23rd March 2017

Love is…

17439535_10158452800930607_1094468225_nLove is rocking a baby to sleep, while marvelling at the plumpness of her lips and length of her eyelashes.

Love is dressing two small boys with wet hair in their pyjamas and pulling them onto your lap for a story, whilst breathing in the familiar scent of baby shampoo.

Love is creeping upstairs to watch them sleeping, then laughing with her husband as you retail tales of their antics earlier in the day.

Love is looking back through photos on your phone, feeling warm and fuzzy as you flick through shots of gummy smiles, podgy thighs, and silly dances in the garden.

Love is thinking ‘it’s all going too quickly!’. Love is worrying about them 24 hours a day. Love is wondering whether you are doing it right. Love is all of this.

But love is more than this too.

Love is keeping in touch with family and friends, making plans to meet up, commiserating when everyone goes down with the lurgy, and wiping tears when news of baby scans, engagement rings, and newborn cuddles pings on your phone.

Love is connecting with neighbours, making new friends, asking strangers ‘do you need some help with that?’, and sharing smiles of solidarity with other mothers when toddlers decide the supermarket aisles are the perfect place for a tantrum.

This is life. Everyday life. But this is also love.

And we saw that yesterday, didn’t we?

We saw so much love.

We saw strangers help others on the street. Barely any panic – but instead, a truly stoic British calmness as people stood over the injured, comforted the dying, made phone calls to emergency services, and calmed each on the street.

We saw the emergency services there in a matter of seconds, fighting to save lives. Fighting to save every life.

We saw an MP, still in his shirt and suit, desperately trying to save the life of a policeman.

We saw outpourings of grief, of defiance, of solidarity.

But mostly of love.

Love for London. Love for Great Britain. Love for our emergency services. Love for our way of life. Love for each other.

We held our children a little tighter last night. We watched them sleeping a little longer. We made vows to protect them. And we made vows to carry on.

To carry on loving.

And in all of this, do you see any hate?

It isn’t there.

It doesn’t count.

There simply isn’t a place for it.

So today, we keep on loving. Packing our children’s lunchboxes, filming them dance in the garden, smiling at other mothers in the supermarket, embracing the diversity of our world, and knowing that the world will come to our aid if we need it.

Today, we remember those that lost their life, we thank the emergency services, and and we allow ourselves to feel grief.

But we embrace love.

We embrace love and we carry on.

Like always.