My 8-year-old daughter asked me about the Boston Marathon. I hadn’t mentioned it to her. In fact, I had carefully tucked the New York Post away so that none of my children would see the chilling cover photo.
But several of her friends had parents who ran in the marathon and at school, she learned about the explosions. And the bombs. And people who were hurt.
I tried to be as honest as possible without saying too much. My 6-year-old (who was listening) wanted to know the definition of a bomb. I did my best.
I tried to explain the tragedy as simply as possible. Of course, it’s impossible to really explain something I don’t understand myself. I told them there are a few bad people in the world but most of us are very good and will do anything to help a stranger in need.
“There are only two bad people in the world? You said a few. Isn’t that two?” my 6-year-old asked.
“There are more than two bad people,” I explained. “But there will always be so many more good people. That is what is beautiful about this world. We have to focus on all the good people.”
And I admitted that yes, people were badly injured.
I didn’t mention any deaths.
I didn’t mention a loving 29-year-old girl, a Chinese graduate student or a beloved 8-year-old boy named Martin Richard.
An 8-year-old boy who I am certain had a best friend, probably loved dessert and was thrilled to have the day off to watch the Boston Marathon.
I couldn’t bear to mention him.