Babies, not Bombs

January 24th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

I’m having a very hard time figuring out just how this all fits into the format of a dad-blog, so I’ll talk instead about a note I got from a very smart Russian-American writer I know about our baby-yoga ruckus. He was commenting that that one place where baby yoga didn’t seem to be tearing up the internet was in Moscow itself.

…the reason it’s not as big a deal in Russia is that it’s, well, not as big a deal in Russia – I mean, as you well know, 250 crazier things are happening there this very moment.

That was, of course, true in a general way last week (’s parenting blog, which interviewed me last week, has also been covering a much more pressing issue: scandals in Russian orphanages). But if there were 250 crazier things happening in Russia last week, there are 251 now: Moscow was attacked today. The apparent suicide bombing killed over 30 people waiting for arrivals at Domodedovo airport in Moscow.

This bombing felt a little close for me because I had Moscow penciled in on my calendar for mid-January. And though I usually fly into Sheremetyevo Airport, I could’ve been coming into Domodedovo (reportedly one of the international flights that was landing was from London, which is a common-enough stopping point for a Russia trip from NYC). The trip I was going to take was postponed, and will likely shift more (or less) because this attack itself is big news and changes a bit of any story planned for Russia.

But the thing about this terror attack is that it was designed to hit close to home. Not just in Moscow, but in the U.S. and everywhere there are people who fly for work or pleasure, anywhere there are parents who kiss their kids at night and say I’m leaving before you get up in the morning, I’ll see you in a couple days. The metro attacks in Moscow last year, which I wrote about for Time, didn’t quite achieve that universality, because the stage for the terror-theater was so quintessentially Russian–the baroque, cavernous Metro stations built by Stalin. But Domodedovo’s International Terminal, which used to be a sad, Soviet warren of smoke-filled halls and linoleum floors, has been upgraded with Russia’s new wealth, and looks much more like the airports that everyone everywhere uses.

You don’t have to watch this video if you don’t want to, but this clip from inside the smoke after the attack is striking because the waiting area looks so familiar. And not just to people who go to Moscow, but to anyone who goes to airports. The video isn’t graphic (there are bodies but no blood), just eerie.

And there you have it: a reminder that we can discuss baby-swinging and elimination communication all we want, but terrorists want us to think about them and their deeds instead. After this post, I promise to dishonor them by returning to our usual child-manic pablum.


  1. Dasha Gnatovskaya says:

    January 24th, 2011at 6:16 pm(#)

    Nathan, spasibo.
    This is a common threat to all of us. Already known that two British men were killed…

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