When your child is present at a bomb scare, and later a windstorm showers your loved ones with scattered glass, eat some sweet porridge.

Our weekend was rather exciting. My 3-yr old was present at a bomb scare, and the next day a windstorm showered my loved ones with scattered glas. Before you start worrying, please know that everyone is feeling good. And this feeling of all being well, is why I am writing here today. I am offering you these stories as a reminder to keep things in perspective and to stay focused on how you want to feel – even after stirring events.

On Friday my friend picks up my 3-yr old for their weekly time together. As the weather is horrible I suggest they go to the department store and get Eliasz an umbrella he wants. Shortly after they arrive at the store the alarm goes of. There is a fire on the first floor and everyone needs to exit the building. They are on the ground floor and leave quickly. They see lots of firetrucks and police cars arriving. Apparently my kid thinks this is all very exciting. My friend is awesome, stays calm, explains what’s going on and checks in with him to see if he is scared. He isn’t, so she goes along with his excitement of events. No one on the scene is hurt, and I guess the most damage is that my friend lost her wallet in the commotion of exiting the building. Yet Eliasz has his 3€ for the umbrella with him in his jacket, so they go to another store to buy it. He is very happy when he presents it to me back home.
Later that night I check the news and read that while there was a fire at the store, someone also found a bag with some wires sticking out and the reason for the evacuation was not the fire but a bomb scare. They quickly found out it’s a false alarm and the bag contained only trash.
Learning that my child was present at a bomb alarm, really scared me for a moment. While I was fine with the fire event, the whole topic of bomb, released a bunch of scared emotions. I let them be, I told my wife how I was feeling. I got over it. Because the truth is, my child had an exciting event. And there are many things in this story that I can focus on that make me feel grateful and happy.

  • He got to see lot’s of fire trucks (and that’s most childrens dream!).
  • While there was a fire and even a bomb alarm going on, everyone handled the situation really great. The staff and emergency workers were supportive and calm.
  • The small fire was put out immediately by the sprinklers and there was never an actual threat to anyone.
  • My child was with someone he trusted and could communicate with.

So at dinner time I turn to a food that gives us all comfort. I make sweet porridge.
(On a side note, my 1-yr old loves eating it and that night sleeps through for over 7 hours, yay!)

On Saturday my wife takes our 3-yr old to his ballet class. On their way to the subway they play chase through the passage on the way. All of the sudden they are met by a gust of wind. My wife jokingly emphasizes the tumbling this sets them in, and the wind actually blows off her hat. Eliasz is still running ahead of her, when they hear the loudest bang my wife has ever heard. He quickly runs back to her and she can cover him as they are being showered by shattered glass. The glass door from the bakery ahead of them got unhinged by the storm and the wind blew everything right at them. Again, no one is hurt. It was safety glass. They got my wife’s hat and continued to the subway.
When I ask Eliasz about it at dinner, I can see a very scared look in his eyes as he turns to his Mama (my wife) asking her to tell the story. I am sure he was scared (though he chooses the word excited). I am also sure in the moment my wife was scared even more and that’s where his looks comes from. Yet again, nothing major happened. Eliasz had his Mama with him, everyone around them was also safe.
Again that night we eat sweet porridge, because it’s the comforting feelings I want to focus on. My wife and Eliasz fall asleep together cuddling.

On Sunday everyone is in a good mood and the only noteworthy thing that happened is that all four of us took a collective nap at the same time! The odds of that are kind of as rare as being hit by scattered glass ; )

I could start worrying about my loved ones well being. I could wonder how this effects my child emotionally. But honestly, I don’t have much to fear. Sure, two big events like that in a row are odd, but only because in general our life is filled with trust and a feeling of well being.

As parents, my wife and I choose to trust our children with their emotions. We try not to make a bigger deal out of things than they are, whether it’s a bump on the head or an event like this. Because children have such an easier time to go back to their feelings of well being than we do as overthinking adults. And if my 3yr-old does not feel well, he is pretty clear about expressing that and we find ways to support him.
As parents we choose to trust in our children’s well being. That way I can enjoy my 3 yr-olds immense need for movement. When he rides his bicycle on the sidewalk of our large city, I trust that he will always stop on the curb, even if he is a block ahead of me. I can enjoy him riding a skateboard, or climbing high posts. He spends a lot of time with other people, such as day care and friends. I trust he is treated well and people watch out for him.

There will always be potential dangers out there, such as traffic, windstorms, fires or simply falls. By nature of our existence our family may be confronted with societies violence and discrimination. All these things I have no control over. And I am perfectly fine with that. What I can influence are my own thoughts and feelings. When I think about future events I won’t let my thoughts wander into potential dangers and fears. I rather appreciate the well being around me.
When feelings of fear and worry came up for me this weekend, I did not resist them. I did not want to stay with these feeling though either. When you allow a feeling to be present it is much easier to move on to the next. By doing so I was soon able to focus on how I want to feel about life and my families well being.

With all this going on, I go to sleep with the comforting evidence that my 3-yr old is surrounded by people who love him and by a force that keeps us safe, even in stirring events.