Emma loves music, dancing and arts. In consequence, “The sound of Music” gets viewed quite often in our household, many times for days, on repeat :-).
Tonight, she came in the kitchen after she finished watching it and she was full of questions.
She wanted to know why the Von Trapps didn’t stay to pick up their prize in the music competition. When you are five, competitions are exciting, winning is compulsory and refusing a prize is incomprehensible.
How do you explain the Holocaust to a five year old?
I proceeded to tell her about Austria and its honest and decent people. About Hitler and his bad deeds. About some people in Austria refusing what a bad man was trying to make them do and become.
Emma pondered. To my precocious and perspicacious little girl, discriminating against people because of their origin, colour of skin or affiliation seemed aberrant.
The questions became deep. Very deep.
Mummy, who gave this man the power? Who made him a “king”?
I tried to avoid the obvious. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t say God.
But she found the answer herself. And then, she came up with the explanation:
I think, mummy, that God made people to be all good. But some people choose to use their power to be bad.
I could only agree. I sat down. I had to listen to the wisdom of this beautiful little soul.
Why do people become bad, mummy?
Again, I didn’t want to burden her soul. But she knew. Of course she knew.
I think it is because of how their mummies and daddies are with them.
What do you, mean, my love?
When a child is told he is bad, mummy, he becomes bad.
I had to ask more. I needed to know how deep this runs into my little girl. The Truth.
Emma, do you miss Georgie sometimes?
No, mummy. I think of him sometimes. I think of him in Heaven. I imagine him smiling and running around. Playing football. Passing the ball to all these other children there.
My girl never heard me talking about the vision I had of Georgie the other week. But my girl knows.
She knows where her brother is.
And she understands the world profoundly.
And she now knows that sometimes, losing what is rightly yours is better than not doing what is right.