Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Guest post from E on Motherscribe


Are those robots, Daddy?, my sweet Boy whose love makes my heart full asks.

Tanks rumbling through the streets of Soviet Georgia, the picture splashed across the front page of my morning paper, has prompted this inquiry.

Well... they're kind of like robots, I say. They're called tanks.

What do they do, Daddy?

My heart sinks, it chills alongside my coffee.

They are like big guns, I say hesitantly, knowing his cross examination and curiosity will not let me go.

Every parent knows this inquiry of whys? and whats?, but for me this is a moment of sadness. A loss of innocence in which I am complicit. The "Where does honey come from?" or "Why is the moon following us?" seem so pure and proper to ask. No less easy to answer, mind you, but part of the natural order of things.

But, how do you explain to a four year old boy that we humans have invented these colossal machines to kill each other. Some say to "protect us from each other." Either way, a sad excuse.

I am not a pacifist - wish I was - wish I had my front tooth back. My boy humbles me, softens me. My boy is a mirror.


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16 comments:

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Great job, E!!

It is so hard to explain violence to children. I had a conversation not long ago with my youngest son in regards to his question about good guys and bad guys. My answer boiled down to "depends on which side you're on".

Andrea Frazer said...

Did you write that? Or did E? Where can I find her stuff? Beautiful.

Angeline said...

yes E, this is the 'dark side' of human and yet at the age of 4, we wouldn't want them to 'know' that side soooo soon, wouldn't we?

phd in yogurtry said...

E, you really captured the heart of the ambivalence for answering so many questions. I want them to understand - no, wait, I don't.

phd in yogurtry said...

E, you really captured the heart of the ambivalence for answering so many questions. I want them to understand - no, wait, I don't.

Manic Mommy said...

All fathers should teach the "art" of war with such regret.

No wonder why Jennifer loves you so.

Kate said...

This is a poignant and troublesome issue to be sure. Whatever you tell him, he's listening carefully.

Mrs. G. said...

A most touching response.

Ginaagain said...

Our children teach us to be better people, to see the error in the normal way the world is run. Thanks to E for such a touching post.

Jen said...

So very true, E! Children's questions make everything a little clearer, don't they? Great writing, and I hope you post again. Actually, I'd love to hear the front tooth story. ; )

Madge said...

E! Thanks so much for guest posting. I hate killing their innocence.

Madge said...

E! Thanks so much for guest posting. I hate killing their innocence.

g said...

Ah. A wise dad.

Don't you wish we didn't have to explain this to our children?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

No wonder JCK keeps you around. Apparently E stands for eloquent!

Janet said...

Well said, E. We have avoided the issue of my brother being in Afghanistan because our 4-year-old and 3-year-old already ask extremely hard questions as it is. Obviously I'm just in denial.

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