I wanted to post something while the thought is still fresh in my mind. For the second time in a year, Paris was brought down to its knees again by terrorism. This time, affecting more innocent people as they go on about their normal Friday night. Looking forward to the weekend just like many of us, little did they know what horrifying series of events was about to follow.
Like you. I have many questions. I have children. I worry about their future and what kind of world will we leave them with? Though I try not to think about these things in depth, I can’t help but feel worried. All day my thoughts have been occupied with the terrible events that have been unfolding around the world. From Paris, Beirut, Kenya, Syria and Palestine. The more I think about it, the more I question my own fears about the current state of the world.
Today, I felt numb and emotional. I look at my family and feel thankful that I have them here by my side. I feel for those who are still waiting for news of their loved ones. Those parents who must be in total despair knowing that they will never see their children again. I just can’t begin to imagine.
We would all like to protect our children from all the bad things that are going on in the world. But that’s not how it works. We can only shield them for a short time. As they get older they start to ask questions, and I find this one of the most difficult to deal with.
Trying to understand terrorism is hard enough for many of us, explaining it to a child in a way they could comprehend is even more difficult. Of course, it’s a subject that I would rather not define to a child, but I also believe that it’s important for children to understand when the time comes and when they start to ask questions.
He asked why the policemen were fighting on the streets and why do the people look sad on TV. I spared the details. I explained in a manner that an 8-year-old could process. I do not have the right answers, but I know that I have to be honest and reassuring.
I explained that some people have been hurt in France. But the ‘bad guys’ have been caught, and the good thing was that a lot of people from all over the world are showing kindness and the policemen are making sure everywhere is safe. It was also a chance for me to mention that not all people are bad, just sometimes bad people do bad things that hurt other people. I watched his little face take the information I gave him, and waited for more questions. But thankfully, he said “OK” and continued on drawing a ferocious Velociraptor. That was enough.
Today, I didn’t feel like doing much. The weekend that we usually look forward to was overshadowed with thoughts for all who have been affected. But of course, life goes on. My son and I played ‘dinosaurs’ around the garden, did some homework and revised a little for his Maths exam next week. My husband fixed all the ‘things to do’ around the house, starting with the bathroom light that needed replacing. A normal and quiet time at home, thankful for the simple things. A far cry to the chaos and fear that’s resonating in many parts of the world at the moment.