By Denise Albert
How do you explain to your kids that it is okay to be happy someone was killed? That’s the first thing that went through my head when I heard the news about Osama Bin Laden. My morning routine normally includes a million questions from my 6-year-old son as we leaf through the morning paper. He likes to pick it up outside our door and flips through the sports in the back and then makes his way to tons of questions about what is on the cover. In most recent days I’ve explained everything from the monarchy in England to why Prince William is balding.
I can only imagine the questions I will get in the morning. I always try to be honest. I want my kids to grow up with a realistic view of the world we live in. I don’t want them to be too sheltered. I don’t believe in lying to protect them. I can usually find a way to explain even the more difficult topics. But I haven’t yet had to say it is okay to kill. I haven’t had to say sometimes guns or bombs are good.
I’ve spent the past 6 months arguing with my son about toy guns. I’m not a fan. He spends a lot of time talking about and writing about bad guys. Maybe that’s the place to start. A bad guy was killed. But now I have some homework to do. I want to get the facts right when I tell him our military killed the worst guy in the world, and it is okay to be happy about it. I have to be prepared for all of the questions he will ask.
My son will ask why Osama was a bad guy. My son will ask what Osama did. Forget about the birds and the bees. This is my big talk with my son and because Osama Bin Laden was killed yesterday, my talk will have to happen today. Our talk will be about 9/11, which I haven’t had to face yet. It will be about all of the people who were murdered that day. This talk will be sooner than expected but I will do it the best way that I can, so he will feel safe and understand that on this day, we will celebrate murder.