I write this as my daughter paints. She loves painting and I love watching her creations come to life, more so today than any other day. She has been sick all week with a high fever and cough, (likely Influenza A), and today is the first day in a week that she has expressed a desire to do something other than lie on the couch.
To my eye, this looked like a self-portrait. So, I asked her, “Is that a picture of you?”
“No, Mommy. It’s a zombie.”
??? A zombie?
“Who taught you about zombies?” I asked.
“Westin,” was her answer. A boy in her class.
Gone is my control of what she learns and when she learns it.
When does a child lose their innocence? Seems like a silly question after the events this past week. Certainly there are many children whose innocence was lost at that elementary school. I am grateful my daughter is young enough to be oblivious to the news. My husband and I were very careful not to discuss it at all around her. In fact, we barely discussed it at all. I couldn’t read my twitter feed, nor Facebook. It was just too much.
Instead, I held my children extra tight that evening, grateful that they were safe. I’ll contemplate that question of innocence on another day. For now, she is here, healthy again, painting in her smock and happy. On this Sunday afternoon, that’s enough for me.