Like many families this past week we have been fielding questions regarding terror attacks and trying to make sense of the recent Boston Marathon sadness.
The Boy is very sensitive, and tries to understand why people would want to hurt or kill strangers that did no harm to them - at an event no less that celebrates human kind and it's total amazing-ness 26.2 miles for crying out loud! that's fricking incredible- people from all over the globe come together to do that!
Spouse and I fumble around for reasons that will make sense to a 9 year old, so he can wrap his head around it, but there really is no grey area for a little boy, it's all black and white - and discussions about ideology, religion and radicals seem to just confuse him more.
Maybe we shouldn't allow him to watch the news, perhaps we are better off keeping him sequestered and ignorant of the world and it's problems. I think that may be a fool's errand.
For the record we do not allow viewing of CNN, I find their style of delivery exceedingly alarmist. The poor kid would be an emotional mess and a candidate for anxiety meds. Anderson Cooper is easy on the eyes, but the fear mongering is enough to even make me want to crawl under my bed, and I'm a cold hearted bitch.
So the other day while we watched highlights of the capture of the suspects, in between his rapid fire questions I tried to explain to him why these men would want to do such a thing, but along with the rest of the world, not knowing myself exactly why.
I looked The Boy in the eye and explained that terrorism takes many forms, and isn't always like September 11 when the terrorists attacked New York City and hijacked all of the airplanes.
His response "blink, blink, blink." blank stare.
I forgot, because I've 'done' this before, experienced it live in my living room, felt the fear and seen the resulting chaos. I've had this experience, he has never, ever seen anything like this before.
Holy shit- I forget he's only 9. Here I am trying to give him something to relate this tragedy to and he has no idea what the hell I'm talking about. HE WASN'T EVEN BORN THEN. Jeez Louise, good job opening that can of worms, give your head a shake Mum. If the poor kid was struggling to wrap his head around this act, good luck trying to explain a huge religion based organisation that wants the entire western way of life destroyed.
I won't allow them to destroy our little part of the world. I am attempting to teach The Boy tolerance and understanding by relating these acts to school yard affairs. It may not be the best way to give this sort of event weight, but it is a way that The Boy can relate how these men were feeling to his own feelings sometime. Bullies are bullies whether they be in the schoolyard a Government or a Terrorist. The only thing you can control is how you react, learn to work within the system to achieve change rather than attempting to destroy it..
I think he's got it. A 9 year old boy's take on the world, "those guys acting out like that was wrong. Those poor people shouldn't have had to die." Good enough for me, it's the world as he sees it.
He told me yesterday that he wants to be a Police Officer and help people.
My work here is done.