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the eric update - day 424: how do you explain the unexplainable?

while i remember having similar thoughts in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 indian ocean tsumani as odin gets older and more perceptive i find myself thinking much more concretely about how i would explain what is ostensibly unexplainable.

beyond the unfathomable direct devastation caused by hurricane katrina, how do you explain a mayor issuing a "desperate SOS" or sniper fire during hospital evacuations or many of the other things that seemed impossibly implausible in a major american city just a few days ago.

no, really. i'm serious. what would/do you say to your kids? save the children put out a press release some pragmatic advice such as "turn off the television" and "give children reassurance and psychological first-aid", but it seems like that sort of advice will only suffice for kids up to a certain age and at some point you're going to have to answer some pretty tough questions.

and again, i know we're a long way from needing to explain such things, but it's impossible to not try and imagine how we'd justify to little odin, how something like this could happen again, eighty years after the great missippi flood of 1927 which diplaced some 700,000 people into hundreds of refugee camps - a disproportionate number of whom were poor african americans. it was an event that dramatically altered race relations then, and i suppose it's an open question whether current events will alter them again.

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9/01/2005 08:16:00 PM 3 comments


I think it is very telling that there have been no comments to this thought-provoking entry. I keep checking back, hoping that someone with experience in this realm has posted a comment with "instructions". Wish I had something to offer but I spent a lot of time thinking about it, mostly in the middle of night while feeding my son, and got absolutely no where. Are Eric and I the only ones struggling with this?

By Blogger ClumberKim, at 12:29 PM  

More comments at Flickr if you click on the images, but none of us have answers.

By Blogger KelliAmanda, at 3:20 PM  

kim: "I think it is very telling that there have been no comments to this thought-provoking entry. I keep checking back, hoping that someone with experience in this realm has posted a comment with "instructions"."

if you look at the number of people who are looking at the flickr photos it would seem that a lot people are looking for answers but not many people know what to say to each other little less their kids.

By Blogger e3, at 7:55 PM  

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"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

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this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

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