Erin Lunde

Stories About Telling Stories

The Insurrection and the Kids

I’ve been thinking about the kids.

Truly, I think about kids all the time. I am surrounded by my own. They crawl on me and attack me with tickle fingers and yell at me and defy me and crawl on me some more. I manage them and change them and sometimes feed them (that job mostly falls to my husband) and nowadays I teach them.

When Trump took office, I thought about the kids in a different light. Now after the insurrection on the Capitol on the 6th, I wonder how our kids — and their kids — will function together.

I recognize that I say “our kids” and “their kids.” I’m specifically thinking about the kids and grandkids of the people who stormed the Capitol.

Many times in the four years since Trump took office, we’ve had questions from our oldest child, and sometimes our middle child, too. Why did he say that? Is he mean? Is he a bad guy? etc. And yeah, we answered those questions as succinctly and honestly as we could. Many times I’d ask my son how he felt about whatever it was he was bringing up. He isn’t being kind. He isn’t thinking about others.

Our kids weren’t asking questions about the guy’s policies. They were asking about the way he conducted himself, as a person.

This guy has led so many adults astray. He has done serious damage to family units and pushed family members apart. My concern lies with the kids who overheard Fox News commentary for these past four years, or heard their parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents speak glowingly about that guy. How are these kids going to manage in the classroom or on the field or whenever there is anything that does not go their way? This tantrum that the former president threw resulted in five people dead. How is that being explained?

Of course it was a horrible day and I hope Trump will not be allowed to run for public office in the future. And of course there is a lot of immediate aftermath here that will I hope be handled in Congress. I just wonder how these kids are going to be together in the future. How will they function in a group? How will they ever resolve any conflict? What does resolution even look like, when you have THAT as a model?

I worry.

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