Manchester Attack: An open letter to my baby girl

Dear Little Lass

Today, I have hugged you tighter than ever; I am devastated for the victims of a terror attack at a concert in our nearby Manchester. I feel a heightened need to keep you safe. Ordinary people were simply enjoying a night out. I am heartbroken for the victims, their families, and for you – because I wonder what world you will discover as you grow older.

Although, you’re just 3 months old, I can visualise a future, teenage you. I imagine you attending a concert with your friends. Excited to see your favourite singer or band. Dad and I would be nervous about our little girl growing up and allowing you to go out on your own. We would drop you off and pick you up afterwards to make sure you were safe. I imagine we’d be waiting outside for you at the end of the gig and I imagine you would talk our ears off all the way home about your amazing night; concerts leave us with a sense of euphoria and adrenaline.

I cannot imagine you not coming home.

But sadly that’s what has happened to children and parents in a city not too far from our home. Manchester. A city which Dad and I visited at Christmas when I was 7 months pregnant with you. A city where we will fly from to go on our first family holiday abroad in 2 months time. The city where your auntie attended a concert just days before – in that very venue. How it could’ve been so different; some families weren’t as lucky.

People who lost their lives or were injured are our fellow northerners. Our fellow Britons. Fellow human beings. Ordinary people enjoying an ordinary night out. Ordinary people with lives and loved ones. Just like us.

I want you to know that you are loved more than you know. I pray that when you get older that you will go about your daily life without fear. I’m afraid for the world we live in and worry that it will only get worse – but I want you to know that it’s important to carry on. It’s a world where extremists want us to to be afraid but you must remain strong.

And don’t be angry with every Muslim that you meet; it is not their fault. Don’t be swayed by people telling you otherwise. Extremists manipulate faith to justify their horrific actions. Some people will try to label a group or community but you live in a tolerant, compassionate country. You are being raised in a tolerant, compassionate family. I’ll always try to encourage you to talk about how you feel and ask questions about the world. Why did this happen? Will it happen to someone I know? Will I be safe? You can’t ask me yet but when you’re talking and you can ask me, I’ll do my very best to answer you honestly.

But sometimes there aren’t any answers.

It hurts me to admit this because I am your mum and it’s my job to protect you and keep you safe. All I can say is try to see the good in the world. However difficult that might be sometimes.

I once saw a quote that said “look for the helpers; there are always people helping” and that is what I want to share with you. In the event of something terrible happening, I want you to look and focus on those who are helping; you should focus on the good.

You are the future. I hope that you grow to be strong. I hope that you will be tolerant. I hope that you will be compassionate. I hope that you will be able to live life without fear. And remember that your dad and I love you very much.

Love always, your Ordinary Mummy x

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