Archive | September, 2013

Ignorant Bliss

20 Sep

As I was driving my son home from preschool yesterday, he said, “Mom, want to know something really sad?”

Of course I did.

“There were these two planes, and they crashed into twin towers.  One plane hit each tower.”

I’m glad I wasn’t looking at him, because I’m sure there was an expression of shock on my face.

Turns out another 4 year old boy told him about 9/11 in preschool.

I knew that he’d learn about 9/11 eventually, but I really thought that could wait until he was older.  Much older than 4.

Last year after the Sandy Hook tragedy, I remember I thought to myself, how am I going to talk to my daughter about this?  She was 6 at the time.  The same age as many of the victims.

But then, I decided I liked that my daughter believed that the world was good.  I like that she has fantasies about mermaids and fairies, and still believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.  I felt that telling her about such a horrific incident would just shatter her childhood innocence.  I decided that the statistical likelihood of a Sandy Hook incident happening at her school was so small that I’d take the risk that I hadn’t prepared my daughter with what to do if a crazed gunman came into her school.

Just as I didn’t talk to either of my kids about Sandy Hook, I also haven’t talked to them about 9/11 or any of the other mass shootings or terrorism in our country.  I’m a bit in shock that a parent at my son’s preschool did choose to tell their 4 year old about 9/11. 

After my son told me that “sad story”, I nodded and said, “huh”, purposely not giving it any more reaction than I would one of his tall tales.  One day I will talk to him about 9/11, and I will tell him how it impacted me and how scary it was.  But for now, I want him to think that 9/11 was just another story that a 4 year old made up.  I quickly asked him what letters and numbers he learned at school and steered the conversation a different way. 

Here’s to childhood innocence.  May we preserve it as long as we can.