I often feel that, at the same time as giving birth to my kids, I also gave birth to a whole new layer of feelings and emotions. Of course there is love, there is pride, there is happiness but there is also guilt, worry and fear.
And lately, it is fear that has been playing on mind. Lurking around the edges of my consciousness.
Fear of what life holds for my children.
Fear for their safety. Fear for their health.
I fear that I will lose them.
I fear that I won't get to see them grow up.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming. Watching the news can leave me feeling sick, anxious. Terror attacks in France, Germany, Belgium, America, Turkey, Pakistan, Kenya, Iraq and so many more countries where these attacks are now considered 'normal' - what could be worse than living in a country where attacks are so frequent they're no longer considered newsworthy?
Hatred, hooliganism, racism, greed. Does anyone else feel like there is only bad stuff around at the moment?
This is not what I want for my children. For any children.
Sometimes it feels like the darkness is closing in. Like the fear overshadows even the simplest of things. I'm scared to go on a plane, on the tube,
But. At the most basic level. Darkness is merely an absence of light.
And that is what I hold on to. I take refuge in my faith. My belief that if there is good anywhere in the world it will shine on the darkness and the dark can only flee from it.
And our children, the future, can be a future of light.
They're like blank canvases, like pure white, unblemished candles waiting for that spark.
And I want to nurture that flame. I want to help it shine brightly.
I hope to teach my children that they have the power to change things. That even the tiniest of things can bring light into the world. That they can befriend someone of any race, gender, faith, culture or sexuality and bring joy.
I want my children to know that just because bad things happen in life, it doesn't mean that life is bad.
I want them to know that Matt and I are a haven of safety in times of trouble. And that even though we may sometimes fail, God will not.
I hope to discover for myself, and then teach my children how to face this fear and tell it to f**k off.
(When they're much older obviously, I'd be devastated if they used that sort of language right now. For now they can face the fear before asking it to go away please... )