Status Quo

It was an afternoon after the girls’ second week of school last fall. We were in the old house, and I’d been helping them clean their playroom. Now the three of us were sitting on the colorful map rug–the kind that has roads all over it for children to drive their cars–on the floor, chatting.

“Mom, we did a drill!” SK said. She was so excited. “Just in case. In case a bad guy comes in the classroom, we turn out the lights and hide under a desk and we cover ourselves!”

She was in kindergarten, age 5. Her sister, now confused, had been told by her teachers during the drill that they were playing a game of hide and seek. Because she and her classmates were 3 years old.

SK explained: “In case a BAD guy comes in!”

“Oh, hide and seek?” Q looked hesitant, unsure. She didn’t understand.

“No, it was a DRILL! And did you do it, too?”

“Yeah!” Q could answer this one.

“And where did you hide?”

“Against a wall.” There was a pause. “Is there a monster?”

Q was staring at SK’s face, looking for an answer.

“Is a monster coming in the classroom?”

“No,” SK assured her. “It was just a drill.”

I left the room after that. I had to.

There are some prayers children aren’t supposed to learn.

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