I have known my brothers for a very long time.  Carter, I have known since Dad thought he was a girl in the ultrasound (needless to say, we were a bit shocked when he was born, and (poor dear) lived in girl diapers for a few weeks).  I have known Colson since the day he was born (the day after Mom and Dad moved into the garage-convirted-into-a-bedroom.  Nice timing, bub.)  I have tried to be a responsible big sister, teaching them the important things about life: opening doors is a boys job, take your shoes off before you walk on carpet, and when we go out to eat, the boy pays. (Until Taylor got married, I hadn’t paid for a meal out for a couple years)

They, in turn, have taught me a lot about life: don’t pester roosters, be careful with pitchforks, belching is both appropriate and flattering, and world domination is an attainable goal.  Our dinner-time conversation gravitates toward video games and football, and during movies, when we stop for potty breaks, the boys head into the woods instead of the bathroom. I know we’ve done something right, though, because Carter has started buying his sisters jewelry for Christmas. Well done, my brother, well done.

But, this post is not about my brothers. It is about a new phenomenon that has hit our household by storm.  It is called: AIRSOFT.

In it’s most simple terms, Airsoft is a sport in which participants shoot round non-metalic pellets launched via replica firearms.

In our house, Airsoft is a way of life.

My brothers have played a lot of Airsoft in their lives.  For the longest time, it was almost cute.  They would dress up in camo with their buddies and run around in an old barn with plastic guns that shot plastic pellets just far enough to bounce playfully off of the opponent’s arm.  That all changed October, 2011, when Colson got a  “wicked-sweet-awesome” Airsoft gun for his birthday. He had spent months searching the world wide interweb for one that would rapidly-fire and was made of metal (so it wouldn’t break as soon).  Upon it’s arrival, Carter and Dad drooled over it as they watched Colson attach the magazine and take off the safety.  Colson proudly led the pack into the back yard, where he loaded the ammo and fired them into the woods. The gun made a “rat-a-tat-a-tat” sound and seemed to do a decent job at launching the tiny white plastic balls into the woods. I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but at some point during the demonstration, Carter got his hands on the imitation-firearm and Colson got a little too close and ended up with a welt.

That was all it took – Dad and Carter were sold.

They looked at eachother.

They looked at the gun.

They froze, as if to think simultaneously “that is beautiful”.

Then, they both shot off to the computer where they leapt onto ebay and purchased two more super-sweet-nearly-all-metal-imitation-Tommy-Guns. But, they couldn’t stop there, they went on to purchase thousands upon thousands of high-quality airsoft pellets (after researching pros and cons of different grades of pellet).  Then, they got matching protective eyewear… and, I think they may have even gotten matching sweatshirts, but they couldn’t find them in their sizes (for a good deal) (on ebay).  The wickedly-sweet-imitation-firearms arrived at the house in the standard 8-10 business days, and the semi-serious battling began.

Since the arrival of the new toys (ha ha, they would shudder to hear me refer to their arsenal as “toys”) the three oys (yes, I do included Dad in this list) schedule “play dates” about once a week – all dressed in overly-padded clothing.  You can see them army-crawling through tall grass, with mud smeared on their faces – desperately trying to reach a base where they can find relief from the battle.  They are currently drawing up plans to build a bunker.  (Dad, of course, has all the supplies they would need in his future resource piles) (I say “piles” because there are many)  I have not yet joined in on the “fun” – I value my skin and sanity too much to run around in a muddy field being shot at by tiny welt-makers.