Bad Guys

23 May

Lucas came home from school talking about bad guys.

Apparently they are starting safety drills in school; a concept familiar to me with regards to fire and tornado, I even have vague recollections of bomb drills from elementary school. And while he is no fan of the loud clanging alarm during a fire drill, it wasn’t the fire drill practice that stuck with him.  It was the active shooter drill.  A concept so distasteful that I find myself clenching my teeth when I think about it, my two, sweet, innocents live in a world where they need to practice appropriate behavior if a gunman comes into their school.

Bad guys.  More, bad guys with “shooters and lasers,” as described by Lucas. And the worst, “bad guys with shooters and lasers who will hurt us.”  His little three-year old mind crowded with these thoughts, worrying about bad guys.  My heart hurting that my response can’t be “there are no bad guys.”

It was a firm kick in the parenting pants. We are done with the baby stuff. It’s time to be talking bad guys, strangers, outside dangers that cannot be trusted — all while guiding his heart, mind, thoughts to trust, love, be gracious and open, act with generosity of spirit and mind.

After I recovered from feeling like the wind was knocked right out of me, we talked about bad guys.  But more importantly, we also talked about good guys — and how the good guys will show up if the bad guys do.  And the good guys, they are really good.  They come in all forms — it’s police officers and fireman, but it’s also mommies, daddies and teachers.  They are here to protect us, keep us safe.

So now, at the tender age of 3.5, Lucas knows what to do if bad guys come into school.  Apparently the right answer is: go into the bathroom, sit quietly and eat skittles.  And I know that it’s time to step up the game a bit in our discussions at home.  Serious stuff happens in the world and being a parent is more than just providing shelter from the bad, it’s preparing them to handle the bumps, scares and frightening stuff with confidence in themselves and those meant to hold their hand along the way.  Also, skittles help.





One Response to “Bad Guys”

  1. Teresa May 24, 2014 at 7:08 am #

    Wow, very distressing but in reality-oh so important. Great writing about a difficult subject.

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