"Imagine you drop a plate of spaghetti and meatballs on your kitchen floor. That's what al-Qaida looks like organizationally."
Robin Shreeves, at the Mother Nature Network (I know, hilarious on the face of it) thinks you and your family should gather round the dinner table and talk about how the United States took Bin Laden out. Not a bad idea, particularly if your kids were already stressed about it before school, as Shreeves’ were:
Right before my 11-year-old left for school, his younger brother told him that the Philadelphia Phillies had lost to the Mets last night. The 11-year-old commented, “I don’t really care about the Phillies right now. I’m really worried about what’s going on with bin Laden being killed.”
Personally, I would have spoken to my kid right then, instead of sending him off to the kind of day his mother anticipates:
Throughout the day, school children will hear all sorts of things, some accurate and some not, some compassionate and some not, and that will certainly give them cause for concern. Here are some of the things I imagine kids will hear — and a lot of it will be disturbing.
- Bin Laden’s followers will want revenge on the United States, and there will be new terrorist attacks. We’re not safe.
- President Obama lied. If bin Laden was really dead, the military would be keeping the body as proof.
- The president has known where bin Laden has been for a long time. He only had him killed now because he’s about to run for re-election and it’s a good political move.
- The Navy SEALs shot and killed a woman who was being used as a human shield by one of bin Laden’s men.
- No one should celebrate another person’s death. If you’re happy about it, then you’re just as bad as bin Laden.
- If you’re not happy about bin Laden’s death, then you’re obviously a Muslim terrorist
- That Muslim got what he deserved. We should get the rest of them before they get us.
Whoa, amirite? I did not know that fifth-grade was so much like the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour. She forgot that there was a roundtable at the tetherball court about Pakistan’s involvement and the rumor that Hamas will be taking revenge on not only Navy Seals but also baby seals.
I mean, obviously, you should talk to your kids about this stuff. I just boggle at the idea that you are supposed to be bringing up the topic of human shields over dinner. But there is a bonus in Shreeves’ plan for all you kids out there–she suggests parents skip the Brussels sprouts at Terror Dinner and “choose foods for dinner that you know your kids love (spaghetti and meatballs anyone?).”
Now if you’ll excuse me, my 10-year-old goddaughter and I are meeting for coffee and a discussion about the debt ceiling.