Anytime, Anywhere: Carson City Loses its Innocence

– Posted in: Family, Life is Dangerous, Mean People, Parenting, Personal Insanity, World Gone Crazy

Something terrible happened here yesterday. We live in Reno, and most of our extended family lives in Carson City. Around 9 a.m., Eduardo Sencion pulled up to the IHOP on South Carson Street and started shooting people. He targeted a group of National Guard members, killing three of them. He also shot another woman. Then, of course, he shot himself.

I grew up in Carson City. It’s a very small town. But I know — anything can happen at anytime, anywhere. Since it’s almost the ten year anniversary, it would be natural to talk about how September 11th left me feeling generally insecure about the world, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. I suppose that happened back when I was a teenager in the mid-1980s. There was a string of airplane hijackings and then the hijacking of the Achille Lauro (the passenger ship where they shot a man and dumped him overboard). I remember having the sudden realization that I wasn’t safe.

And if anything has served to stoke my fears about “anytime, anywhere,” it wasn’t September 11th. It was Beslan. Where a school in a random small town was taken hostage for days and kids were killed. That’s the beast that keeps me up at night.

Anyway, my point is, I haven’t felt completely warm and fuzzy about the world in a very long time. That band aid got ripped off years ago. Not to say I walk around thinking I’m going to be suicide bombed at the grocery store or whisked away by a marauding band of men. I’m in suburbia-land, U.S.A., so I should at least have enough respect for the people who actually live under those conditions to not pretend that my life is really anywhere close to scary. The scary part of my day consists of getting into my car and driving on the freeway.

The thing is, even though life here is relatively safe, I can’t seem to bring myself to tell the kids about the shooting in Carson. It’s where their grandparents live. It’s a happy destination. And IHOP is one of their favorite restaurants (although they were boycotting it briefly, due to the fact that “cinnaminions” had been discontinued). I guess I just want them to be able to feel that sense of their world being an “okay” place for just a little while longer.

Because once the band aid comes off, there’s just no sticking it back on.

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8 Comments… add one

Clara K September 8, 2011, 12:31 pm

I know the feeling – Colombine happened just a school district away from me, during my senior year of high school. So the rug was already out from under my feet before 9/11. I just hold my breath and hope my Maeve gets to go a good long time before it gets pulled out from under her.
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Colleen September 8, 2011, 8:29 pm

Sigh . . . So sad, and so true. I've been struggling with this lately as well.
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danniehill September 9, 2011, 4:01 am

It's really sad that we live in a world that we seems to jump from one horror to another. There really are good things happening in the world but it's just not newsworthy.

I would tell the kids about IHOP- what good would it do? If they ask tell them but keep it light.
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PartlySunny September 9, 2011, 4:28 am

Wow Clara. That's big.

Verity September 9, 2011, 6:02 am

I've been struggling with similar issues this week. Our girls didn't know about 9/11. This past weekend I suddenly became convinced something about it would come up in school this week. My feeling is, if they have to learn about horrible things that happen, shouldn't it be from us. I decided to tell them about it, but try to keep it simple. But how is it simple to say "they flew the planes into buildings." The words stuck in my throat. "Did all the people on the planes die, mommy?" So awful to watch the innocence go.

Verity September 9, 2011, 6:39 am

Couldn't figure out how to do the link to my post about talking to the girls about 9/11. Here it is: http://verity-thestateofbeingreal.blogspot.com/

PartlySunny September 12, 2011, 2:17 am

There are really good things in the world happening. Like seeing a huge pack of elephants for instance.:) Unfortunately we have to look for them (unless they're as big as the elephants).

PartlySunny September 12, 2011, 2:22 am

You did a really good job. I took the easy way out and told them in the car. They couldn't see my face and then got distracted by other stuff. But maybe it was better that way.

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