We have never shielded our children from the news.
They're the sons of two journalists; being a part of the news is part of their bloodline. Part of their heritage.
Curt got his start in news before he was even born. I was 6 months pregnant with him on 9/11. I heard the news on the radio on the way to work that morning. Although I was the features editor at The Beaumont Enterprise at the time, I was also the first journalist in the newsroom that historic morning.
Six months pregnant (which is probably not as dramatic as I'm making it sound), I grabbed my notebook and ran the three blocks to the federal district courthouse, clutching my belly under my periwinkle maternity blouse and black stretchy skirt. 9/11 didn't have a physical effect on Beaumont, Texas, but it did have the same pyschological effect on Southeast Texas as it did on the rest of the nation.
But I digress.
My point was that my children have never been shielded from the news. And they've never needed to be. Presenting the topics matter of factly has served me well. Not to mention they've lived through a lot in 9 and 7 short years. Two MAJOR hurricanes wtih amazing amounts of destruction to two of our homes. The deaths of two grandparents. Moving three times. Curt has gone to five elementary schools (by third grade). They've weathered the blows of childhood amazingly well.
Tonight, we watched the local CBS 19 newscast. The lead story was about a traffic accident fatality involving a 15-year-old.
"How did they die, Mommy?" Luke asked.
"The truck flipped over," I replied.
"Did they have their seatbelt on?" Luke wondered.
"I don't know," I answered.
Curt said, "A lot of teenagers die, and it's really sad when they do, because they don't grow up to live old lives."
"That's right," I confirmed.
"I don't want to die when I'm a teenager," Curt said.
"I don't want you to either," I told him.
And I don't have much more to say about that.