They're just three young teenagers out to have some innocent fun.
A couple of weekends ago, on an unbelievably frigid early October Saturday morning, my son (on the left above, his friend Alex on the right) asked if I could "drive some of the guys out to paintballing."
The father who was scheduled to drive had some car trouble. I figure all parents have to chip in, so I said sure. It was only later I found out that the paintball place was an hour outside the city I live in.
So it ended up taking my entire afternoon, but I'm glad it turned out that way. Because I was able to witness my son having the same innocent kind of fun I had as a kid, when I played guns all the time.
I realize this is politically incorrect now.
In some people's minds.
And that there a lot of PC people out there who may be shuddering in horror at the thought I would let my son participate in an activity that involved TRYING to shoot his friends.
But these are GOOD kids. They aren't out to blow up skyscrapers or shoot their schoolmates to death. They just want to have some fun. And (gasp!), you know what?
For a 14-year-old male, shooting things harmlessly is FUN.
And I want my son to have fun with his friends in activities I know about, can think about and approve of. In this case, the activity was something a bunch of visiting German exchange students begged their hosts to do.
So we did it (well, not me, I just drove and froze, but I sure wouldn't have minded).
I got a chance to get to know of my son's friends better, to be part of their lives for a couple of hours, and show my son and his friends that he meant a lot to me and the friendship he shared with them meant a lot to me.
And here's the proof that fun was had by all.