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A few weeks ago, we got an email from Owen’s school principal: The school would have their first lockdown drill of the school year, and they really want parents to follow up with the children. They want parents to reassure their children that it’s really rare to need a lockdown drill, but that it’s important to practice… just in case.
O comes home that day and tells me, happily, I found the BEST hiding place, Mom! No one could see me! He describes where it is, and then tells me that a couple of his classmates were scared because they were afraid their hiding places weren’t good enough.
But mine was PERFECT, he said.
In hide and seek, I have to say… my kid is a really bad hider. He’ll find a place where no one can see him, but then practically vibrate with excitement, unable to contain his enthusiasm for how perfect his hiding place is. Too often he pops out and says, I’M HERE! He just can’t keep a secret, no matter what.
So I ask him, neutrally, what he’d do if a stranger came into his classroom during lockdown – not a teacher, not a fireman, not a police officer.
I think, he says, I’d whisper to him.
He has no idea what could happen.
But I do.
And so I tell him, as neutrally and age appropriate as I possibly can make my words, that if there’s a stranger in his classroom when there’s a lockdown, he needs to stay hidden, put his hands over his mouth to remind himself he shouldn’t whisper or talk. It’s important to stay in your hiding place, I tell him. And that if something happens where he is scared or needs to shout or isn’t sure what to do, he should close his eyes and lie down and…
And I pause, because what I’m thinking is: