My little girl who just turned 7, my boy 9, my wife, and two of my oldest friends, who came by to visit yesterday had a serious discussion.
About real versus fake Christmas trees, wether it was ok for my boy to bike alone up to the Conoco a few blocks away to buy some bubble gum, wether he should be spending that amount of money on candy, and even about how much sugar is the right amount to put into biscotti.
You see the teachers at my kids school for whatever reason didn't discuss the tragedy that had occurred in CT. We are two time zones away and I'm sure they were well aware of it. My wife isn't into politics, our TV is never on except for the cartoon channel and even then only briefly.
My old friends are aging climbers from Boulder. We like to talk about other friends or climbing or politics or health care. They are both foodie vegetarians but not crusaders. Indeed part of the time we talked about the weird ingredients my wife was using in the stir fry with two pounds of elk she was preparing for the weekend. She was using a very pungent fermented crab paste called kapi that is hard to ignore when it's being cooked on the stove.
I'm not sure that my wife, or old friends, or kids are even aware that someone walked into a school in CT and started blasting away, and according to an article on parenting in today's NYT, maybe that's ok.
The school my kids go to has the same security features as that school that got shot up. We are surrounded by neighborhoods similar to those around Columbine. I've always known that there is a slim possibility that there could be a mass shooting here too, just as I'm aware there could be a bomb on an airplane or any other rare terrifying event.
Shouldn't I be preparing my children on how to deal with such a horrific tragedy you ask. Well no, really. I'm sure there will be kids at school Monday freaked out over their parents who have been glued to 24 hour news channels replaying scenes of carnage, but one thing I can count on is a level headed response from the principal and my kid's teachers. For those professionals it's about the kids, not you or I.
We do actively ward against violence by not being violent or angry ourselves. Our house doesn't have raised voices just as it doesn't have shoes on the floors. It's a cultural thing. We very seldom are angry at each other. We don't argue. We never ever use profane or vulgar language. We live in a place and a style of our choosing.