“Hey guys, one day when no one is car sick or farting,”
I bellowed over the roar of four wide open windows on the freeway,
“we’ll put the windows up and I can answer all of your questions about Nazis.”
My boy is reading The Diary of Anne Frank (he keeps calling her Annie). He started it earlier this year, but didn’t get too far before picking up something else from his Real! Life! Boy! Survival! Drama! Peril! genre.
On this particular morning, the drive to school was dominated by questions about that asshole Hitler and his minions. After determining that no one was going to throw up or pass more toxic gas, we rolled up the windows and my boy and I gave the cliff notes to our girl: “Anne Frank was a Jewish girl living in Amsterdam in a time when some powerful people convinced most everyone in her country that Jews were bad. She hid out in an attic for two years, but was eventually found and she died in a concentration camp. “
Girl: How’d they find her? Me: Someone told on them.
Boy: What’s a concentration camp? Me: Um, it’s like a place.. an area... a camp...where they forced the Jewish people to go. Kind of like a campground but more like a jail, not a fun place for camping.
How old was she? She was a teenager.
How did she die? She got sick at the concentration camp, and did not get help or medicine to get better.
How did she live for two years without food? Oh, she had food – she was with her family and some other people and there were people helping who brought them food and stuff.
I’d totally help people if I lived then. Me too. But it was dangerous to help, if you got caught helping, you might get killed.
Man, Hitler was a jerk! True, dat.
That’s like if I punched my friend just because I didn’t like what he said. Or if you didn’t like how he looked, or didn’t like his religion.
How did the people Hitler liked look? Um... white. Blue eyes. Light hair.
LIKE US? Yeah.
Aw, geez. I know.
I’m never going to kill anyone. Good
Except Hitler. I’d totally kill Hitler. Well, I think if you make the decision to be a person who doesn’t kill, you can’t really make exceptions.
What if someone was hurting you? Oh. .....Yeah, well there’s this thing called self defense…
What if someone was hurting Moki? Um, no… it doesn’t count for dogs, I think, just humans. I think.
So what would happen if I killed someone who was going to kill Moki? You’d probably go to jail
I’d rather go to jail than let Moki die. I love her! She’s sooooo cute! She’s only 2, why should she have to die? I would totally kill the guy.
..................period of stunned silence.......................
How would you even kill someone?
Oh, um. I could use my pocket knife?
Dude! We have butcher knives!
................realizing that there is no safe or sane way out of this conversation, I resort to the sage parenting advice I've come to rely on..........................