Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Evan's first war

It's a strange thing to recall but my first conscious memory of a war was watching the news the night the Iran-Iraq war ended. Idly, I've caught myself wondering if JED would only know war in terms of Singapore and World War II.

Then I had this conversation in the car with Evan today.

I had put the radio onto music from the BBC when he got into the car. He fiddled around with the buttons.

He tells me he wanted to listen to the news channel and asked if there was war news on it. 

It was at the point of the day where we had just moved into the top of the hour and the BBC was rehashing the news items of the day which included the Russian troops in the Ukraine. So my answer is that yes, there is war news, between Ukraine and Russia.

Evan: I need to find out where Russia and Ukraine are.
And he proceeds to magic out a map/ flag book that has been lying around in the car and flips furiously, looking for the two countries.

It took a while to explain to him that even though the two countries were on different pages (Ukraine being part of Europe whilst Russia part of Central Asia) they were near each other. He eventually gets it.

The observations he made were that Ukraine was in big trouble because Russia was a big country. Russia being a big country meant that it was a powerful one.

This followed with a question about whether Ukraine and Russia were embroiled in an arms race (not in those exact words, but he did use the words arms race.) Evidently, he had been listening when I explained it to him one day. Disclaimer: I wasn't trying to do a pol-sci thing with him, more that he had a funny book that required my explaining a funny picture of a kid thinking that arms race meant a whole lot of human arms racing one another.

So at this point, I think he understands more about global affairs than some of my 17 year olds who think that Ukraine is me, in exasperation, comparing them to a long legged, long necked bird.

Of course, he wanted to know who were the good guys and who the bad guys were. I guess that the black and white version about the Russians being the bad guys and the Ukrainians being the poor thing good guys is kosher for a 6 year old's first encounter with war.

Then it occurred to me that I just had my first geo-political conversation with my son. I'm going to enjoy these car rides home with just him. Maybe when he's ten, I will pass him my Tom Clancys.



  1. wow what an interesting conversation to have with your little boy! He has such an inquisitive mind :)

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka