na foine ting

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Gavin wants to joust.

Not just for fun, but for a living.

You doubt me? Ask him sometime. "Gavin, what are you going to be when you grow up?"

"A knight."

"And what are you going to do?"


The answer hasn't changed for over a year.

Being the kind of parents we are, we've treated this with a degree of seriousness but tried to maintain perspective. Kids go through phases, they have their interests and hobbies and abandon them in favor of other things.

I used to collect Breyer horses and fully intended to become a jockey, for example.

Still, this phase has had some remarkable staying power, and the main theme of most of Gavin's play is jousting, chivalry and knights. Just Sunday there was an epic Lego battle on the dining room table involving Sir Gavin, Dame Bradamante, a dragon with one wing missing and a host of killer robots.

Crash, smash, boom, kapow.

In addition to his weekly hockey class, Gavin has asked for "knight lessons."

Short of the somewhat scary proposition of joining up with our local SCA chapter, I haven't exactly been sure how to oblige his request.

Still, being the sort of parents we are, we do our best.

A week or so ago, I ran into this organization:

American Jousting Alliance

Tickled that someone, somewhere appears to actually be making a living jousting, I dropped them a note asking if they had any idea how to get a kid started in the jousting craft.

To my surprise they wrote back and said they offered training for minors, though what sort of jousting training a four year old needs apart from How to Hang the Hell On I'm not exactly sure.

Still, I've been apprenticed and trained for stranger things. I worked in a luthier's shop making period instruments like sackbutts and lutes, and mucked stalls and exercised horses for a Samoan racehorse stable.

I've written them back, asking where we go from here.

Meanwhile, you all take your kids to things like soccer and tap class, and burn your copies of THE BLACK CAULDRON and THE HOBBIT while you still can.


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