You may have seen on my social media accounts this morning, this is one of the many questions that my little Noah asked me when we turned on the news. The Manchester arena explosion at an Ariana Grande concert. Men, women and children hurt or worse. Not only did Daddy and I react, like every other family I suspect, in shock. So did Noah.
I forget that he’s 6. He’s no longer a baby. He has emotions and feelings of his own and he’s trying to make sense of them. I also forget how simple things are for the little ones. Right is right and wrong is wrong. There isn’t a nearly right and a nearly wrong.
Noah asked me all sorts of questions, ranging from questions about what a bomb is and what caused an explosion. He wanted to know why the man killed himself too? What that meant for him? Will he go to heaven? When we heard that an 8 year old was among the dead, he went very quiet for a long time. Then he said “8? As in not much older than me?”. You could hear the disbelief in his voice. The confusion. “Why? Mummy, why?”.
I decided to take the approach that the truth was best. He is clever and he is empathetic (like his Mummy) so I knew that fobbing him off wouldn’t help him in the long run. Later on in the day I read the BBC News article on how to talk to children about terrorist attacks and thankfully the advice is to tell them the truth. Everything that is described in that article, I did. So I felt assured that I did Noah justice. He asked me questions, I answered them. Honestly, but basically. It only feels like weeks ago that I was in a similar position with Noah helping him understand why the London Bridge attack happened.
Heartbreaking conversations with this little 6 year old this morning. A 6 year old who enjoys watching the news, but not it’s contents. Asking me why the news is always about death? Asking me what a bomb is? Asking me if the bomber will go to heaven? Feeling sad because children only a couple of years older than him have died in the explosion. “Why would that naughty man do that Mummy?” I answered him all honestly. There’s no point in fluffing it up around the edges anymore. Not when there is so much ugliness in this world. I just hope that this little man and his generation grow up and rise above it… lead in a world where terrorism is a thing of the past! #AMummyCanWish #HopefulMother #sad #manchesterarena #family #development #growing #development #questions #answers #son #love #heartbroken
It does make me worry about what world we will leave behind to the next generation. I cannot imagine being 70 or so and picturing what Noah and Isla look like. What they have done with their lives and what the world around them is like. I hope, I really hope, that terrorism will be a thing of the past. That their generation will rise above it and these cruel people will know that it doesn’t get them anywhere.
Isla didn’t seem to acknowledge it too much. She watched the same news clip that the rest of us watched. She has only just turned 5 after all, so I do not expect too much. But she did say “is this why we have to stay with you Mummy and not run off?”. It made my stomach churn. Because I realised that even if I try to protect my little ones by keeping them close to me… that would be no match against an explosive device.
But if I worry about that. If I let that stop me. If I dwell on what if’s and might be’s. Well, fear would have won. I am not going to let that happen.
Our prayers and thoughts go out to those effected by the Manchester Arena explosion. Whether you have been directly effected or like us, from a distance. I am sure there are many families across England tonight giving their kiddies an extra hug before bedtime.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this topic, I would love to hear them…