You know that part in the beginning of every movie when the tell you to be sure to locate the exits. Well I have been to more movies than I could count with my girls and I look for them, but never have I openly talked about it with my girls.
Since the Colorado movie theater shooting and just my natural teacher instincts I always look for exits in public places. My reality was shattered and changed then. I chalked it upto part of the job to protect those in my surroundings. Teacher = equals protector to me.
Every school year my students and I devise a plan for escape or fighting back. I diligently review once a month. We are in fact so prepared that when issues come up students know their role and what we need to do. So why wouldn’t I work this out with my own children?
So when the standard exit came up yesterday I stopped what they were doing and I asked, “Where is our nearest exit?” They all pointed toward the exit another story away. I had already mapped out the one 10 steps behind us, so I pointed in that direction.
They looked surprised by my asking. I said, “We can’t live our lives afraid. But we always have to have a plan.” Then we finally in the space of the next five minutes talked about scary world things.
I hate and despise that I am raising my girls in a world where I have to even think about these things let alone discuss them. But the reality is that I do.
We raised them to remember love and kindness and lead with love even when others hurt you. We have raised them to talk to people who think differently than they do so they can understand why. I can’t guarantee that they always will do this. But God I pray and hope they do.