I’m driving my youngest child to her swimming lessons. Few things in this world give me as much joy as looking in the rear view mirror as I back out of the driveway and seeing her donning swim goggles before we are even in the same zip code as the swimming pool.
But today Eden’s eyes seem a little serious behind her goggles. Contemplative. We haven’t even left the neighborhood before she asks, “Why does Voldemort do such wicked things?”
I have been reading the first book in the Harry Potter series to Eden and these days she is absolutely filled to the brim with questions about the magical world of wizarding. What kind of wand would I have? (Maple with unicorn hair. Twelve inches, quite thin.) What house would our family be in? (Probably Ravenclaw, but possibly Griffindor.) Why doesn’t Aunt Petunia like wizards? (It’s a long story.) Why would anyone want to be in Slytherin? (Some people just like being sneaky and trixy.)
We can’t get into the car these days without Eden directing a dozen questions to me, her captive audience.
But today her question feels genuinely concerned. My sweet daughter does not understand in the slightest how someone can be so uncaring, so callous, so nasty.
More than anything, more than her ability to tell time or her predilection for numbers, more than her love of reading, more than her sweetness and general obedience in many things, this inability to understand or comprehend evil gives me the most reassurance that my daughter will turn out alright in the end. That my less than perfect parenting skills haven’t done too much damage to her sweet spirit.
And the fact that I cannot completely answer her question about how one man (fictitious though he may be) can be so wicked, gives me a little hope for myself, as well.