What I Want for Aylan

Prompt: Think about a child in your life. What do you want for that child?

I’m thinking about the 3-year-old Syrian refugee who was drowned. What would I want for him? I want his life to be simple and easy and unremarkable. I want him to wake up in the morning and run to his parents’ room and crawl into their cozy bed with them. I want him to play with his siblings and squabble and pull toys out of their hands until their mother gently admonishes them to share nicely. I want him to feel safe in his parents’ arms. I want his home to be warm and safe and cozy and unquestioningly normal. I want him to be there with his family through his 4th, 5th, and 6th birthdays when he receives a brand new backpack full of clean notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils. I want him to walk down the streets of his Syrian town holding his father’s hand on the way to his first day of school, and I want him to love school and love his classmates and his pretty young teacher and recess and math and art class. I want him to grow up like all the rest of the precious Syrian children, unafraid, safe, unmolested by danger and fear and bombs and war that might make his family have to flee for their lives with only as much as they can carry.

What I want for this precious child is that I never learn that he exists, that he live his life in unfettered obscurity, free from international journalists researching his name and family and life story.

I want to un-see his tiny body curled up on the beach in Turkey, washed over by waves, dead forever, a symbol of so much that is wrong with the world.

RIP Aylan Kurdi, his brother, and his mother Sept 3, 2015


Richmond, VA USA

I'm an artist, author, activist, and creativity coach in Richmond, VA. My most recent projects are a book, Birth Affirmations, which was published in July, and a Retreat for Creatives in Iceland which I'm organizing for May/June 2016. You can learn more about either at www.susansinger.com.