|If I knew the origins of this photo, I'd give credit. Any ideas?|
It never occurred to me how a five year old would react such a powerful picture. But once I saw the look on her face, I started to study the photo through her eyes. Silently, she was studying one specific spot. Josh and I have been talking with her about how he "fights the bad guys in other countries to help those countries out", and she seems to be grasping the concept. She's never seen Josh in his full "battle rattle", and the biggest gun she's ever seen him carry was our pistols. Here's our discussion:
SJ: Mommy, who is that?
Me: That is a picture of some Soldiers, like daddy, who are helping to keep those people safe.
SJ: Are they fighting the bad guys like daddy does?
SJ: Okay, but Mommy... who is THAT. (She points to the child in the picture).
My mind was racing; I thought she was fixated on the weapons. I thought she was worried about her daddy's safety since it meant he may have to be a human shield for a child one day. I didn't realize that she was studying the child. I didn't think I could put into words which a five year old will understand what this picture depicts. I silently prayed that my children will never experience a war in their homeland. I questioned if they'll ever have to endure the hardships and torment that comes with being occupied by the military of several countries. I wondered how I could describe to her the duty of those Soldiers. With a lump growing in my throat, this is all I could muster:
Me: That is a little boy who needs to be safe from the bad guys. Those Soldiers are protecting him, and keeping him safe.
SJ's face falls for a second. She steps closer to the computer and takes a good look all around the photo and puts her eyes back on the little boy.
SJ: Is that his daddy? (Pointing to the man who is holding the child)
Me: I don't know. What do you think?
SJ: I think it is. But where is his mommy?
I wasn't ready for that question. It had never occurred to me that she is thinking about the whole family here.
Me: I'm not sure where the mommy is. Where do you think she is?
SJ: I don't know. But you know what, Mommy?
SJ: That little boy needs to be with his mommy. She'll protect him better than those other people.
Oh, my heart melted. Never underestimate the power of a mama bear!