Apocalypse as a Terrifying Prospect: When it’s impossible to protect our children

By now you probably know I’m kind of fascinated with the end of the world and apocalypse. But usually in the sense of the hopeful nature of rebirth apocalypse could bring about.

Apocalypse where the world actually ends just makes me cry. Seriously.

Last week I watched “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” with Steve Carrell and Kiera Knightly. The premise is essentially that a meteor is heading towards earth with the last hope of salvation lost: mankind has only a few weeks left.

It’s funny and sweet. I feel it paints an interesting picture of the possible ways people would deal with that kind of news: there is violence, hope, suicide, preppers, disbelievers, you name it.

But the scene where they follow a group of people onto the beach made me cry. There is hardly any dialogue. People are laughing, playing in the water on a gorgeous, sheltered beach in couples, in families.

With their children.

Small blond children – some babies, some still toddlers like my kidlet – the parents play with them like it was just a fun outing to the beach. Like they aren’t trying to cram a life into a few tiny, short days.

My throat clogs and tears make the screen blurry even now. Because I wonder: what would I do? Wouldn’t pretending life really might continue be the best gift I could give my child? Especially when they’re so young, they couldn’t possibly understand what it would mean that the world is going to end. To know that they, their mom and dad, everything and everyone they know, will be destroyed.

And why should they understand that? Why can’t they just have one more day playing in the sand? Learning to paint? Getting hugs and cuddles from the people who love them and are desperately trying to protect them from that pain?

But how could you keep pretending? How could you look down into that tiny face and not break down completely, knowing there was nothing, NOTHING you could do to protect them? You’re a parent. It’s your job, your primary duty and responsibility to protect them. And what happens if you can’t?

When you know that everything will end, that night do you put them to bed just like usual? Or do you hold them close so you’ll all be together at least? So even if the bodies are found in the rubble, they won’t be alone?

There are so many things in life we will protect our children from. So many things we will want to protect them from.

But what about the horrible, unknown, and devastating forces we can’t control, we can’t even predict?

Thanks for reading. Have a great week.

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