Yesterday my son's principal sent home a letter explaining the drills they have been teaching the kids. This is preschool, mind you. They are showing the kids what to do when there is a lockout. The principal wanted us to talk to the kids and make sure they understood what was going on, etc... since they would be practicing the drills over the next couple weeks.
So I asked my son, who is 5, about the lockdown drills. He said, "We lock the door and go in the corner and be quiet so people can't see us from the window on the door. They'll think we went outside."
He said it with such nonchalance. It completely broke my heart to see him talking about something like this with such ease. But I guess I should be happy. He is learning to do these things without fear. He probably doesn't understand the reasoning for why they need to do it. They just need to do it. He doesn't seem anxious or scared. I guess that should give me some comfort. If there ever comes a time when he will need to do this, he will know what to do and will do it. I can't say he won't be scared, but he'll be prepared.
I'm sad that our children need to know these types of things. But it also reminds me of the stories my dad used to tell us. When he was a kid they'd had air raid drills. He'd had to get under his desk. So even though 50+ years have passed, and even though the world has changed drastically, we're still having to prepare our children for the worst.
I try not to live my life in fear. I want my children to grow up without worry. I want them to live as normal a life they can. Be happy. Reach for their dreams. But I also try to teach them to be cautious. Be prepared.