I turned the radio on as I drove Lemon Cake and Baby Banana home from a park at around 3p.m. on Monday. It was an off schedule day and usually we would be resting at home at around that time. I started to hear talks about an explosion. I wasn’t alarmed until I hear the word explosion linked to the Marathon. Daddykush was working only one building away from the finish line. In my heart and my gut, I felt that he was safe. Nevertheless, I was relieved to reach him on the phone.
While we were on the phone, I realized that Lemon Cake was listening to every bit of the conversation. I quickly ended the call and told Lemon Cake there was a fire near Daddy’s work, policemen and firefighters were there and everything was ok. I thought that would be all a three year old can comprehend and needed concrete reassurance. At that moment, I had no idea the magnitude of the tragic incident. I only knew that my husband was fine and coming home early, my children were safe at home with me, and that was all that mattered.
A storm of thoughts has invaded me since then. I am horrified that it has hit so close to home this time. I felt chill up my spine when I read the doctors were removing ball bearings from the injured indicating the bombs were designed to inflict as much pain and injuries as possible. I am heartbroken that an eight year old died and his six year old sister lost a leg.
As someone of East Asian descent who only recently acquired U.S. citizenship, my other thoughts turned to who the suspects might be and how the city and government will handle all the information and suspects. I selfishly worried what would happen if any suspect is East Asian. How would that impact my life and my children’s lives? I hope that I do not live in a place where I would feel like the world has turned hostile to me and my people over night. I hope that I live in a place where people would continue to have dignity, be good and be strong even in fear. I hope that I would be able to do the same myself.
As a parent, I thought of how I would keep my children safe (ideally forever). I was very worried about sending Lemon Cake to school the next morning. I was worried if we could ever go to the library, restaurant, and parks again. Just a few days prior, we went to a science festival packed with children and families. We even considered meeting Daddykush at his work place for lunch on Monday since Lemon Cake did not have school. This makes me think about people, people who have families and children just like we do, that live in parts of the world where man made tragedies happen often. Every minute, you worry about your loved ones’ lives and everyone around you has lost someone they love. My heart goes out to them.
As someone who gives a lot of thought to parenting, I want to and choose to believe that if we raise our children with empathy, with understanding, with facts and knowledge, with strength, with open-mindedness, with self-awareness and with confidence that this would not happen. I do not believe in Evil. I believe in mental sickness. I believe that human beings could become weak, bad and sick because they live in a sick environment and because they would do anything to survive- whatever that means to them. It restores my faith somewhat to read about all the reports of people helping. I would want my children to be the ones helping if they are capable. I have to believe that parenting and education will make a difference.