I can barely think about losing my child, let alone so senselessly and with so little remorse from the person responsible. I dread the day when I'll have to tell my daughter that the world can be cruel and unfair. Claire's too young to understand right now, but she will come to me for answers someday. In light of last week's verdict, I feel profoundly helpless about my ability to give her good ones.￼
A strange circumstance brought these thoughts and feelings into focus for me the other day. Claire and I were singing along to Little Bunny Foo Foo on the IPod. The song's supposed to be fun. It's always been fun. Since I can remember, this morality tale has been merrily teaching kids that actions have consequences, that might does not make right, and that justice can be on the side of the little guy.
As we sang the song, it wasn't so fun anymore. The tale of Little Bunny Foo Foo didn't seem to match our world. Reality wasn't as cut and dry as the moral of the story would have us believe.
I started to wonder if Little Bunny Foo Foo needed to be rewritten in light of the Trayvon Martin verdict. How would the song go if Little Bunny Foo Foo lived in Florida? What if he had claimed "Stand Your Ground" to The Good Fairy? Would she have let Little Bunny Foo Foo go free? How many more field mice would be bopped on the head for the sport of Little Bunny Foo Foo? Singing with my daughter, questions filled my mind.
How do you teach children the difference between right and wrong in a world that sometimes seems so lacking of a moral compass?
Claire asked to hear the song again, like toddlers do. I obliged. I loved that song when I was little. I believed in its lessons. I still believe. Peace. Justice. Equality. They are universal lessons.
But I felt a bit of a sham sharing them with Claire that day. l couldn't help but think of Trayvon Martin's mom. Life's more complicated than Little Bunny Foo Foo.
I looked at my daughter singing, and I longed for the innocence of a child.
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