I don’t even know where to begin with writing this post as there are no words to describe the sadness of the barbarities that happened in Manchester a week ago today. My heart breaks for the friends and families of the ones that lost their lives in such a mindless act of evil. There are too many lives lost for senseless hatred and so many of them innocent children. As a mum I can’t contemplate the unimaginal pain that parents have to go through when losing a child and this past week I have been telling Elbie that I love her more than I usually do and hugging her that little bit tighter and holding on for longer.
It scares me knowing that we are bringing Elbie up in a world that has so much hate. And as we sit here on the Eurostar where there are lots of strangers and crowds of people it makes me feel worried. I am so sad to say that I am but it’s the truth, I panic about taking her to busy areas or big events but of course I shouldn’t let myself panic because we cannot let them win because hatred can’t win. Hatred is a strong word but the one word that is stronger than hate, is love. I can’t keep Elbie away from hate or keep her wrapped up in cotton wool. I can’t never let her leave my side for the rest of my life and we most certainly won’t stop travelling but what I can do is educate her and teach her how to love. The evil that is out there right now that is promoting terror prey on the vulnerable and brainwash them to hate. I want to bring Elbie up knowing hope and to be brave and have courage. I want her to see the good and never discriminate for any reason whether it be gender, race, religion, sexuality or what hair colour someone decides to have. We are all humans and stripped back of all of these things this is all that we are, all exactly the same, human. I recently listened to a TED talk by Caroline Paul about teaching your daughters to be brave and have courage and it made me think. She spoke about studies that had shown parents consistently tell girls to be careful and not to do things like climbing while letting boys climb without the warning. This is why girls grow up ‘not being brave’ and boys grow up to be ‘brave’ because they have been taught from such a young age that girls shouldn’t have courage and boys should. I want Elbie to be brave and I’m not just talking about the physical stuff like climbing trees and skateboarding. She is already pretty brave when it comes to that and is always the first baby to go off exploring and after I listened to the talk I realised that part of that was probably down to her naturally having some confidence but a lot of it was probably due to us as parents. We let her go off and find some adventure and discover her abilities rather than keep her by our feet at all times and constantly tell her to be wary of things. Don’t worry we don’t ever let her out of our site or let her play with knives or anything but I do feel that we are pretty relaxed about her gaining new experiences and encourage her to push her boundries. I also want her to have courage in what she believes in and to be brave and respect others. Not to be cowardly and fearful and to never choose hate over love.
The night after the Manchester bomb a few of my close friends and I, who all children under the age of 5 were all saying how scared we were and that every tiny part of us wants to protect our children from everything that is bad in the world but as I have already said, this is impossible. We can’t and the same as our parents couldn’t all those years ago. I’m sure they still feel like they want to shield us from the bad but what they have done for us is that they have tought us right from wrong and shown us how to love. My friends and I have all been extremely lucky with our guidance and we all have the same hopes for our children. I’m sure all the parents that have had their lives ripped apart last Monday had the same hopes too. Let’s not let hatred win, not ever. Let’s teach our children to be brave and be full of love. My thoughts are with the people of Manchester and all the other families around the world who have had someone taken from them.