Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Eyes of an Eight Year Old

"Everything is different now, isn't it." While we were riding home together on Monday, September 11, 2006, I was faced with this statement from my eight-year-old son. He has only begun to comprehend what happened on 9/11 this year. We shielded him from it when it happened, because he was only three. Three-year-old children do not need to be exposed to events this horrific.

As he has grown older, he has learned of the constant wars. He has learned of what happened on that day. He has heard of his parents' dissatisfaction with our President. He has heard news of terrorists. He has wondered why someone would purposefully fly a plane into a building, knowing of all the consequences. In short, he has had to face the facts of life. Not all men are good men. That is a harsh lesson.

Explaining the terrorists motivations sometimes is easier than explaining why we choose to go to war. Explaining any of it is worrisome as a parent. Many worry about whether the Nintendo games are going to scar our children. Well, I'll tell you, the games will never touch them in the way that the culture they are being brought up in will. A culture so divided that dishonesty and fear-mongering are apparent at every turn. A culture that doesn't value humility and service. A culture that tells them that bigger is better and the mighty rule in any way they choose.

My son doesn't remember a world before George W. Bush, terrorists, and war. I barely do either. I often wonder what the mothers of children his age in Iraq feel. Are they optimistic, as we are told? I somehow imagine not.


Coaster Punchman said...

I hope that love & support at home will give kids the strength to deal with many of life's unpleasantries.

Tenacious S said...

That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

Bubs said...

I think you're doing, and will continue to do, a fine job. You'll steer your child well through all these questions as he gets older.

My kids are a few years older than yours, and it's come up in conversation a few times: they're essentially growing up with a war on TV in the background every day, just like we did in the late 60's.

It's not something we expected.

Beth said...

Great post. Frustrating reality.