I was so floored by this experience that I had to share it with you all. Partly because it was cool, partly because it was frightening in some inexplicable way. Either way, it rattled me straight to the core.
My lovely, highly intelligent, straight-A, oh-so-savvy, 16-year-old daughter asked me this question:
“What’s a mushroom cloud?”
She heard me use the phrase in conversation, and asked me quite honestly, and innocently. She truly, actually, didn’t know...
I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or be happy.
I feel like laughing because to me, a child of the 1960s and 1970s, it seemed like a ludicrous question.
I feel like crying because I would hate for her to find out the hard way.
I feel happy because somehow, some way, she seems to have been insulated from the knowledge.
Should she just “know” what it is, without my having to explain it, or tell her where to learn more?
If the answer is yes, then both I and the educational system seem to have failed her, in some nebulous way.
If the answer is no, then she may be among the very early first of future generations who don’t have to care. How cool would that be?
Is it possible for the term “Nuclear Weapons” to be nothing more than an abstract and eventually antiquated phrase? I have no idea. And, in order to make sure I don’t further neglect her classical education, I’m going to have her watch “The Atomic Cafe.”
So, my friends, as Bert the Turtle once said, let’s all “Duck & Cover.”
Formerly of Sandusky