15th November 2015

A message to my children

Eiffel-Tower-HeartI’ve thought long and hard about what to say in this post. I kept changing my mind. I wanted to say so much, but so little at the same time.

I wanted to talk about the panic when I saw posts online when I woke up on Saturday morning. About how I felt a cold terror spread over my body when I read the words “Oh my God! Paris!” – and the fact that my heart actually ached when I started reading about the events of that night.

I wanted to talk about the fact this is not the Islamic faith I know, having lived in an Islamic country for the past 6 years. A country that I feel safer in than I have felt the rest of my adult life. A country full of people that have welcomed us with warmth and security. A country full of people that value family life, and ultimately love, beyond anything else.

I wanted to talk about the fact that 43 people died and another 239 were wounded in ISIS bombs in Lebanon just the day before Paris – but no one seems to know about it. And those people deserve to be remembered too.

I wanted to talk about all of that.

But when it comes down to it, like always, my thoughts very quickly turned to my own children. About the world that they are growing up in. And about how, above everything else, their future in such an uncertain world fills me with terror.

It’s a mother’s instinct to protect her cubs.

I buy them the best car seats, drill them with information about road safety, baby-proof my house so the don’t poke their fingers in dangerous places or reach up to grab something they shouldn’t. Every day, I do everything in my power to protect them. It’s instinctive; I don’t even have to think about it.

But the truth is that as they grow up and head out into the big, wide world, we have to let go a little. We have to put our faith in others to keep our cubs safe every single day – other drivers on the road, teachers and caregivers, the teams in charge of the buildings we live in, the malls we shop in, and the aeroplanes that we board.

Every day we put our faith in humanity.

We have to.

And above everything else, I don’t want that to stop.

It can’t stop.

I don’t want what has happened in the last 36 hours to make me think twice about taking my children to crowded places, buckling them into airplane seats, or visiting beautiful cities that enrich their minds.

Because ultimately, good will prevail.

Good has to prevail.

And I want my boys to grow up believing that, without a flicker of doubt in their minds.

I will do everything in my power to protect them.

Always.

But every time something terrifying happens in the world, every time innocent people are hurt, and every time they feel scared, or uncertain, or unsafe.

The world will come together.

Always.

The world will come together – and it will pull them into a tighter hug