Monday, May 16, 2011

Wise Beyond Her Years

Out of the blue yesterday, Maya asked me "Mama, who's that Bin Laden guy I keep hearing about?"

Ugh. What a kick in the gut. I was hoping I wouldn't have to explain to my seven year old quite yet about the evils of the world. I was hoping to shelter her from the fact that world is sucky place sometimes, shelter her from ideas of terrorism and hatred.

However, I am a firm believer in giving age appropriate answers to all questions my kids ask. She asked, so I did my best to explain to my sweet girl about a man who claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks and the ten year hunt that ensued. We talked about why people choose to terrorize others and how it might feel to be on both sides of that terrorism. I told her about how the US Navy Seals had been watching a home for months and decided to swarm and kill the man they believed to be Osama Bin Laden.

She listened very quietly while I told her about how sucky the world can be sometimes and then said "but Mom, that doesn't make any sense."

Crap. I thought I had done a pretty decent job explaining the situation in terms she could understand. I needed to find out what she was confused about so I could clarify it for her.

"Mom, it doesn't make any sense that they would just burst in and kill him. Why didn't they take him to jail and then talk him through it?"

So wise beyond her seven years. Children have such a simple, innocent, and yet thoughtful view of the world and solving conflict. When do we cross over to cynical and jaded views of the world? And how can I help her hold on to this incredible judicious wisdom?

Maybe I don't need to shelter her from the world at all. The world needs to hear her seven year old voice.


2 comments:

  1. Crystal Medlock10:25 PM

    Awe, you are so right. Kids truly get it, don't they; it is so refreshing! Plus you and Eric need to take some credit for the wonderful little girl you have raised; you should be so proud.

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  2. You know, we really are so proud of her. She's an amazing kid. :) But thank you.

    We may take a little credit for this, but not all. She has been surrounded by incredible role models all her life: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, our friends. . .

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Ramble on. . .