August 9, 2006

I have been home with Tallulah in the daytime the past few days. We have watched the Chronicles of Narnia movie, the one with Tilda Swinton, twice. She was very curious about the very beginning, about the bombs falling on London, and why the children had to go away to the countryside. I tried to explain it as best I could. I can explain the facts of the Blitz, of the evacuation, fine. There was a war, and a lot of bombs were being dropped on the cities, and it was very dangerous, so a lot of the children were sent to live with other people out in the countryside to keep them safe, I told her. And it was very sad for a lot of people, but wars cause a lot of sad things to happen.

And then she asked me why the people were fighting the war. And how do I explain World War II to a five year old? At first I thought she was asking about the war in Narnia – that one’s easy to explain, it’s a battle between Good and Evil, as fantasy wars tend to be. But then I realized she meant the other war, the war that caused the children to live away from their family in a big rambling country house with the Professor. And now I think maybe she has the idea that World War II was a battle between Good and Evil as well. And I suppose that’s fine for her to think that now – she’s only 5 years old! why do I worry so much about making the world grey for her when black and white is alright and easier the first few years of life. She will know soon enough.

And secretly inside I was so thankful that I have to explain what a war is like to my five year old, that she doesn’t know first-hand what a war is, like so many five year olds in this world experience every day. And I was further thankful that I had to explain based on things I’ve read in books and seen in films because I have never experienced a war, have never seen bombs falling from the sky on houses and people. We are very lucky. And we need to remember that sometimes.


2 Responses to “Narnia”

  1. alicia Says:

    i think wwII is the one war where it’s not so bad for a kid to see things in black and white. she’ll learn shades of grey when she finds out about other wars.

  2. I sort of agree…but even then, I don’t like characterizing the Axis as Evil. Because I think it’s really important to remember that what they did – as heinous as it was – was something so many people are capable of, that it is possible again, that we need to do everything we can to prevent such things from happening. Evil seems like a way to …. ah here I am blabbing on about it. But yes, there is time still for her to learn about the shades of grey.

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