Who Wants Ice Cream?


Spent a long weekend with family, including a 7 and 10 year old, spending their first time in Jordan.
After showing them around an Embassy and explaining why we were so well secured, because the American government does things that upset some people, we headed out into the desert.
And maybe because we’d unplugged them from electronic devices for a couple days and, and maybe because the desert is so gosh dang quiet, but little ears hear everything.
So, when one remarks about bombs falling in Syria, little ears perk up.
Child: “Wait. What? Bombs in Syria? Why?”
This is where explaining warfare gets hard.  As an adult we can make all sorts of justifications, but a kid’s world is much simpler.
Adult: “Well, the US, Britain and France are bombing Syria because their president used poison gas on some of his own citizens. And they believe that’s cruel.”
Child: “Weren’t they bombing them before with regular bombs or starving them?”
Adult: “Yes. But, there is a belief that being gassed is an inhumane way to die?”
Child: “So, is it like a video game where if you use a special power and the other person doesn’t have it, it doesn’t make it fair?”
Adult: “Something like that….”  I sensed difficulty ahead in trying to explain a conflict I have a hard time understanding myself.  I felt like reverting to an age old trick, one that, as I thought about it, seems to happen way more than it should.
“Hey kids! Who wants ice cream?”


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