Yesterday, when Z came home from school, she told me about a friend who wet her pants and another whose "bee got turned upside down" which is, apparently, a very very bad thing. But she didn't mention anything about planes or terrorists or anything.
She didn't mention anything about September 11th.
It occurred to me yesterday morning, after she had left for school, that she might hear about what happened 11 years ago. That someone might say something, a classmate, her teacher or maybe there'd even be a lesson on it, who knows. This is first grade. This is public school. This is new territory.
This is the real world.
But if anybody said anything, she didn't mention it yesterday afternoon, and I think she would have, she's that kind of kid. My sensitive girl would have asked me what it meant, why it happened, if it could happen again.
As a sensitive mother of a sensitive child, I shelter her. We don't watch the news. We don't listen to NPR when she's around. I cover any scary photos on the front page of the newspaper. She and her three year old sister watch the same TV shows; she only recently stopped leaving the room when Swiper appears to momentarily disrupt Dora's plans. While many of her fellow six year olds have watched Star Wars and High School Musical and Beetlejuice, she skips animated Disney movies for fear of "bad people" and "scary stuff."
That's fine. She doesn't want to see it and I don't really want her to see it. I want her to have a childhood, to really be a kid, for as long as possible. This "getting older younger" stuff? SUCKS.
But what about when the scary stuff is real? She will need to learn about these things someday and if it's not from us, who knows what she'll hear from other kids.
How can I explain September 11th to her? Ever?
The truth is, whenever she hears about it, however old she is, it will be a difficult and sad conversation.
I'm just glad she may have another year to mature before we have that conversation.