when we talk of big things with small people

The questions seem to come out of nowhere. Liked a spooked grouse that charges from the bushes. Only it was there all along. Just hiding in the great wide open.

“I don’t like wars around us,” my 3-year-old says before climbing into his car seat.

“I don’t like wars either,” I say.

“Where is the war? Is it far away?” he glances into the woods.

“Yes,” I say.

And it is here, too, I think, but say nothing.

“Do people die in wars,” he asks?

“Yes,” I say, fumbling with the buckle.

And their families suffer even if they don’t.

“What is on your mind?” I ask.

I wonder what he thinks war is and who makes it. I wonder if he thinks about children like him. Just going to school until they no longer can. Who just want to play on the swings and lean back and pretend to be birds flying.

“It’s funny when trees break,” he says.

And then his brother asks about blue sharks and what they eat and we move on. Except I don’t.

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