Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Yesterday, driving my five-year-old daughter to school, she mentioned that she had recently taken one of her favorite books to sharing day at school. She is currently hooked on the Magic Tree House series, and the book in question was the one on the Civil War (Civil War on Sunday). Her teachers told her she could share, but she would have to share a part of it that wasn't about the war, because it might scare some of the younger children. And she did. She got that.

So today we're driving to school, and she says "I'm not afraid of war anymore." Oh? "I'm old enough now that I'm not afraid of war." Now, this is a conversation I've been dreading. As one who follows current events pretty closely, I know there are a lot of wars, conflicts, police actions, and so on. I would rather she not have to think about such things (although a little historical perspective is useful).

So I explained that I thought wars were pretty good things to be frightened of, and that they scare me. She changed the subject to something else.

*sigh* I want my daughter to be strong and fearless. I don't want her to worry needlessly about things that are very remote. And frankly, at her age, I don't want her to know just how horrible wars really are. But she needs to know that wars are bad things, and should be avoided. Of course, she has no way to understand the gruesome depths of humanity. And I'd like to keep it that way, at least for a while. But hey, there are newspapers lying about. There are televisions (though rarely turned on in our house). People talk.

Or you might just be sitting on an airplane, when someone gets the bad news.

Is it really possible that those who started this war and insist on "staying the course" don't feel the gut-wrench when faced with something like that? They must realize that some of us feel it, which is why they won't let us see the bodies being repatriated.

There's a word for people who can't feel the pain of others: sociopaths. And they have no place in high office. So many topics I don't want to discuss. Let's go back to "Dolphins at Daybreak," shall we?

1 comment:

sueinsacca said...

It's good for parents to admit they're scared of some things. It's good to model ways to deal with that fear. You're a good dad.