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The Privilege to Overthink for My Kids

Updated on July 18, 2014

I saw a brilliant image of a ground to air missile flying through the sky and it left me wondering....if my young children saw this they would utter words like "wow" "amazing" or ask, "is that a spaceship Mommy?". They would not have considered that their lives were in danger at that moment. They wouldn't have had a chance. And really, it is entirely my fault. It is an intentional omission, I have worked hard to shield them from having to consider the lack of permanence of things. Including life. I want them to take it for granted - at least for their first 5 years of life.

Re-frame, a child in the Gaza strip sees this. What follows? Unadulterated fear. The uncertainty that their primary caregivers may not be around for them. Let's face it, this is the extent of a 4 year old's mind in spite of their nationality. They may not have otherwise understood the permanency of death if it wasn't for visual evidence of it lying in front of them near their doorsteps. They have to face the possibility that this awe inspiring display in the sky may just be signifying their own demise. How does a little brain process that?

I can tell you as a mother I can't even come close to digesting the constant loss of young ones in the midst of this conflict. Not only the physically dead but those that have had to do away with their youthful as yet unadulterated optimism and replace it with simple relief that the next day will still be around for them to witness.


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