My sweet boy,
As the bomb at Manchester Arena detonated on Monday night, you had just woken up.
As I shushed you and cuddled you, other mothers were finding themselves in a living nightmare.
As you eventually went back to sleep, tucked up in bed with me, news of the deaths of little ones, just a few years older than you was starting to spread.
When we woke it was to the horror that 22 people were dead – that a pop concert, that was packed with youngsters, had been targeted by terrorists.
I’ve been cuddling you just a touch tighter ever since.
When you have a child it basically means your heart no longer resides in your body. Your heart *is* your baby.
And I cannot begin to imagine the pain of those parents, whose hearts have been ripped out by this atrocity.
Our instinct as parents is to protect you, to do everything we can to keep you safe. And though this attack was in Manchester, it wasn’t an attack on Manchester – it was an attack on our children. On innocence.
Sadly as you grow, I doubt attacks like this will disappear. They will become a horrid part of the world you live in. And though I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of my life wishing I could wrap you in cotton wool, the truth is I can’t.
But the best defence we have against these sickos is to do nothing – nothing that you wouldn’t normally do that is.
So when you’re bigger, go to the gigs darling. Go to the marathons. Go to the street markets. Go to the football matches. Go and have fun. Find the good, because wherever there is horror, there is always love. The people of Manchester more than showed that.
Grab all the world that is there for the taking and leave the worrying up to me.
Because that’s what mums are here for.
This post was first published in the Echo newspaper on Friday, May 26, 2017: www.echo-news.co.uk