Talking with Kids About Boston: The Story Of &%^* and The "Thing"
I wrote this story for my children. I wanted them to be able to have their questions answered without the added fear. Since my children are littler, I broke this story up for them but its bulk and the message was still the same.
Once upon a time there was a &%^* who lived in a town called Town that was not too far but not too near from us. He was angry and grumpy and stayed far away from everyone and everything most of his days. Nobody knew him. He stayed hidden away in a place that nobody saw. He kept away from other people on purpose. He had only one plan. He wanted everyone to be mad and grumpy just like him.
One day the &%^* had an idea. It was a really bad idea. It was an awful idea. The &%^* didn't share it with anyone because he didn't talk to anyone. He kept the idea to himself. He thought of the "thing" as part of a game, a very mean game. This was bad because his idea could make so many people very, very sad. Someone could have stopped the &%^* but since no one in the town knew of him, that couldn't happen.
So, the &%^* made a "thing." The "thing" was something that was small but dangerous. The &%^* thought that the thing would make him feel better. That the "thing" would make him feel important if he used it. He knew it was very bad but he didn't care. Something inside him made him think that it was okay to create the "thing" but it wasn't okay. It wasn't okay at all.
An important day came that all the townspeople gathered in the same place. People were playing and laughing and feeling happy as they all gathered in this one place. There were so many people around and the &%^* hid where no one could see him.
He placed the "thing" in a place where nobody would find it and then he went very far away. No one knows if he felt glad or sad. No one knew that the &%^* was even in the place where the townspeople gathered.
After the &%^* left, the "thing" began to change. It made noises and got bigger. It made bad smells and created big billows of smoke. Soon, people began to notice the "thing" and what it was doing. Some people got scared but went to protect other people who were coughing from the smoke and plugging their ears from the noise. Some of the fixer people in the town that helped when there were bad people or when there was a fire went to find the "thing" and try to get rid of it.
By the time they found it, it was only a piece of "nothing." No one knew why it was there in the first place. Nobody thought that it was the &%^* that put it there.
People got very, very sick from the noises. People got very, very hurt from the smoke. Other people were helping the sick and hurt by taking them to the place that makes hurt and sick go away. Some people were more hurt than other people. Everyone, though, was helping each other, trying to fix the sick and hurt and find out why the "thing" was there in the first place.
Some people got really mad and want to blame other people, which was not the way to make things right at all. Some people wanted to investigate to try to discover clues to figure out why the "thing" was there. Most of all, people wanted to help other people and find a way to keep the "thing" from ever coming back again. People wanted answers but they couldn't find any fast enough. The townspeople felt mad, sad, angry and very, very grumpy. It looked like the &%^* was winning his game.
As time passed, some of the sick and hurt got well. Some of them, however, did not. This made the people very sad. People cried. People were very scared. They didn't want to go to the place where the "thing" used to be in fear that it would come back. They didn't want to leave their homes. they didn't want to do anything.
Shortly after, the townspeople had a meeting with the town's mayor. Some people wanted to move far away to the next town. Some wanted the town to work harder in finding who put the bad "thing" there to begin with.
One person, a small boy, asked the mayor if he could speak townspeople and when the mayor said yes the small boy said,
I know we don't have an answer to why the "thing" was here, why it hurt us or if the "thing"will happen again. There is something I do know and that is that I have hope. Hope inside my heart and head. Hope that we can keep living in our town. Hope that this may not happen again. Hope that if I get hurt or sick, there are people in this town who will help me. I hold on to this hope. I think this hope will make the days better. It doesn't mean I'm not scared. It doesn't mean I'm not sad. But if I didn't have hope, I would just give up. I don't want to give up. So I choose hope.
The other townspeople looked at each other and nodded their heads because they knew the small boy was right. Sometimes bad things happen that we can't explain and that can't fix right away. It's very sad and it hurts deep inside us but without hope, we can't continue to live. The townspeople felt that they would rather live than give up. The townspeople decided to have hope.
So, that's what the townspeople did. They continued to try and figure out what happened but they lived their days with hope. They still gathered together but they were more careful and cautious. They checked around the places that they would go and they would tell the fixer people if they saw something that was strange to them. All the while, they kept having hope.
Everyday, the townspeople thought about the people who got sick and hurt. They told stories about them and laughed at the things that they shared with those people. They felt huge love for them and told their families that they would be there if they needed them. They did this because even though they were sad, they had hope.
Over time, the town became closer. The people felt less scared and more prepared for bad things without giving up their everyday routines. They paid attention to the big things and the little things and they made sure to act kindly to others around them. They passed on their hope to others. they gave big hope to those with little hope.
One day, the mayor declared that they would rename the town from Town to Hope.
Because the townspeople didn't remain sad and angry, the &%^* didn't win his game. He thought that his "thing" would fix all his problems and make him feel important but in the end...
...people who hurt other people will always lose their mean games. People with hope will always win.
(it is never) The End.
the robot mommy