Changing Times

As I went to pick up my jubilant daughter from school yesterday, thoughts of work flooded my mind. While building a to-do list in my head, I ask my usual question, “how was your day?”

She replied, “it was a good. We practiced our lock-down procedure in class today.”

All thoughts of work faded as I soberly asked how the lock-down went.

“The doors made a loud clunk noise that startled us and we quickly gathered on the floor by the cabinets on the right side of the door.” she said.

“Why there?” I asked.

“So that no one can see us through the door’s window.” she replied.

“What else?” I asked cautiously.

“We had to stay absolutely quiet until we hear our principal on the speaker system telling us that everything is ok.” she replied nonchalantly.

Watching her through the rear view mirror as she hummed a happy little tune, I begin to wonder how much innocence have been lost by recent events. I tried to remind myself that I did something similar at her age, but honestly was it the same?  The truth was that during my childhood, we practiced protecting ourselves from a political enemy.  A faceless wave of attacks from enemies afar hoping to demolish democracy as we were trained to believe.  What my daughter is living through today is different, her life is threaten not by Communism or fascist beliefs but rather by a dark reality that has a face, a person, maybe someone that was trusted once before.

As we pulled up to the house, I asked if she was ok.

“I’m fine daddy, what’s for dinner?” she replied.

And with that, life goes on.

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