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The future is far away and scary, but today is lovely.

Adrian H. Wood, PhD


THE QUESTION MY SON ASKED AFTER THE ISTANBUL ATTACK

THE QUESTION MY SON ASKED AFTER THE ISTANBUL ATTACK

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Adrian Wood Comments (0)

View on Babble

“What did they ever do to him?” my 10-year-old son asked me yesterday, after reading a headline about the attack in Istanbul.

His question was rhetorical, but genuine; he wanted an answer to explain the unbelievable devastation — a child’s view of retribution in his otherwise perfect world. A world where the primitive minds of children rule; an eye for an eye and one gets their well-deserved due, plain and simple. And yet, there is something about that level of thinking that actually makes sense in the spinning universe we cling to. Some sort of order, perhaps.

What did they ever do to him?

Where was the childish, primal understanding in all of this? Dozens slaughtered at an airport and my son, after glimpsing a headline in the newspaper, could only ask this first immediate thought: What had the people done to the shooter to deserve this? “Nothing,” I told my son. “They did nothing.” I couldn’t bring myself to tell him there had been three of “him.”

What did they ever do to him?

I was left feeling inept and unable to venture into a conversation that seemed so deep and layered and complicated; too much for this mama today. Why is our world so complicated? I kept thinking to myself. Perhaps my son was not so far off from my own complicated mastering of the universe. His was a childish view perhaps, but somehow sensible to this mama — one who nurtures and loves her cubs and longs to send them into the world safe from predators.

What did they ever do to him?

My job of nurturing kind souls never seems to be enough though; particularly when I think of how I can’t keep them with me forever. We live in the real world after all, not a bubble; and though we wear helmets and seat belts, avoid dangerous activities, and err on the side of caution, our lives are wound up with millions of others, for better or worse. I will do my best to send them off equipped to be the people that make me smile — four tiny humans whose weapons are made of love, kindness, faith, acceptance, compassion, and empathy — but that is all I can do.

What did they ever do to him?

They did absolutely nothing. They did nothing, and we live in a world that doesn’t make sense. “Sometimes people make terrible choices to be and do evil,” I told my son. “And so our armor will be love, Thomas.”

https://www.babble.com/parenting/the-simple-question-my-son-asked-about-istanbul-attacks/


 

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