It was 7:20 this morning on the way to preschool when my 5 year-old daughter asked me one of those questions that challenged me on whether I should tell the truth or not…
“Are robbers real?” she ask.
I decided to tell the truth.
“Yes, robbers are real,” I said.
“Do they rob money?” she asked.
“Yes, they rob money,” I said.
“Have you seen a robber?” she asked.
At this point, I decided to say no, even though I have caught shoplifters at various retail stores I worked at while in college.
My daughter was quiet for a few seconds. I wondered where these questions were coming from and I was debating whether I should ask her about them.
“Are police real?” she asked.
“Yes, police are real. There are more of them than there are robbers.”
Again, she was quiet but then asked, “Do robbers rob houses?”
As a dad this question challenged me again. How much truth of this world do I share with her. “No, house can’t be taken. Home is a place we are safe.”
“Robbers are in jail, right?”
“Yes, the police catch them and they are grounded or put in jail.” I explained.
“What happens if the robber says, ‘sorry’?”
They do not teach you how to handle the question stage. I replied that robbers can say that they are sorry, but they still have to stay in jail or be grounded for awhile as punishment.
“Policeman catch robbers? And robbers can say sorry?” she asked.
“Yes, they can. But there are more policemen than robbers,” I started, “there are more good people in the world than bad.”
But something in my heart fell when I said that. I started to have my own questions run through my head. The main question was centered on if what I just said was really true… The guy behind me was tailgating me. The news is nothing but how divided we are and how hateful we are to anyone that has a different view than us. At the store the other night a little boy was being yelled at by his mom and his big sister for every little thing he was doing. My girl’s elementary school had to use security camera footage to deal with a situation this week.
Is there more good people in the world than bad?
We arrived at school, I kissed my daughter on the forehead while telling her to have a good day. And I let her go… I so hope I told her the truth…