On saturday, the day after the deadly terrorist attacks in here in Paris. I was cooking in the kitchen as I normally do I left the window open in our 18th arrondissement apartment. My son, playing in the living room must have heard a sound from the street down stairs, maybe a car running over a bottle or a little sound that on any other day he would never have thought about, to be honest.
He then said “Maman, close the window it sounds like gunshots outside!” I said “What?” He said he heard “a sound like bullets just now”.
It then hit me, his young brain was thinking that we could be next.
A few hours after having explained that many people had been shot the night before while he slept. In places that we frequently go for coffee, lunch and walks.
I then had to explain to my 7 year old son, that living in fear is not an option. I told him the people who did this wanted that, but that we are free to choose a fearless path and that just living purposefully to regain normalcy is the best fight. Going about on our daily business, carrying on not as if nothing happened, but carrying on in spite of what happened. Because now more than ever we have to really live and realise that life is a gift that some want to take away from us, and we can’t allow our thoughts and our hearts to be infiltrated with fear and hate. That we will continue to enjoy and love what we have.
This morning as he left my arms for school I said like I always do “faire des bêtises ” meaning “get in trouble” and I added for the first (and I think last time) “Don’t be afraid” to which he sharply yet nonchalantly replied “Maman, I’m not afraid” gave me two bisous on both cheeks and off he went, carrying on. Like us all.