So I was finishing a book about Ashley Smith, the drug-addicted young mother who was taken hostage by fugitive Brian Nichols who murdered 4 people in Georgia in 2005. You may remember the story.
Ashley spent 7 hours in her apartment with him, during which time they talked about God and read aloud from "The Purpose Driven Life." She helped convince him to surrender without killing more people or being shot himself. It was a fascinating story about two people connecting during really strange circumstances.
My daughter Molly saw the back cover, which showed the man in shackles, and she started asking questions about the rest of the photos in the book. Just like me, the kids go straight to the photo section, whether it's a book about Queen Elizabeth or Star Wars.
Our conversation was all over the place (drugs, premarital sex, spousal abuse, murder, mayhem, faith, redemption). In addition, she couldn't get over the fact that Ashley didn't "look like she used drugs." She was also hung up on the fact that Ashley started using drugs after switching from a Christian school to a public school. The school issue has reared its head in our house again because, well, it's August, and we have a hard time making decisions. Great parenting, I know.
Finally, peace, my morning paper, and a huge bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.
A newspaper photo of young black man arrested for killing local MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS (!) caught Molly's eye.
Yep, it appears we have a serial killer on our hands.
So, all before 9 am, she got an eyeful of murderous young black men in chains or in mug shots.
In addition to all of the regular stuff I'm worried about today, I am wondering if she now thinks:
1. All young black men are murderers
2. All murderers are young black men.
Do I discuss this with her or just let it be? As you know, I am sometimes of the TMI school of parenting.
Do I drum up some photos of young white killers and place them strategically around the house so she knows that depravity comes in all colors, or has she already "learned" enough for today?