My 6-year-old girl really didn’t know.
While discussing the differences between policemen and firefighters, I used a word Indilea had never heard before. She has acquired the excellent habit of asking for the meaning of any word she doesn’t understand.
“What’s a gun?” she asked.
“You know,” I said as I mimed a gun. “Kapow.”
“I don’t get it,” she said.
Of course she doesn’t get it. She doesn’t watch anything more violent than Thomas the Train. While she might be American by birth, she now lives in Costa Rica, a country with no standing army. Violence is not part of the culture here.
She has never had a need to know what a gun is for, or how it works. Her imaginative stories form the basis of all her play, usually about fairies or animals. She loves to make castles and forts with silk cloths and furniture.
“What’s a gun?”
I couldn’t see any advantage to broadening her education on this topic. “It’s a tool the policemen have, but firemen have hoses. Do you wanna go spray the rock wall with our hose?”
Of course she did.
We went outside to play, and for a while longer, I have the privilege to shield my children from the horrors and tragedies of the world. We live a simple, peaceful life, in our little home on a jungle mountaintop. They grow and learn and explore the world in the pure innocence of youth, and I savor it.