A French journalist with Le Petit Journal took a moment to interview a dad and his little son at the site of this week's terrorist attacks, and the exchange between them is heartbreakingly sweet.
When the journalist asked the little boy if he understood what happened, the boy said the attackers were “really really mean” and his family would have to be careful because “we have to change houses.”
His father quickly comforted him, saying “We don’t need to move out. France is our home.” Still frightened, the boy said the bad guys had guns and could shoot them.
“It’s okay,” his father said. “They might have guns, but we have flowers.” He explained that the flowers and candles were to remember the people who were gone, and to protect everyone.
It’s such an impossibly tender and wistful moment, a father trying to protect his son’s innocence in the face of tragedy, that it sounds like something written in a play or a poem. I guess that’s French people for you.
Of course, many of the comments on the video are people accusing the father of coddling his son. Because five-year-olds need reality to slap them in the face, I guess.
I’m just going to watch the video a few more times and try to believe that flowers and candles can protect us, too.