Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Fear

Fear. It's not something I usually feel. Since becoming a Mum I have felt fearless. Having children has made me a much stronger person. From little things like climbing up high to retrieve a wailing child from the top of the soft play. With my knees shaking and my heart racing. To big ones like being the calm in a storm of broken bones and ambulance rides. Consoling my child and kindly telling my upset husband to "not worry". "Fearless" is part of a Mother's job description alongside "flusher of the chain" and "person who packs suitcases".

But today? I feel it. I've woken up early to catch up on the events in Manchester and faces of victims stare back at me. The sun is shining outside, the birds are tweeting and my little bed invader is snoring softly. It's pretty much the most peaceful scene but words like "critical" scream out from my phone. Faces of beautiful children who will never see their parents again break my heart. I feel rattled. My "fight them by carrying on as normal" point of view is shaky today. To be honest? I don't want to leave my bed.


I want to sit in it with all my family and watch films. I want to jump on a plane and go to Disney World...but then I remember that I would have to go on a plane and that makes me shudder. The feeling of fear comes again. I take my children to concerts. My Mum took me to concerts. That's what wonderful parents do. Tickets for Christmas presents or surprises. Nights out full of anticipation, dressing up and the excitement of seeing your heroes. This mindless act of terrorism has struck home.

One of my six year olds little friends ran out of school yesterday and said "what's Manchester?". She must have picked it up in the playground or overheard one of the teachers talking. And I guess it won't be long before my girl asks. I'm torn between glossing over the truth or explaining that baddies do exist. I'll be totally honest at this moment in time I've no idea what I am going to say. But it will most definitely end with "but there's nothing to worry about as Mummy loves you very much".

Because that's what Mums do. Take the worry away. Contain it in ourselves. If you're at the top of the soft play and you're scared? You know that Mummy can rescue you. You can't see her mentally counting each ladder step up not wanting to look down. I'm sure in the coming days I will get my "f*ck you life is going to go on as normal" balls back but for now I'm about containing the fear, watching my babies sleep and cuddling them till their heads pop off and they shout "GET OFF ME".
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  1. My 6 year old asked tonight "what exactly happened in Manchester?" They had observed the minutes silence at school. We were planting bedding plants out at that moment. He obviously felt it was safe to ask and I wanted to acknowledge that and not dismiss his question. I want him to talk to me. But I hadn't prepared an answer! So I went with a few straight forward facts, kept it simple and non graphic and said that the chances of anything like that happening to us was very small. And then rounded off with "the most important thing you can do is to be kind and not to let the people who want you to be scared win by letting fear stop you doing anything". And that was enough for him. I want to protect him from the big scary world but I want to prepare him for living in it too. It's a really tricky balance! There have been a lot of extra hugs and kisses this week. Cant' imagine the horror of parents watching it happen or the awful feelings of those children whose parents were killed. Yuck yuck yuck to it all. xx

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