Saturday, January 29, 2005


Auschwitz And The Lad

Thursday night after homework, dinner and a round of trick-or-poop with the Lad in the backyard to clean up after our lab Bloo, I hit the couch to channel surf and came across the History Channel's anniversary broadcast of Auschwitz. The Lad had to assign himself to the little TV and a hard chair in the kitchen because I'm bigger. The grainy images of the Nazi's and German civilians purposefully going about the business of inhumanity is shocking on a physical sense and incomprehensible to any reason I'm able to offer.
During a commercial break in the kitchen, the Lad came out and sat with me on the couch with hopes of reaching a consensus to watch something we both could tolerate, like sharks attacking people, weather gone wild or a hot rod being built. "What are you watching?", he asked.
Usually when I don't answer a question while I'm watching something on TV it's because I'm a male and as such I'm genetically disposed to not hear or respond to family members' inquiries or comments. But I did hear this question and I couldn't tailor an honest answer for a nine year old. After he repeated the question with an elbow in my gut I told him it was a history show about WWII. He knew what that meant, lots of blah-blah, so he quickly re-assumed his position on the hard chair in the kitchen.
I don't know when my awareness of the holocaust began to take root. Perhaps it was my grandmother, Sis, who was always quick to jump on our pre-teen off-color comments by saying something along the lines of, "World wars are started with bad words and beliefs like that!". We'd giggle and carry on anyway, but the message she conveyed never left me and I've since used her line myself on the Lad when he wanders into off-color dialog. He of course can't know the breadth and scope of Sis' admonition passed down to him, but he will someday.
Someday he'll be watching a program about Islamic fascist terror, Hitler or Saddam, while his kid watches TV on a hard chair elsewhere, and he'll tie things together. -Wb

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