I didn’t want to start this post with pleasantries, mainly because I don’t feel like it. I hadn’t planned to write but I felt I needed to. I am of course referring to Manchester, bizarrely being a Brit in the US meant due to the time difference I was aware of the attack before many of my friends and family, they were tucked up in bed blissfully unaware of the brutality occurring. During my lifetime there have been too many attacks in the name of terror, but something about this particular one has resonated with me. I think being a mother of a young daughter I could relate. Yes Little L is only 3 but I could see her and her friends wanting to see a music concert. It is a right of passage for a young girl to go to their first music concert, often to see a band or performer whom you slightly obsess over, for me it was Take That. I remember going with friends to see them, in fact I was probably aged 12 or 13 so very similar to many of the audience in Manchester. I think the motivation of attacking an event where the vast majority of the audience are young girls horrifies me. I am not sure why I feel shocked after all these young female concert goers represent everything so abhorrent to the terrorists. I have been through all the emotions, numbness, tears and anger. I cried this evening after a young lady Olivia Campbell (15) was pronounced dead, her parents had been looking for her all day. I heard her heartbroken mother on CNN on the night of the event when they could not find her. Now the unimaginable horror has been confirmed, how are they and others who have lost their children supposed to continue? It is not the natural order.
I had noticed today that my feelings were focusing on anger, who wouldn’t be angry? Life being taken to young and unnecessarily. I’m angry that these events make me question my parental style and shape what I might let my daughter do or behave in the future. As a mother I am one to push independence, I think I have mentioned before that I feel it is my role to give Little L the wings to fly. I want her to go to music concerts, travel and experience life in the ways that our society allows. I have to remember that anger breeds anger, hate breeds hate etc. If I remain angry I allow these monsters to win. It made me feel sick on Monday because I had just explained to Little L that monsters don’t exist, I lied, they do and they hide in plain sight. I don’t want to feel angry that is not justice for all those people who died or have been injured. I pray that the media do not continue to name the bomber or show his face, after all that promotes the infamous martyrdom that they so desire. I have to remember that as much as I want to hunker down, not go out and wrap Little L up in cotton wool that is not the answer. We must stand united, we must allow our girls the freedom to be who or whatever they want, after all that will bother them far more. They are not worthy of my emotion.
Instead I will spend my next days thinking of those affected, I can not imagine what those parents and loved ones are going through. There are no words. As a tribute to their angels I need to continue to raise Little L the way I want. I need to spend more time listening and being kind to others. I need to be a better and more present member of society, I should worry less about minutia and care more about what is going on around me. I should appreciate the small things, so today take a moment look around you at what is beautiful about the world. Take time to appreciate the moment and your loved ones because if this event has taught us anything it has shown us how precious and fragile life is.
To those affected I am so so sorry that mankind is so cruel.