So what do you tell your almost grown children about this?
I’m not talking about psychotic dictators or serial killers. I’m thinking about people we see in our daily lives.
I asked my brother Max about that. He isn’t the type to say karma is a bitch or stuff like that.
My dear eldest brother (the eldest of four elder brothers of mine) stopped by as I was outside breaking up a cat fight on my lower deck. I threw an oyster shell at them, which bounced off of the deck rail, hit a bird feeder, hit a lounge chair, then landed between my growling cats. The damn squirrels started going crazy in the oak trees so I threw the rest of the oyster shells at them. I know you’re asking why I had oyster shells on my top deck to throw. They were in a pot, left over from a night of grilling a few months ago. One cannot live on blood alone.
Max came in the front door to discover me doing what I was doing and started to laugh. Max rarely laughs being the serious alpha male he is. But enough of that. I fixed more coffee in my red French Press and I asked him, “How do you explain why good things happen to bad people?”
Max got a serious look on his face and then brushed back his hair with his thumb and middle finger, the exact same way I do all the time.
He’d let his dark hair grow out, like so many guys these days. It is down to his shoulders – long enough to pull back. I’d forgotten how straight and shiny it is, like hair out of a shampoo advertisement.
“What happened Juliette?”
“Nothing really,” I answered. “I know it sounds petty of me but yesterday I learned that a horrible person, a bully, had become the principal of my children’s former school where she terrorized parents and teachers alike. Another parent told me about it. She pulled her kids out of the school. I was shocked. My kids were shocked.”
“Those are not your concerns,” said Max.
“Well, yes they are, because unlike you, I spend most of my time in the real world. I have to deal with those people.”
He raised his eyebrow in that Mr. Spock sort of way.
“Max, I was just trying to explain this to the kids. That and more extreme cases of good things happening to bad people. Yes, I know they are good at manipulating others, twisting and turning stories, sucking up to the right people, and doing things that would make most of us uncomfortable. I know all that. And they have no remorse. They feel as if they are entitled in some cases.”
“You just answered your own question. I don’t know. I deal with bad people and bad Vampires all the time. I deal with horrible things I can’t even explain. Juliette, I deal with Demons.”
“That is why I asked you the question.”
“I know, but I don’t have an answer. I don’t know why good things happen to them and bad things happen to those who are so good. Religious people explain it as God’s will, but that doesn’t make any sense either. Why would God want a child to get cancer, or any other horrible tragedy? Does God want people to be driven from the homes by wildfire or war? Why would a good person die young of a long painful illness and a bad person live a long life and die quietly in his sleep? Good things happen to good people too. You just don’t notice it as much.”
“The kids are talking about politics a lot too. Of course it is just nuts. How do you explain THAT?”
“You don’t but they’ll learn from it, just as we have little sister. Garrett will vote in his first election.”
“Why aren’t we in charge?”
“Because we’re Vampires. We have our own concerns to deal with.”
I knew all of this. I was just venting. But how do you explain things. Maybe you can’t. It is OK to tell your kids, “I don’t know.”
Max put his arm around my shoulder, “It is my job to make sure that bad things happen to bad things that live in the shadows. Unfortunately I usually can’t do anything about bad people who live in the normal world. We just have to learn how to deal with them.”
I don’t have any answers except that, be it a Vampire or a Regular Human, we must all deal with events that seem unfair. We hope for the best and do our best. We speak the truth. We try to be good examples to all. That is all we can do.
The world is full of evil. It is full of bad people. But, the world is full of good people. I believe there are far more good people than bad people. Like Max said, we just don’t notice them as much.
As a parent you can’t answer all questions. You can just think back to your own experiences and teach through that. You can teach your children to speak the truth, stand up for themselves and others, and to not get over emotional about events they can’t control.
I mentioned to Max about how bad things always seemed to happen to our brother Andy.
Max just shook his head and said, “Andy is an idiot.”
I guess some questions are easier answered than others.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman