I got food poisoning. Not sure from what, but I’ve been out of commission all day. Barfing, pooing, desperately trying to make sure my New Henry is getting his milk.
Around 1:30pm yesterday afternoon, my husband came upstairs with his laptop.
“Did you see this? It’s terrifying.”
I had not seen much, except the bathroom door and my eyelids all day. So I leaned over.
“Watch this. It’s terrible.” Matt played my videos of downtown Beirut, Lebanon being obliterated in seconds. It was horrifying. Multiple angles, from boats, rooftops, cars and inside buildings. The entire downtown is hit with a giant explosion, instantly injuring and killing people.
We tried to put it aside and were able to, mostly, for the remainder of the day. We have a friend who was just in Beirut, but he had gotten on a flight just this AM. Many were not so lucky. Nothing in this description does any justice to the horror that occurred.
Around bedtime last night, my son, Elias (who is almost 4) was sitting on the bed, and Matt was watching more footage. Elias caught a glimpse of the screen and wanted to know what it was. The conversation went something like this:
Elias: “Daddy what’s that?”
Dad: “It’s a giant fire. “
Dad: “People had lots of things that burn and they weren’t careful”.
Elias: “More more”.
(Plays the Video from the rooftop of the Govt building).
Elias: “Wow thats giant fire”.
Dad: “Yes, its terrible. Lots of people got hurt”.
Elias: “How many?”
Dad: “A lot”
Elias puts his head down/.
Elias : “Daddy, is the fire going to get us?”
Daddy:” No Elias, its far away. We have to make sure we’re careful and then we won’t have a big fire here”.
Elias: “I don’t like the fire at all”
We struggle with times like these as to what to do. Is honesty the best policy? We like to think so… but nearly 4 year olds, maybe the rules aren’t so clear.
We don’t want to raise kids who don’t understand the world is not unicorns and rainbows. We hope that Elias wakes up the next day, shaking it off, a little bit wiser, but we just don’t know.
As we enter August and the 165 of Covid (we are rounding almost half a year) it makes you think.
Accidents like Beirut, the war on race, the unrest around the world, Covid-19, space travel. 2020 has unleashed a new level of eye openness.
Existing in our skins at the moment feels hard. Talking to young kids about racism should be easier. Explaining scary things to kids is challenging . A global virus claiming lives on mass – how do you educate a 4 year old on what they can’t see? or understand? In Canada, we are fortunate to have the society that can better deal with these things, but explaining them isn’t any easier.
It sometimes feels like Im living in a novel.
As I sit here, Henry entering week 4 of life, we are humbled and greatly shocked by Beirut.
The realities of a resurgence of COVID, an idiot with lots of ammonium nitrate in the wrong place, and too many assholes yelling racist shit here and there is just around the corner.
Imagine if all of downtown Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, was completely destroyed in a split second.
My heart hurts just thinking about it.
If you have injured family members, we pray for healing.
May those who lost loved ones, may their memory be a blessing.
This is nothing like an atom bomb type accident in the “Paris of the middle east” to help bring focus to the things that matter the most right now.
Let’s all hold our kids a little tighter today.