Before we left for DC, we had multiple conversations with the children in an attempt to prevent problems. Although the most repeated topic was what to do if you get lost, we also talked about big city manners and safety. “Always look both ways.” “Don’t kick the seat in front of you.” “Use your inside voice.” “Don’t walk away from your stuff.”
Our second day there, we walked toward the Metro in our too slow pace that didn’t improve no matter what we tried. As we neared the intersection where we had to cross the street, I surveyed the organized chaos. Marked and unmarked police cars, multiple police dogs, curbs filled with a seated audience and a heavily uniformed officer carrying some sort of sealed canister. I guessed they were disposing of meth or meth lab materials. We continued on our journey unphased. I don’t think the children noticed anything except the street signs they were counting as they touched them.
Later that night, we reviewed our day’s adventures. I said we saw a drug arrest of some kind and our hostess went to check the story out on their neighborhood blog. “That wasn’t drugs. They were cleaning out a house and found grenades.” Grenades. Not once did we consider grenades in our conversations with small children, the girl teen or other adults. I’ll be sure to add cannonballs to our next safety chat.