Monday, November 17, 2008

How do you explain WAR to a 5 year old?

About 2 weeks ago, my youngest asked me, "Mommy, is there a war now?" I was startled by this question, but quickly steadied myself and said, "yes, honey, unfortunately, there are wars all around the world." "No, I mean, is there one that we are in?" Pause. "Yes, honey, unfortunately, there is at least one, in this country called Iraq."


"Ummm, some people believed that there were people there that wanted to do bad things to us, to the United States... You see, there was this ruler in Iraq, his name was Saddam Hussein..."

"What is a ruler?"

"umm, he's like a leader."

"Oh, like a president?"

"No, not really. More like a tyrant... He has killed a lot of his people in the country, and we decided that he shouldn't be the ruler any more... He was captured and executed..."

(And thank goodness he didn't ask me what "executed" mean...)

So as I tried to explain to my youngest, I got more and more unsure about this whole concept.

"So the ruler is not there any more?"


"So when are we going to stop the war?"

"Well, honey, it is not as simple as it seems... We have to stay because now the country is not stable because a lot of people are fighting against each other... And yeah, we all hope that our soldiers can come home soon...

Hey, do you want to go get some ice cream?"

I swear I didn't make this conversation up and pass it along as a fable or something. This is one of those conversations that, while you child soon forgot about it, keeps you up at night...

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