My kids don't watch the news.
I don't really blame them. I didn't watch the news much as a child either. Only big moments intruded on my world, such as the Three Mile Island scare, the hostage crisis in Iran, Mt St Helens erupting, Reagan getting shot, Challenger blowing up.... The rest of whatever was going on was confusing background noise. My parents were well informed, and I figured if there was anything I needed to know they would tell me.
Now I'm the one in the position of deciding what events in the larger world I want my kids to know about. It makes me feel like a purveyor of doom much of the time. We've had frank discussions about racism and war and violence against women as they relate to stories in the news. And of course, mass shootings. Because this is America.
This weekend I didn't even have time to tell them about one mass shooting before two more happened. It's too much. I feel like I should join them in my avoidance of the news at this point since all it does is make me want to scream.
Every day there is another story of people suffering by the design of our government and no one cares. Children are shot and people toss up their hands and say nothing can be done, and it's more important that whoever wants one have a gun anyway. I'm tired of people saying women use sexual assault accusations as a weapon, when the only people I see punished for speaking up are the women themselves.
And the environment. The number of protections and regulations being rolled back regularly is frightening. Our embrace of greed over all is so short-sighted and disgusting I barely know what to think. Ignoring science rather than listening to it, shutting down research because it may not come to the conclusions that support what we feel like doing rather than what we should....
I'm tired tonight. In my own little corner of the world I do my best to be helpful and kind. I work hard. I try to do what is right. But I'm tired of ignorance and cruelty. I'm tired of people who would rather poke the hornets nest than try to bring someone peace. I'm tired of how cheap too many people find life if it is a life not connected to their own. I have no power over the impending doom and some days all I want to do is cry.
And I don't know what to tell my kids anymore. I keep thinking about the first time my son heard the expression "No news is good news," and he was confused that it was supposed to be positive, because he thought it meant there was no such thing as good news. I'm starting to think his interpretation may be a better fit for the times we live in.
Because maybe it's wrong to shelter them. But honestly? I'm starting to wish nowadays that someone would shelter me.