This is my son

(10:30PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

He turns 9 months old in a couple of days.  As you can see, he is a pretty happy kid.  He has a laugh that can make anyone smile – no matter how crappy a day we have had.  Sure, when he wants something or is tired or doesn’t want to eat or play anymore or he tries to stand up or crawl but can’t, he gets upset.  And as a parent, I can tell you that the overwhelming love that I (and the missus) have for him can’t be put into words.  There isn’t anything that we wouldn’t do in our power for him, and even though we know that most of the time when he cries, it is temporary and nothing major- it still makes us sad when he is sad.  

He is a lucky boy and I am a lucky dad.  He doesn’t have to worry about bombs going off in our neighborhood on a daily basis.  He doesn’t get woken up in the middle of the night by incoming fire or by having our house stormed – not by an occupying force that is in a no-win situation, not by religious rivals with a grudge, not by the police who have an axe to grind or were tipped off that a “terrorist” lives here.  He (and we) live in relative comfort, safety and security.

Here is how he spent the past couple of days (again, I say he is lucky), driving around in his “new car”:

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Here is how some other “sons” spent the past few days and weeks:

These Palestinian sons are hiding out in a car whose rear windshield was blown out by a bomb.

This son was injured in a bombing in Iraq.

These books and sandals are left over from a bombing near a school in Afghanistan.

This son and daughter are in an Iraqi hospital with their mother after being injured in a bombing.

I can not, for the life of me, understand how anyone can think that there is any justification whatsoever to explain why this is necessary.  Why this is acceptable.  Why this is anything less than a heartbreaking disgrace.

A recent article discussed the impact of the Mumbai attacks on children’s psyches.  It said the following:

The TV has been on from early morning till late night at my place since Thursday. So my daughter, who is two years and four months old, asked me on hearing the gunfire and explosions: “Papa, those are balloons exploding aren’t they?”

Seeing another visual on TV, she commented, “That man looks so scared”, Guha said.

—snip—

Vinita Jha, a psychologist at UMKAL Healthcare in Gurgaon, said she had a difficult time explaining the situation to her children, aged eight and six.

—snip—

She said the terror trauma would have a lasting effect on children, depending on their age, their background and how their parents explain the situation to them.

Small children are of an impressionable age and it is difficult to explain matters to them. So we have to be careful what we allow them to view. But to older children, we should explain that the system is in place and how the army has come to save the hostages, she added

It really doesn’t matter who did what first.  It really doesn’t matter what happened last week, last month, last year, last century or whenever.  The feelings and love that parents have for their kids are pretty much universal – it doesn’t matter what you worship, if you don’t worship, what color your skin is, what country you live in or how much money you have.

When bombings and attacks are reduced to numbers – “200 killed in attack”, “dozens wounded in bombing” – it becomes incredibly impersonal.  But behind those numbers are usually innocent (and precious, I might add) children.  I worry about mine every day – and I enjoy and cherish every moment that we spend together (one reason why I don’t spend as much time here as I used to).

I cringe when he gets a shot.  

I can’t imagine how the parents of the children pictured and discussed above feel.  But I do know that the actions that resulted in the above images and descriptions are unconscionable – and no amount of rationalization, finger pointing or justification makes it any less despicable and heartwrenching.  Everyone is at fault.

This was my son on Halloween:

I can only hope that we get to spend many more Halloweens together just like this one.

15 comments

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    • clammyc on December 29, 2008 at 3:11 am
      Author

    but this is the biggest reason why.

    Do you forgive me?

  1. for sharing this with us clammyc.

    What a beautiful boy you have and what a powerful message you send with this.

    They’re ALL our children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I can’t much think about being a child “in the world” and still sleep at night.

    • OPOL on December 29, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Here’s to all the children and all the mothers and fathers in the world.  May all their best hopes be realized.

    • Turkana on December 29, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    all i can say is- how could you forget the north-going sneetches? you’re probably in the tank for the south-going sneetches!

    bastard!

    and cute kid!

  3. especially needed right about now. Congratulations, your son is beautiful. Don’t get singed in the IP flames, your thoughts about your son and the children who live on the planet  are universal and humanistic which is beyond politics.    

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