Tuesday, December 8, 2015
I've been thinking a lot about bubbles lately. Not the kind of bubbles that gracefully float up to the sky and kids laugh chasing them until they pop. No, I'm not talking about those pretty things. I'm talking about protective bubbles and my not-so-secret desire to keep my kids inside them. I imagine them rolling around like giant hamsters looking out into the world, and yet totally safe in this super space age sphere of plastic and air. They can roll in the house, and I can feed them through a small trap. We'd have to install some kind of hoisting mechanism to get them upstairs to bed, but certainly it would be worth it. They'd be safe.
Recently, Bean's school had an active shooter scare. The school went on lock down. SWAT teams surrounded the building. Doors were locked and blockaded. The smaller kids were told that there was a wild dog in the building and that animal control was called to collect the animal and everyone had to be really quiet so as not to scare the animal. Older kids looked outside the windows and saw police officers surrounding the school. The animal excuse didn't work on the older kids. They saw the police and knew enough to be scared.
In reality, a small child mistook a dad at drop-off, who was dressed in black and talking on his cell phone as a man with a gun. He told a teacher, who then told the principal and everyone responded appropriately. Everyone did their job, but in my mind I keep going back to that boy. Yes, I'm happy that he felt comfortable to report something, but I also can't help but wonder how much violence he's exposed to at home and how terrifying that must be as a child to be a witness to our current worldview. Men with guns are on this kid's radar and clearly, he's troubled by it.
My kids are in their own bubble, one made of good intentions and little lies. They think the world is a good, safe place. They don't know about places like Paris or San Bernardino. They don't know that some people are just pure evil and I don't want to them to know. I want to keep them sweet and pure. I don't want them to see shadows when there aren't any. So while my heart breaks for the violence, and hate in this world, I keep it apart and away from my kids. They have years to grow up, and my hope is that when they do, the world will be a kinder place.