How do we begin to make sense of atrocities such as the attack on Nice for our children, when we cannot even make sense of them ourselves? Krystal Longmuir tries to fathom it out in a letter to her children…
To My Babies,
I am sitting and writing to you because I need you to understand something and I want you to hear it through Mummy’s words, I’m not really sure why I feel the need to do this, as even I can’t sugar-coat this for you both.
A horrible monster climbed into a truck and ran over some people who had done nothing wrong; some of these people were children and were as young as you two. These people died, isn’t this sad and so unfair? These people had gone with their families to watch a firework display, something that me and Daddy could easily have been doing with the both of you. I wish the only monsters you had to hear about were the ones in books in faraway lands, but this isn’t the case. These monsters are real people, men and women; and they live all around the world, some very close to us. I am not telling you this scary story because I want to frighten you, in actual fact Mummy wishes she could hide it from you forever. When you walk into a room I move the newspapers from your sight and flick off the news channel. I want to preserve your innocence forever. I want you both to carry on seeing the wonder and good in everything. You have such a pure perspective of life at the moment, Teddy you truly believe that the goody always defeats the baddie and Betsy my sweet girl, you refuse to even contemplate that there are baddies. Oh how I wish it could stay like this.
Mummy has to tell you about the real baddies in our world; the terrorists. The first time I ever even heard the term terrorists and saw a serious act of terrorism was in 2001 when the bad guys flew aeroplanes into some big buildings and killed lots of people. I was 15 years old. My darlings, you won’t be afforded the luxury of being nearly an adult before you learn the truth as it is a part of your every day world now.
As your Mummy I can only apologise that I have brought you in to such a scary world. I wish more than anything the world could be a better place for you two. If the only the world could be the way you think it is! Mummy does her best to keep you safe from the monsters. Betsy when you keep asking to go to London to do some sightseeing and I keep offering alternatives, alternatives that do not include travelling in to the capital, it is because Mummy is scared. That sounds silly doesn’t it? Mummy being scared, but I am. You and your brother are my world and I can’t put you at higher risk of jeopardy by taking you into a ‘high-risk zone’. In some ways I am letting the baddies win by letting them stopping us from having fun and I know I need to work through this fear, but the more scary stories I hear, the less likely I am to resolve my fears, and for that I am sorry.
In the last year and a half there have been nine of these monster attacks and very soon you are going to start understanding what is happening. Well I say ‘understand’ but really, who can understand any of this? As you get that little bit older mummy will stop hiding this from you. Mummy will let you see her cry about these atrocities and will sit with you and try her best to answer your questions. And when my answers frighten you (I’m sorry but they will frighten you as they definitely frighten me), I will sit and hold you and allow you to process these fears. I want you to realise that it is okay to show compassion; and that as long as we keep loving and showing empathy to one another the monsters will never win, not really.
The monsters are trying to make us hate one another. So remember, as long as you two and all the other little boys and girls grow up to love and be people who see the good in the world then maybe, the goodies will win this fight against the baddies.
I love you both dearly.
Always have. Always will.
Mummy. Wife. Dog mumma. Reader. Blogger. Novice Crocheter. Chef. Baker. Tea drinker. Cake eater. Oh, and I have an opinion on everything!
Image credit: Krystal Longmuir