It's OK, Sally

Sally's big questioning eyes peep over her bowl of Sugar Frosted Flakes.

Mommy?

Yes, dear?

Is there really such a friendly tiger as Tony? 

No, honey.

Are the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy really real?

No, sweetie... Eat your breakfast now, baby. It's almost time for school.

Sally's eyes grow distant and disappointed -- and then angry.

You're lying Mommy, I know it. I'm going to write to Tony the Tiger and tell him you're a dirty lying bitch! There's gotta be a Santa and a Tooth Fairy... There's just gotta... 'cause if there's not what does that mean? It means there's no such thing as innocence... It means that 12 year olds really do sell their asses for crack. It means that poor kids who don't have my opportunities really do die of overdoses and gunshot wounds before the age of puberty. It means that women really do give birth to kids with HIV and that politicians do lie to get votes. Who gives a f--k about abortion, Mommy, when the kids who are already here are killing each other in drive-by shootings and dope and AIDS? Huh? I don't want a fairy tale. F—k a fairy tale! But where is the sanity in all of this? How do I believe in Jesus when religion is nothing but a f—king scam? How do I trust the government when the police force breaks as many laws as Timothy McVay? And how do I deal with it when the whole world comes crashing in on me and I ... I ... I ...

It's OK, Sally. We live in the suburbs. Now finish your cereal sweetie, it's time for school.

 

Joe R. Hopkins