I’m going to put it out there.
I don’t know if I’m ‘allowed’ to be but I am.
In March, when there was that awful attack in Westminster, I was sad and shocked, things weren’t OK by any stretch of the imagination but I could justify to myself why I didn’t need to be scared.
It was an attack on Parliament, an attack on government, an attack on authority.
I am none of these things. My family are none of these things.
I could be sad and shocked but I didn’t need to be scared.
Two weeks ago there was the bombing at MEN in Manchester. It was a vicious and cowardly attack aimed largely at young people. I could barely comprehend it, as a parent it hit pretty hard. Aoife is getting to the age where she likes to listen to Katy Perry and Little Mix.
She’s fast approaching the time she will want to see these people live and, until that Monday, my only concern would have been ‘but it’s a school night’.
However, as horrific as the event in Manchester was and as heartbroken as I felt for all those affected I could see the good that came from it. I could see all those who selflessly helped everyone who needed help. I told myself it was one person and one act. It was so unlikely to happen again.
I was saddened and angry but I wasn’t scared.
Saturday saw the terror attack on London Bridge. The targets were people out, enjoying their lives. They were attacked in a most deplorable and brutal fashion.
It seemed to be both a frenzied and calculated attack.
Again people pulled together, helping one another and doing what they could but for some reason that’s not enough for my tiny brain this time.
Whereas two weeks ago I could see the good and said things like
“We can’t give in to fear”
“We shouldn’t be afraid, that ensures they’ve won”.
Today I can’t do that for some reason.
I don’t know if it’s because I believed nothing like that would happen again in the near future.
I don’t know if it is the ‘basicness’ of the attack that scares me.
There was no brain work needed to undertake it.
Sometimes the stupid are the most scary.
My fear doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into some raging idiot blaming a whole religion for the minority. I’m still a sensible individual.
Today I am actually scared, I know I shouldn’t be but today I am.
I am scared for my children.
I am scared they will grow up thinking this is ‘normal’.
I am scared at the thought of taking them into the city.
I am scared that, despite what I tell them, I can’t be sure that I can always protect them and keep them safe.
Instead I need to pull on my big girl pants and pull myself together.
I need to figure out how to explain it, again, to the children.
I need to make sure that I teach my children not to judge anyone else based on their religion or race.
I need to teach my children to be accepting of others who may not share their opinions.
I need to teach my children to be brave and strong but also empathetic.
I need to teach my children about the importance of recognising the good things that happen.
I need to tell my children they have no need to be scared.
I need to believe that myself.
If you enjoy my writing please consider nominating me for Bibs 2017 fresh voice category x