War is meaningless to children. I take great comfort in that. The atrocities and pain, the confusion and loss, all of the colored paint of conflict that gets thrown around in the world, and it is perfectly shielded from their delicate white canvas. War to a child is nothing more than another combination of sounds that adults make in quiet conversation. Just a noise. Nothing more.
So, it makes perfect sense to Lydia that she can sit in the backseat of the car and squeeze her favorite new Care Bear tight and rub her fingers around the outline of the star printed on his bright teal chest and pick the perfect name for her sweet new friend: Star Wars.
“I’m sorry. What did you say his name is?”
“Star Wars,” She smiled, obviously quite proud of herself for picking such a clever name. “Star Wars bear.”
“Huh.” Several seconds of road noise. “Are you sure you want to name him Star Wa-“
“YES! His name is Star Wars!”
So, the bear was lovingly brought home and placed in a seat of honor between the girl’s other favorite toys “Johnny” and “The King of the Jungle”, which look suspiciously like my Han Solo and Chewbacca action figures. If these toys could speak, I’m sure they would have some serious words to say to me and my family. Now, they not only attend daily tea parties while living in a plastic house full of rabbits and hedgehogs, but their very universe has been personified by a gigantic fuzzy green bear with a star on its chest.
Such is a life lived under the tyrannical hand of the innocent.
Later that day, I was walking past her bedroom after laying her down for the night and I heard her loudly praying to herself in the darkness of the room.
“Thank you God for my Mommy. Thank you for Daddy. I love everyone in my family. All of them. I love Clara. I love Gideon. And Thank you God for Star Wars.”
With my own quiet “Amen”, I turned off the hallway light and walked downstairs.