Driving down a country road yesterday to pick up Papa and Napoleona:
SillyBilly asked, “Mama, what if a big dragon were coming here? What if it was flying up here from the south . . . from Los Angeles?”
Mama: “Hmmm . . . I wonder where it would land — in the mountains?”
SillyBilly: “Mama, what if a fighter jet flew over us and wanted to drop a bomb on us?”
We then talked about how we have air traffic control and the military that would prevent that from happening (as well as the unlikelihood of Pocatello being a major bomb target). And then he asked me, why do people want to drop bombs?
I said I couldn’t really imagine wanting to do anything like that myself, but sometimes people just are angry, or fearful, or don’t like other people, and they don’t know what else to do.
Then I said that sometimes there are “good” reasons. Like when we decide to participate in a war because we think what another country or their leader is doing is wrong. Like when, long ago when is grandparents were young, a leader of one country thought that he should invade and take over other countries, and also kill lots of people in his own country because he didn’t like who they were. Our country thought that was very wrong, and one way we stopped it was by bombing that “mean” country. Now we’re friends with that country again, and they don’t do that kind of thing any more.
SillyBilly asked if there were any wars going on right now. I said yes, there are always some happening somewhere. He asked me why.
I said, I guess it’s because people forget, or haven’t yet learned, how to be nice to each other and work things out. People are still sometimes afraid, or angry, or hateful.
I think I’ll wait a few years before I tell him about his own ancestors who were killed in that long-ago country that we bombed, and why it happened.