I was in bed by 9:30 Sunday night, trying to stave off a cold before our vacation next week. The husband finished watching a movie and came right to bed, so we didn't hear the big news until this morning.
"Bin Laden's dead!" my husband shouted from the breakfast table. We were in our usual morning spots: I in my chair in the living room, he at the table with the laptop and the boys.
"Who's Bin Laden?" the boy wanted to know.
The husband gave him a simple answer: a bad man. The subject was changed.
On the way to school and work, I kept noticing American flags out where they never had been before. This is a big deal. I remember what 9-11 felt like, and I was just in a small town in Ohio, watching the horror on television. I wondered if I should try to explain to The Boy. But it seems like so much, too much to expose him to at 3. So I kept my mouth shut.
Almost to school, The Boy asked, "What are all those flags for?"
I nearly blurted out some blabberings about patriotism and evil and I don't know what else. But first, I asked, "What flags?"
"The orange ones."
He wanted to know about the tiny little flags marking utility lines in a construction site on our route. I was happy to preserve his innocence.
But then, I think about his hero worship for super heroes. Maybe he should know about real soldiers ... and what about all the little kids whose parents are fighting? They don't get to not know about war.
I don't know. What do you think? Will you let your kids watch any of the news coverage? Will you tell them what happened?