I woke up Monday morning to the news that Osama Bin Laden was dead. I admit my first reaction was, "really?" And when the report came in about his body being buried at sea, too many CIA movies (The Bourne series) and tv shows (Alias) took over and my next reaction was, "sure he is".
Then my 11 year old daughter walked in the room and I realized how cynical my husband and I sounded and I shut it down. Not the news, because she needed to know what was going on, but the talk about it. I don't want to pass on that attitude to her. She needs to be able to believe things at face value - at least at this age.
I find it challenging with my youngest child. It was easy to protect our oldest child's childhood, we probably did too good a job at that and kept him "young" too long. Some of the lessons learned were harder on him than they had to be. Our middle child seems to be fairly on track. But the youngest, I feel bad at times for her. It is much harder to protect her childhood. She has two big brothers so she sees more, hears more, and experiences more than they did at her age. We are more open because we're discussing things with her 14 and 18 year old brothers. We enjoy vibrant conversation at the dinner table about current events. Overall, it is a good thing, but I'm conscious that she's growing up much faster than I'd like.
After dinner talk turned to whether the pictures of a "dead" Osama Bin Laden on the internet were real or fake (the boys had looked them up in class). I was disturbed that my daughter wanted to see with a somewhat cavalier attitude. She doesn't remember 9/11 of course, though she's heard the stories of that horrific day. I tried to explain to her that it wasn't pretend, and not funny. However horrible and evil Bin Laden had been - he was a human being. I told her no, and didn't let her see the pictures that are being posted. I'm sure at some point she'll see them. But not today, not from me.
For now I'll send her (and me) back to "Despicable Me", "Princess Diaries", "Tangled" and The Royal Wedding.
I'll leave it to people far smarter than I to decide if Bin Laden is dead or not.
Labels: daughter, face value, Osama Bin Laden