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Hard Questions

December 3, 2006

We don't expect kids to ask the hard questions until they get older. But today's world moves at a frantic pace, and so do their little minds.

 

For spring break, my mother and I plan to take my almost seven-year-old to Washington, D.C. An unlikely history buff at a young age, she is thrilled by the idea of this trip and is already talking about what we might see. Of course, she gets a few things mixed up occasionally.

 

"Are we going to see that Statue of Liberty?" she asks wide-eyed.

 

"No, that's in New York. We're going to see things like the Washington Monument and the White House," I say cheerfully.

 

She thinks about this for a moment and then asks me if we might meet the president. I tell her that it's not likely, that he'll probably be in a meeting, but we can go on a tour of his house.

 

She wonders out loud if he knows that people are traipsing through his house while he is in meetings. I tell her that he does know and that there's a lot of security in the White House to protect him.

 

This is where things get dicey. She wants to know why the president needs to be protected.

 

"Well, some people want to hurt him," I say nonchalantly, figuring this will be enough for her young mind to absorb.

 

"Why, why would anyone want to hurt the president?" she asks with urgency.

 

"Because some people don't like him. They don't agree with him," I say, wishing she would ask me about easier topics like sex or drugs.

 

"Why?" she asks, trying to make visual contact with my nervous eyes that are frantically darting away from her gaze.

 

"Honey let's talk about something else. Do you think Britney and K-Fed will ever get back together?"

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