By Natalie Moutafis

I had planned to be writing about the new year and what’s ahead for the tiny human household but I couldn’t find the right words.

Instead I’m trying to feel grateful.

Grateful that I live in the CBD away from imminent threat of bushfires even though my city is shrouded in a thick smoke haze rendering landmarks invisible.

Grateful that it’s a cool rainy day, even though it should be scorching and hot because it’s summer here in the Southern Hemisphere.

Grateful that my family and friends are all safe when so many are not.

But I’m still feeling anxious.

Anxious that the tiny toddler has seen the pictures on the news of the bushfires.

Anxious that at 3 years old I have to try and explain this to him but not wanting to worry his little mind over it.

Anxious that one day he might ask us about that time when he was still so little and our country burnt for months on end.

Anxious that perhaps in months or years to come, I might have to show these tiny humans pictures of animals that are almost extinct when they used to be everywhere in the wild.

I try not to dwell on this. We are doing what we can to help as a family – donating to the fundraisers so food and supplies can get to those who have been displaced and to support our heroes that are out there at the frontlines, and have been for weeks and months on end.

I’ll try and explain anything the tiny toddler asks about in age appropriate terms and protect him from the real horror as best I can. Just this morning he asked about the ‘grey sky’ and I explained the smoke and the smell and where it had come from (very big trees far away on fire). His response – ‘That’s a bit sad mummy’ – is so simple but so spot on. It’s all a bit sad, my son.

Related posts:

Talking with kids about the bushfire emergency

Helping people deal with traumatic events


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Posted by Independent Schools Victoria