Seeing the World Now Through the Eyes of My 7-Year-Old

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I tried to explain the increased school security to my seven-year-old. To be fair, we don’t have much security in our small town, where violent crime is rare. The conversation was virtually impossible because of her worldview.

With great conviction and authority, she told me, “There are no bad guys at school because of the ‘Golden Rule’ of treating others the way you want to be treated.” The “Golden Rule” has no room for evil and appears to form an impenetrable shield around her, particularly at school, where there are consequences such as “time outs” for failing to abide by it.

A closer look at her everyday interactions with family and friends likely represents the worldview of most seven-year-olds. As adults struggle to comprehend the magnitude of horror in Uvalde, I am confident that seven-year-olds can’t truly process such vile murders.

Here is just a glimpse into their lives:

Sevens sing to their baby dolls and write inspirational notes to those who must be brave enough to go through the washer after being vomited on.

Sevens are graded on “citizenship” in school and rewarded with “warm buzzies” (fluffy pompoms) when they do something nice for others.

Sevens still take baths and can’t wash their hair. Some can’t swim; many can’t tie. Sevens are big kids in school that melt down at home with a blankie, thumb, or stuffed animal.

Sevens tell silly jokes that sometimes make sense. They laugh hysterically at physical humor. They dance and spin with joyous abandon. They believe in the tooth fairy and magical creatures.

Sevens play bad guys and good guys, where the bad repent and happily rejoin society.

Sevens are proud. They want you to watch every jump, cartwheel, dance move, or silly song. There is no place safer than with mom or dad. Mommies can fix everything and always keep them safe.

Sevens feel beautiful and cherished by those around them. They are very sure about lots of stuff but need you to carry snacks and drinks for a 15-minute car ride. They still ride in car seats but can buckle themselves in.

Sevens help around the house and can mostly get organized to go somewhere. They love their families, pets, and friends. They shriek “awww” at the sight of any baby: human, animal, or robotic.

Sevens skip into a wonderful, safe place called school to learn and play. They take pride in being the Line Leader, the Caboose, and getting to choose not one, but two books from the library.

Second graders swing so high they can probably touch the sun. They can definitely touch the moon if they felt like it.

When others are sick or sad, they make colorful get-well cards and sing songs. My little girl rubs my back when I hurt and sings me a song I usually sing to her. She counts with me during my daily medical injections and dutifully reminds me that the medicine makes me better.

She runs to me, saying, “I really need a hug.” And “Mommy’s hugs are the best in the world.” She has a special teddy bear called a “Mama loves you bear,” which I fill with hugs in case she needs extra love when I’m not with her. This gives her the courage to separate from me. And if things go wrong and she really misses me, there’s a silly song I made up which she sings to herself.

She comes first. Always. Not politics. The love of my life. My perfect angel. My heart is hers, and no one can ever, ever, ever weaken that bond. And I will never put her in harm’s way. So now, Seven may look like homeschooling.

Amid a massacre, the babies who were slaughtered and those who need to live with the horrific loss in their beautiful town were likely living by the Golden Rule.

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