Over the weekend, as mourners gathered somewhere in Paris to remember the victims of Friday's terror attacks, a camera crew with the French TV show Le Petit Journal filmed a conversation between a French boy and his father. The father and son talk through the boy's fear of the attacks. The result is touching, and a master class in how to talk about terrorist attacks to kids — and perhaps in how all of us could stand to think about terrorism and fear:
After the attacks, the boy is understandably terrified, convinced his family has to move out of Paris to be safe.
Son: We have to be really careful because we have to change houses.
Father: Oh no, don't worry — we don't need to move out. Paris is our home.
Son: But there's bad guys, daddy.
Father: Yes, but there's bad guys everywhere.
When the boy responds by saying, "They have guns," the father responds beautifully — "They might have guns, but we have flowers":
Father: Everyone is putting flowers. It's to fight against guns.
Son: It's to protect?
Son: And the candles too?
Father: It's to remember the people who are gone yesterday.
Son: The flowers and the candles are here to protect us.
Le Petit Journal's interviewer asks the boy whether he feels better now. His answer is very simple: "Yes."