I know this post is long, but if you ever read anything here, please read this.
Tonight, I came home from a quick trip to Target and my son was in bed, crying. J was just getting up to check on the little guy. I walked into J-bear's room and asked him what was the matter. Apparently, he had been crying for a while, but no one could hear him because he was so quiet.
Keep in mind, I haven't had a great day today. My kids were acting up, and I am tired, and the Santa Ana winds are blowing today, which makes us all grumpy. And now I had to deal with a kid who wouldn't settle down and go to sleep. So I probably had a bit more edge than normal, but I wasn't mean about it.
He wailed louder, and wouldn't tell me what was bothering him. His answer: "I'll draw it." I sighed, a bit annoyed. What was it this time? A troll? Something in the dark in his room? But, knowing that nothing would be resolved until I fetched pencil, paper and flashlight, I swallowed my frustration. My son has this thing where he won't tell you what is wrong, but he will draw it.
I don't know why he does this, it may be part of his Asperger's. Maybe the words are too big and too scary for him, but a visual picture is something with which he can cope. So I headed down the hall, praying he wouldn't wake his younger sister, with whom he shares a room. I delivered the supplies and said I would check back on him in just a minute.
I returned a few minutes later; he was intently drawing, but just finishing up. And he handed me this and burst into fresh tears.
What could I say? It was very self-explanatory. My first reaction was shock. He was upset about the war in Iraq. I have no idea what to say to my son, and am furious with the fact that I even have to be put in this position. Here is where I could insert my anti-war rant, but really, we all know how I feel about his administration, so it would be beating a dead horse. But for me, it comes down to this:
Mr. President, do whatever you want to me. Lie to me and tell me that a country that has been an ally in the past has been harboring terrorists. Manufacture evidence to pull us into a war that isn't well thought out or necessary. Tell me that we must overthrow the dictator of said country because "freedom is on the march." Tell me that you decide these things.
You can tell me whatever you want. And I will lie awake at night and cry, and pray and worry. But when you pull my son into your web of lies, when you keep my child awake and fearful because he cannot stand the thought of bombing a country into submission, then sir, you have gone too far. When I have to explain to my innocent child why we dropped bombs on other innocent children all because of a lie, then sir, you are dealing with a highly pissed off mother. The time to end this is now. Before more people die because someone didn't tell the whole truth.
So, what did I tell my son? What could I say? I first cried with him, hugged him and told him that I didn't understand it either, and that really the only thing we can do is pray. So, we did. I held onto my son, who was whole in my arms, and wasn't threatened by a superpower, didn't have to worry about whether or not he would wake tomorrow, and we prayed. We prayed for the Iraqi children. We prayed for an end to this evil war. And for leadership change of heart, though I question if this leadership has any heart at all. We prayed for mercy. We prayed for peace. And we sobbed.
And as I sit writing this, I am sobbing again. For the victims of Iraq. Our soldiers, their mothers. The families who live in Iraq. And for one more victim as well : my son's lost innocence.
T, who has no idea how to explain this insanity