Friday, September 11, 2009

So It's September 11th Again...

As some of you know, we were living in New York City when the attacks on the World Trade Center occurred. One of the most disappointing things for me as a parent now in Moscow is how my children have learned to regard the police as corrupt and dishonest, certainly not here to help us, and definitely not heroes. 

Before we moved to Moscow, we used to use double our cookie and pesto recipes to share with the firemen next door... 

We bought extra presents at holidays to share with the thirteen families from the firehouse in our neighborhood who all lost a father...

We always said "thank you" to the men and women police officers we'd walk by in our neighborhood...

It has made me rather sad that my kids don't have that sense of reverence, gratitude and admiration for public servants here. Truly, why would they? 

There was the Thanksgiving I was shaken down for driving while looking unattractive...

Or the time when Natalia thought police officers simply handle money all day long...

Or the day when Katya just assumed that officials can always be bribed...

Or the time in 2006 when we got pulled over for no reason at all, and the cop was taking a long, verbose time getting around to asking for his bribe money. Katya was five at the time, and quite impatient that we were late to her dance class... So she simply chimed in, rather annoyed, from the backseat: "Could you please just hurry up and take Mommy's money? We're late for ballet!" The cop was so surprised and shamed that he simply walked away!

All this being said, I was delighted yesterday when visiting Katya's school to hear something much more positive...

A particularly bright and kind boy from her grade came up to me and proudly declared that he was going to be a police officer when he grew up. This boy is from the kind of family that you wouldn't, err, expect to be encouraging such a professional aspiration...

His smile was so wide, his eyes so bright, and he truly looked inspired by the idea. It kind of made my afternoon to see some renewed faith in the profession.

But then this morning I realized that he could possibly be 100% aware of what it means to be a police officer in Moscow, and it could be precisely for those unsavory reasons that he would be intrigued by the job!

Oy.

3 comments:

Natalie said...

I love that you guys made cookies for the boys at the firehouse. that is so cool. We arelucky to have it so good here in the states.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure we have it so good in the states lately.
We live 30 miles from the twin towers as the crow flies, but I do not think it is our biggest problem.
The rabbit hatred I hear lately is scary. The corrupt policeman is not my biggest worry.

Olga

The Flip Side. . .Or Maybe Not said...

sadly, we have the same problem re. the police, in this part of the world. Even sadder, they honestly, wouldn't be the first to call in an emergency.