Parenting and War

On December 1989  I had a 6 years old, a 4 years old and I was 30 weeks pregnant. It was war on the streets. The people were fighting to overcome the communists. The men in our block-of-flats had blocked the entry and chained the gate to keep away the armed agents of the system. We could hear gun shots from our condo and the children and I were pretty scared. There was some food in the fridge and, with all the madness in the city, I was thankful that we still had water, electricity and heat.


The children were playing all day long since the hard situation was prolonging from days to weeks. Every time when we went to buy the basics from the store at the end of the street, I knew it wasn’t safe to be out there. People were killed everywhere, even in the hospitals. There were cars riding on the streets with armed killers who would shot anybody. My husband was a guard for a new politician in the city and I had to buy the necessities for us. I walked and prayed.

We had a Christmas tree in the living room and nothing to decorate it. We didn’t have gifts for the children.

On Christmas Eve I wrote a note on a paper with “Santa couldn’t come this year because of the war,” and put it on in the bare tree to read it to my little ones. Of course they were disappointed, but I had saved some flour and eggs and made a cake for them. That was it.

We celebrated Christmas with our hearts and hiding from bullets in the bathroom.