Thursday, 17 March 2011

So what would you have done?

If you were a mom in Japan, tomorrow a week ago? Alone, at home with 3 small kids. Would you grab the two smallest and try to speak to the oldest to get them to safety as soon as the earthquake starts? And after that, assuming you made it out safe and now have to flee in front of a possible tsunami? Truly, I have no idea. From experience I know the Princess freeze in a panic situation and I would literally have to shove her in front of me with a boy under each arm. I keep thinking of a South African survivor of the  Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 saying on to that she grabbed and held onto her youngest and had to make the heart wrenching decision that possibly the oldest could be able to survive on his own. What a horrible decision she was forced to make. This one turned out to be good - they all survived, but it could be so different.I just pray that we never have to face a trauma like this.

Being a mom changes the way you think about everything in life, but mostly about how your no1 priority is keeping your children safe, fed and happy. I often think with fear about war situations and how to deal with that when you have small kids.

At the moment I am dealing with a million questions from the Princess about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I think she does (luckily) not completely comprehend the devastation - truly, who of us can and certainly she knows nothing of the nuclear threat. But she is asking the eternal questions. How does God allow such bad things to happen? Why did it happen in Japan (and yes, Nieuw-Zeeland she has not forgotten about that) and not here? Is is because we believe in God and the other countries not? Very tough questions. And then to curtail the fears of these disasters happening here.She went as far as to draw me a sketch showing the earth's layers and where the center is and how volcanoes work and asking me why it then does not happen here. ( I am pretty sure I did not know all this at 6) I am trying to answer as best I can, but these are tough issues for a 6 year old brain to digest.

So, any bright ideas? And are your children wondering about these issues?


  1. on a much much much MUCH *MUCH* smaller scale - i had a similar thought about my dogs and if i could save only one, in a situation like that, how would i be able to deal with it and live with myself.

    i CAN NOT imagine having to face the same decision with a child.

  2. My kids are also questioning - they want to know what we would do! Cameron said he would run home!

    So, at their insistence, we made an emergency plan! I told them to remain with the adult in charge - me, David, the teacher etc and if I wasnt with them I would get to them and not them to me!!!!!!

    Cam also understands the logic of the disaster in terms of the cause - Kiara thinks it was an act of god :)

    Its made for interesting morning conversations!

  3. I have no idea how to handle this situation or even to talk about. It is so foreign to me and the kids.

    They don't understand and I don't understand.

  4. I feel so sorry for the littlies these days: because of the media they are exposed to hectic things before they should be.
    I know they also hear adults and older children talking but the pictures are so overwhelming, aren't they.

    Luckily, usually kids forget quite quickly.

  5. I think my heart stopped beating as I read this. I had thought about all the devastation and how terrifying this all has to be - struggling to comprehend what it must be like there now...but for some reason - those thoughts - what would I do with my children in the middle of that moment - had not crossed my mind.

    I can only pray to God that I am never put in such a situation and add more prayers for the mothers there that had to....

  6. Another blogger I follow had this in a post, which I think answers the God question quite well:
    "I believe in God. I believe he is real. I also believe in Satan. I believe he is very real. I don't believe that God is going to shield us, and protect us from Satan every moment of every day. That's our job. We have to take care of each other. Shield and protect and take care of each other."
    It's from this post:

  7. I don't even want to think about what I'd have to do if it happened here. I only have Nicola, so I wouldn't have to try and choose thank goodness - but I don't even want to think of her being in such kind of danger.

    Those poor people in Japan. First the earthquake, then the tsunami, then the nuclear business...and on top of that it's their winter so they're all freezing, looking for lost relatives and have no power, and no way to get anywhere that does.

  8. I cant go here. I really cant; my mind can only cope with so much!

    My kids know about the earthquake but I did not let them watch the imagery. Its just too much, particularly for my eldest who internalises and ponders.

    I trust that if this happens that I will have the wisdom and courage to do the best I can in the situation.

  9. I try and turn off the news when my kids are around because although they are busy and don't seem to be paying attention- they always end up absorbing some of it! Scary stuff, I hope we never have to make those kind of decisions!

  10. My 7-year-olds are working on their Daisy Garden Leadership Journey. As part of this, they need to plant a garden and do a service project. Then came Japan. They saw the video of the farmers fields being swept away. Because they have been tending their garden, they knew how hard it is. So, they mobilized the school to donate money to help the farmers.

  11. Tough questions! Do we know the answers? I think you should just always try to speak your truth, and tell them where you don't know... Maybe ask them what they think?
    I am also going to get those questions again! And The Teen now knows everything about life! She's sorted! ;-)

  12. I dont want to even think about much for todays children to take in.

  13. oh my word... what would I do? (I also have 3 wee ones) I think i would tie all 3 together and then tie them to me.... a-la-macgyver, you know, I always carry rope and gaffer tape with me ;)
    Sorry - i know its serious, but I don't do serious very well.
    I have also had a m ine-field of questions about tectonic plates and earth shakes etc...
    Luckily my 7 yr old has decided that Southern Africa - preferably in the Drakensberg is the safest place to be :0

  14. Those are tough questions...and I agree with Allie...we were very protected against all of this when we were small and the world was not like today...on CNN everything is seen as it happens.


  15. very thought provoking! And you're not alone, my eldest (8) asked me how close we were to Japan and wanted lots of detail on how an earthquake happens, you know, the technical bit. I tried to explain as best I could using a globe and giving info on the plates that rub together under the land surface etc. Not sure how much went in but she seemed satisfied with the answer. My 5 year old just wanted to know how we could help.

    But what the **** would we do if one day it was us. Going to put that thought on the back burner for now before it makes me a little insane with fear.

  16. I had the same with J, a thousand questions and why does God let it happen. I also fear for my child in situations like this and have often thought that I am so grateful that I'll never have to choose between children because I only have the one.


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