My children were mine, always were and I thought always would be. Easily pleased with the excitement and adventure that a cardboard box would bring. Easily pleased with a fast melting ice pop, laying on the furry grass of summer. Asking for nothing, yet grateful for everything.
So sweet and kind and overly caring. Would leave me notes on my pillow for when I went to bed, telling me how brilliant I was and how much they loved all they had.
I knew it would change from flowers in their hair to the latest trends in fashion. I knew it would change from wanting nothing, to wanting that little bit more. I knew it would change from kisses at bedtime to texting from the other room…
I just didn’t know my children were going to be stolen from me so quickly and cruel.
I didn’t know it would happen like this, I wasn’t ready for the trauma. I wasn’t ready to pack away the toys and see the empty corners. I wasn’t ready to listen to the screams and the ugly words of life.
I used to hear them laugh and giggle and chase around the house. But now I hear strops and drama whilst screaming at each other. I used to watch them run and jump so freely in the air, now if I want to communicate with them I have to climb the stairs.
I have to go into sniper mode and clamber over their stinking pits to find them wearing their headphones and mesmerised by this big bright screen. I have to gently tap them on their shoulder so they don’t pounce on me like their prey. I have to wait until they are the last one left in the circle and everyone else has died. I know when I hear the words ‘victory royale ‘ it’s going to be a good day.
They used to ask for cuddles and to be pushed high up on the swing, now all they ask for is my ever-changing PayPal pin. They used to want to play in the snow and climb to the top of their class, yet now all they are bothered about is getting the next battle pass.
They’ve forgotten how to be kind, they’ve forgotten how to share. They’ve forgotten how to live without a headset on their ear. They never talk face to face, or even pick up a pen, they only come out of their room when the WiFi has gone off again.
I wish I hadn’t given in and let their imagination die. I wish this hadn’t stolen all hope of creation and fun. But now the only time they are happy and content is if they’ve bloody won.
So Fortnite, if you’re reading this I’d really like you to listen, please return my children to me, I miss how they glisten. I miss that I was their favourite one, I thought I still had time. They are my victory royale so please don’t make me turn to wine!