Monday, July 30, 2007

And So it Goes

There are a ton of conversations going on right now about what to tell your kids about Virginia Tech. Some people take the full disclosure approach, and some believe in avoiding the subject completely. Most of us are somewhere in the middle.

Luckily my kids are not old enough to understand any of this. Unfortunately I know that day will come, as each generation gets their own new set of world atrocities to comprehend.

I have a tendency when something like the horror of Virginia Tech or the Amish school shooting, or Columbine happens, to watch endless coverage of it, saturating myself in every development and viewpoint until I feel like I understand. The thing is, no matter how much I watch, and read, and hear, I never do understand. I never will understand why they did it, or if it was preventable, or understand the anguish that the parents of the victims and the perpetrators go through.If I can’t understand, then how will I ever explain it to my kids?

I remember when I was a child, hearing an impassioned argument about the dangers of the Russians and their nuclear weapons. I obsessed about it, and worried about what to do. I think I was 7 or 8. I worried that they would bomb us while I was at school and that the streets would be all broken up and that I would not be able to find my house and my family again.

I told my mother about it in the car one day on my way home from Brownies. She told me that it was a grown up thing to worry about, and that she would worry about it for me and come up with a plan. I think she may have even told me she had a special “Parents Only” map she would use to find me in case of an emergency.

Whatever she said, it worked, because I remember a great weight lifting off my little Brownie shoulders that day, knowing that I didn’t have to worry about it anymore because my grown-ups had it under control.

Now I am the grown up. With two sweet, kind, trusting little boys expecting me to have the special "Parents Only" map.

Parenting is such a terrifying blessing.

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