This is the view out the window from one of our favorite restaurants. My husband and I sat and talked about our week. There was a baby in his mother’s arms several tables away. The baby was around three months old and very interested in his surroundings. Mike asked me about parent-child bonding and what did I think was on a baby’s mind as they look out at the world.
I responded cautiously that babies did not have words forming in their brains like you or I. When they are exposed to outside stimuli their brains are adapting and changing to accommodate the new information so one day they would have the words to describe what they were seeing. He nodded his head slowly and then commented, so it is a visual thing. Yes, I said, images in their brains. Whew, I wished our friend Cheryl, with her early childhood education and experience, was having breakfast with us.
Wondering where the conversation was going, I sipped my coffee and waited. The conversation ranged from gun control laws to societal and cultural mores surrounding use of guns to what was in the mind of Jared Loughner as he shot a nine year old girl in a Tuscon Safeway parking lot. Mike’s theory was there must be some kind of pop-up shield in the brain that allows people to shoot another person. And he wondered out loud about the difference between hunting an animal and shooting a human. I asked why he used to hunt. He said there was a feeling of excitement. He no longer hunts with a gun, he prefers shooting with a camera.
My husband’s next question caused me to sit up a bit straighter. Did I think parents feel guilty for the actions of their children?
Because, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, we feel our children are reflections of ourselves?
He nodded his head and looked at me. We sat in silence wondering just how Jared Loughner’s parents might be feeling and the parents of all of the shooters in the world.
We have no way of knowing how we might feel, the mind boggles….imagine the pain…..the loss….the sadness…..and we bow our heads with heavy hearts……..