Okay, when you take your kids to schools these days you thing about risks. You think about the wacko pedifile that managed to get a job as a teacher, you think of kids bringing guns to school, you think of kids sharing their older brothers pills on the playground. How often do you think of the danger of mountain lions at school?
Yesterday, a mountain lion was sighted at my daughter’s school. A month or so ago one was sighted at my son’s school. This morning I get to my daughter’s school and there are television network vans all over the parking area–cameras everywhere. Of course, I’m thinking, oh no they must have spotted the mountain lion again, will the kids be safe? Actually I was thinking, what? cameras today? Oh, sure the day I don’t change out of my running clothes three networks are flinging cameras all over the playground. I look horrible!
Yes, I’m vain. Yes, I was thinking of a catchy quote. Yes, I wanted to see myself on the news tonight spouting about the dangers of mountain lions at elementary schools. I did crouch down in the driver’s seat and apply lip gloss. I never thought for a moment that my kids were in real danger. What kind of mom am I? Of course, they didn’t even interview me. I really wasn’t the kind of mom they would have wanted anyway, I was calm and they really needed to interview the lady I ran into going into the school that was worried about her older school kids eating lunch outside while a lion was roaming in the neighborhood. She was the one that they needed to interview. I was trying to think of something witty or funny. News correspondents don’t want witty and funny for a mountain lion story. They want terror, fear, concern, outrage. I was curious and wanted to see the mountain lion.
It isn’t that I wanted the children to be in danger, of course not. I was facsinated that such an incredible creature could be so close. How often do you get to see a mountain lion? There were rangers, and police on guard, so I really didn’t feel like the children were in danger and felt like it was actually a safe way to see a mountain lion. Afterall, do you want to see one camping when you aren’t expecting it, or when there are rangers and animal protection people all around?
Of course I heard they thought the mountain lion was under someone’s house. I don’t think I would want one to be under my house. Now they aren’t sure where it is. My kids aren’t concerned about their safety. My son is worried they might kill the mountain lion. I told them they would only do that if they had to — only if a child was in danger.
He said, “Are you sure?”
I said, “Well, I’m pretty sure they will just shoot it with a sleeping pellet or something. You don’t want the mountain lion to hurt a child do you?”
He replied, “Well, I just don’t want them to kill the mountain lion, it’s not his fault.”
“Okay, I understand that, but if you had to choose between the child dying or the mountain lion dying which would you protect?”
He thinks for a minute.
“Well, are you saying if I was a grown-up which would I protect?” he asks.
I didn’t ask if he was a kid still and had to choose. I didn’t want to go there.