H’s school tend to watch Newsround in school time, so I wanted to be prepared after the horrible events yesterday. So I asked if she’d heard about the news.
She hadn’t. She heard something on the news in her childminder’s car this morning, mind.
Damn, then that leaves it to me to explain. How do you explain that out there are people who want to create a society full of fear and hatred towards others? And that to a point, they’re succeeding because people are scared?
So I told H about it in me-speak.
That this group of people who like to cause trouble have been doing it again. That they’ve bombed the airport in Brussels and a Metro Station, and unfortunately people have died. That they want us to be scared, that they want us to live in fear. But that actually, we don’t have to be scared. If you get scared, they’re winning.
(and at this point I think how scared I am that I could be anywhere in this world with my daughter and something could happen, but the actual chance of it happening is slim, but I still look into how much it costs to move to Mars as it might be safer there)
Because that’s what it boils down to. Protecting your children.
I always said I wouldn’t live in London when the IRA were blowing things up, but at least they gave warnings. Then they moved on to Manchester. But I always said that. I moved to London in 1997. I would occasionally travel on the DLR and see those buildings after the bombs in the docklands as they slowly got rebuilt.
But you can’t run away. You can’t bury your head in the sand. You can’t share the fear. Because here’s a six year old who is becoming more aware of the world around her and what’s happening.
A complete tangent, but in the seventies I was terrified that my mum would be killed by the Yorkshire Ripper. (my mum was not a prostitute, okay) But the way the news reported it and because of my young age, in my mind it was about people dying because of this scary man who attacked random women who was getting closer to York.
So my fears make me want to be as honest to H as I can be, without scaring her.
I asked her if she understood everything okay, and did she want to ask any questions. She replied “did the other people get to work okay?”
Which is the kind of question a six year old would come out with when being told something like this, and really not getting it. Which is okay, as I don’t want her to ‘get’ it just yet, just have an understanding.
As if by magic, Newsround has just come onto CBBC. Thank goodness for programmes like this which make explaining these things to H that bit more straightforward. I’ll be buying First News next week too.