Obama, Romney, and War Views from a 6-Year Old

English: Seal of the President of the United S...

English: Seal of the President of the United States Español: Escudo del Presidente de los Estados Unidos Македонски: Печат на Претседателот на Соединетите Американски Држави. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the way to pick up my daughter at preschool, my 6-year old son overheard the radio and a discussion about the presidential debates.  It was really just background noise and I wasn’t even aware of the topic until my son says from the backseat, “Who are you voting for mom?”

I was a little taken back at first, but was happy to tell him a summary of my opinion.  After he listened, he confidently said, “Obama wants you to pay.  Mitt Romney wants you to work.”

“What?!”  I replied with a smile on my face.

“Obama wants you to pay.  Mitt Romney wants you to work,” my son repeated.

“Wow.  That can be a summary that others would argue to be true.  Interesting, indeed.  Hey, where did you hear that?  Are you talking about the presidential race at school?”

My son shrugged his shoulders and told me they were not discussing the topic at school.  He didn’t know where he got that information.  Then he asked, “What does the President do anyways?”

“Well,” I started, “one of the roles of the Presidency is to keep our country safe and make decisions about going to war.”

“Why do people go to war?” he innocently asked.

“Well,” I said, “that is a fine question.  Sometimes people go to war over silly things and sometimes they go to war over very serious things.”

“What’s an example of something silly?”

“Well, I would argue going to war over oil is silly.”

“Yep.”  My son paused.  “Why did people go to war for World War II?”

I about hit the brakes of my car to stop and look at this boy in the face.  “World War II,” I thought to myself, “where did that come from??”

“Well, in that case, it was a serious reason.  At least from the perspective of why our country got involved.”

“Who was all involved in the fighting?” my son asked.

“Many countries, which is why it is considered a ‘world’ war.  We got involved because a crazy man was killing many, many innocent people.  It was really awful and we wanted to help stop him from doing more damage.”

“Huh….” He was in thought mode, not saying much.  I looked at him through the rear view window and could almost see the wheels churning in his brain.  I waited for what might come out of his mouth next.  Finally, my son said, “Mom, people can act crazy sometimes, but they can be great sometimes  too.”

I smiled, “That is another very astute summary.  I couldn’t agree more.  The trick is to be sure you focus on the great and stay away from the crazy.”

My son considered this.  He smiled.  “Bad crazy you mean, not good crazy.”

“Absolutely.  Good crazy can be fun, but the bad kind, well, it’s bad.  It will hurt you.”

“Mom,” my son replied, “I’m glad we have the good people in our lives.”

“Me too sweetie.”  And then I teared up, so grateful that my son recognizes the good we have in our lives even in the middle of our troubled times.  “We are lucky.”

And to that, he simply said, “Yep.”

And then we arrived to daycare, a place filled with all kinds of good people helping to shape the positive views of the world that my daughter is forming too.

Advertisements

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bobby Cook on October 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    6 years old. Wow 🙂 Good questions from a smart little guy!

    Reply

  2. Posted by maria on October 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Love this!!! I think your 6 year old and my 6 year old need to get together…also if he hasn’t seen the app “Brainpop” yet…he is ready!!! Stay Strong!!

    Reply

  3. Posted by patrick beggs on October 24, 2012 at 12:52 am

    darn this is good Erica. i have reread a number of times. thanks.

    Reply

  4. Posted by jean gross on October 24, 2012 at 2:28 am

    thanks so much for sharing this conversation with your son. What a wonderful talk and a wonderful memory to have.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: