Parenting During the Zombie Apocalypse

“Um…if I let you go, you might kill my family.”

I’m scared of being a parent.  It’s a harrowing thought, bringing a vulnerable life into the world and trying to protect him/her from all the terrible things that want to kill him/her or, at the very least, turn him/her into the star of a reality TV show.

Then I watched the season finale of The Walking Dead, and it made me feel slightly better.  Before I delve deeper into this, here’s the obligatory spoiler alert: WARNING! The following post contains spoilers from AMC’s series The Walking Dead. If you don’t want to know what happened in the season three finale, then don’t read on.  Also, ask yourself this question: Why do I hate awesomeness?

Here goes.  After The Governer (damn his one good eye) leads a failed assault on Rick’s prison, one of his troops wanders into the woods where he meets Carl.  Carl, seeing this dude has a gun, shoots him in the face, despite the fact that this guy was pretty young and, in all likelihood, was just following orders.  See, in Carl’s pre-adolescent brain, letting people with guns live results in them returning and killing others.  When Rick tries to discuss why it’s not right to shoot people who are trying to surrender, Carl throws it right back in his face by saying that if Rick had killed the Governer when he had the chance, a lot of violence would have been prevented.

Rick is now in a parenting position that (hopefully) I will never have to be in.  I expect I’ll have a tough enough time explaining why we shouldn’t throw our poop at the neighbors, let alone discussing the moral complexity of taking another person’s life.  Anyway, I think Rick handles the situation well from a parenting standpoint.  He addresses the problem and explains why it was wrong—but here’s the thing—it’s a motherf***king zombie apocalypse! It’s safe to argue that morality as we know it as dwellers in a non-zombie apocalypse has been completely rearranged.  Example! Non-Zombie Apocalypse Rule: It’s wrong to kill folks.  Zombie-Apocalypse Rule: Killing folks is okay as long as it ensures your survival.  It might be easier for Rick to teach his baby girl this stuff as she grows up, but Carl is dealing with a paradigm shift that he might not be ready for.

So.  Parenting.  I guess it’ll be hard, but at least I won’t have to explain to my future son and daughter why killing a zombie with a crowbar is better than killing one with a gun.

Wait.  That actually might be pretty important.

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