Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: western NY state
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we don't have a tv. my son, however, does know that we are at war, and that that means that people on both sides are getting hurt. i don't believe that he fully understands the full scope of the horror, but he knows that war is something his parents disaprove of as violence. he asks questions, and we answer them honestly, gently, and very simply. he has seen an iraqi folk doll at the library, and he knows that the war is far away, but many people right here are going to protests to try to stop it. we live in a small city, and for now i am limiting my activity to the local rallies and vigils. he has seen me making signs and has asked questions about the rallies. he asks if there are other kids there, and are the rallies noisy. lately he has decided that he wants to go. using the weather as an excuse, i told him no for weeks, but he kept asking, and even made a sign.
yesterday i let him go. we had a long talk before hand about the noise (he is audio-sensitive) and the fact that there are many people who disagree with us who might not know how to act nice when they see us. he still wanted to go, so we brought an extra grown-up. he was frightened of the noise at first, and very scared when a clearly mentally ill or drug addicted man on the sidewalk began screaming at us and threatening some of the women at the edge of the street. the 3 of us grownups clustered around ds so he would feel safe and carried him to the sidwalk when the man was gone. many times during the rally we offered to take ds home. we asked again and again, and even when we thought he wanted to go and began to turn around to take him home, he would say he changed his mind and wanted to keep going. when we finished the march to the war memorial, ds said he really wanted to go, so we all went. i did not get to hear the veterans speak like i wanted, but that doesn't matter because yestrday my baby boy chosse to overcome fear and discomfort to show support for something he believes in and i am very, very proud of him.
he does not understand the complex reasons why we claim to be fighting this war, or the complexity of reasons why we oppose it. he does understand that people are being hurt, and now he understands that he has a voice he can use to call out to stop it. i think his self-esteem was raised today. later on we took him out for soda and cookies and we told him how proud we were. he surprised me by asking to go again! he asked if we could get light earplugs so the noise wouldn't bother him. we'd have to bring extra grownups to stick by him in case he gets separated from me, and have him holding a grown-up's hand at all times instead of socializing with his friends, as well as a hand-signal for "take the earplugs out now". but i'm really thinking of letting him go again. i'm very proud of him.