Friday, 26 May 2017

Sadness for Manchester


I have a heavy heart this week. 

Yesterday I was driving along with a list of jobs to fill my day and I just became sad. Every song on the radio, every image seemed to make me think of the horrible and tragic act committed in Manchester. I just couldn't shift it.

On the way home from school on Monday afternoon I had a talk with my fourteen year old about it all. We have had similar talks before, which is heartbreaking in itself. I tried again to put an element of perspective on the situation and she listened to me explain about radical behaviour, chance, fear and all sorts of reasons why we can't let the worst kind of human beings scare us into changing the way we live. 
We stopped at some traffic lights and she was quiet so I checked she was OK. 

Her response tore me up....

The gist of what she said was that she understood that I was trying to reassure her but she was still scared. She was scared because in her short life she has known of too many of these horrific terrorist acts. She has been to Paris; she has had lunch at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney; she has travelled on the underground in London and walked across Westminster Bridge and had we still been living in Yorkshire in the UK it's very likely that she would have been at the concert in Manchester on Monday. 
These acts are not just some stories that happen to other people, she can relate....and she's only fourteen.

So for all my reassurances about the notion of probability there's still a real fear. 

We talked again on the way to school this morning. We flippantly joked about buying a mountain hideaway and becoming recluses! 
She knows that she'll be growing up into a world where she needs to be vigilant. She may make choices based on fear and I can't necessarily take that away. Her freedom is constantly being compromised and that saddens me. My job is to protect her as much as possible (and give her the skills to protect herself) whilst still letting her experience all the wonderful things that life can offer. 

So for now, we'll be cautious and we'll consider some life choices but we won't hide away. 

Today, I'm just trying to be grateful and not worry the big stuff. 


Thinking of everyone involved in the tragedy of Manchester, May 22nd 2017

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