyways, it's too late to stop him now. He's gone completely bonkers over wrestling (as you can see from the photos in this post--it's hard to get him to smile and not do a wrestling pose nowadays).
|Nick in his John Cena pose|
(he would have taken off his shirt in the aquarium
if he could have)
So you can imagine how much better I felt when I read this article, Boys Will Be Dogs, by a mom who was worried about her son wrestling with his friends. She researched the matter and found that rough-and-tumble play can actually be good for kids. Nick also likes to wrestle his older brothers, who I've noticed are amazingly gentle with him.
|Another pose--can't I have a sweet smile?|
But man, I do miss the stages of firefighter, pirate, Harry Potter, and most of all, Indiana Jones!!
|Just a few short months ago!|