For the most part I’ve refrained from talking about the President’s announcement early this week. Mostly because his speech, and the news in general, has become the source of a lot of political debate and that debate has caused a lot of division. But it’s something that has been on my mind a lot this week.
I watched the President’s announcement Sunday night. There are no words for the flood of emotions I felt; I cried. I was happy, I was sad, I was shocked, and I was scared. I had to watch the announcement because I couldn’t believe it. Yes, I would have preferred that he had been captured and faced justice but it is unrealistic to think that he would go without a fight. With what I’ve heard about him over the years, I don’t think he would have allowed himself to be taken alive.
Little Monster watched the announcement with me, I knew that he would hear about bin Laden's death, so I talked with him about it before he went to school Monday. He didn't understand why it was so important that this man was dead. I had to explain that he hated Americans and wanted to kill all of us. I explained that a lot of people would be happy that he was dead because he was responsible for many deaths, but that when someone dies it is still sad. When he asked his dad if he could come home, we had to talk further about how there were many more people that worked with and for bin Laden and that his daddy couldn’t come home yet.
He came home from school yesterday and told me the guy's name was Osama, that one of the boys in his class had told him. This morning he was repeating his name over and over, and told me that "Osama bin Laden was the guy who made the planes crash into the brother towers." I asked him why he was repeating his name and he told me he wanted to remember his name so he could tell people that didn't know that he was dead so they didn't have to worry about him killing any more people.
He asked me to turn the radio to the news so he could listen; he said something about Walruses and I was very confused until I realized he was talking about the Navy Seals. I had to explain that the Seals are kind of like the Navy’s Ninjas and their job was to sneak in and capture bin Laden to take him to jail, but that once they snuck inside they couldn’t get to him without fighting and that bin Laden died in the fight. He thought the idea of ninja in the military was pretty cool.
It’s hard to hear my son say his name, and it’s hard to know that he knows about the “brother towers”… I know I can’t protect him forever, but I wish I could limit him from this right now. I didn’t tell him about the Navy Seals so I know he’s hearing about it at school. I just hope he keeps talking to me about it so I can keep explaining things to him in ways that he can understand without worrying him. And I am not going to let him listen to the news. That’s the last thing he needs right now (I won’t even listen when they start talking about that).