Good vs. Bad
The kids are very focused these days on “good guys” and “bad guys”. If someone gets hurt in a movie or a book, they immediately ask if that was a good guy or a bad guy. Whenever we consider seeing a movie, they ask if the good guys win.
It’s very important to them.
This past April, we visited Gettysburg with my brother and his family. The national monument there is impressive, and the museum is something to see.
The kids, of course, focused on the soldiers. Who wouldn’t? The pictures were larger than life. I started to explain the war, but my five year old cut to the chase.
“Who were the good guys, daddy?”
“Well, it’s not that simple.”
“Who were the good guys?”
“Uh, the North. The guys in blue.”
“And the other guys were the bad guys?”
“Well… not really. Yes, sort of. But..”
I probably should have left it at that, but we live in Florida. We see monuments to Confederate soldiers. Also, the museum we were in depicted heroes on both sides of the conflict. “Okay, here’s the thing.” I knelt down to his level. “Sometimes, good guys get confused. They fight for bad guys without knowing it.”
“What? It was good guys vs. good guys?”
“The North was the good side. The South was definitely wrong, but not all the soldiers for the South were bad guys. Does that make sense? They were fighting for the wrong side, but it was just a mistake. Get it?”
He looked up at the pictures around him, wide-eyed. “Good guys killing good guys?”
“Let’s go take a hike outside, big guy. Let’s go.”
He nodded. I’m looking forward to going back to Gettysburgh – but not for four or five years.