As a lot of you may remember, last May there was an attack in Manchester at an Arianna Grande concert. I wrote about it at the time. See below.
I woke up this morning to messages from American pals asking me if I was okay? Apparently some vile scumbags decided to bomb Manchester Arena last night after Ariana Grande’s concert. My pals were concerned as they have no clue how close or far I live to Manchester, and they’d seen the news reports [being hours behind the UK]. I assured them I was fine, so was Scarlett. Then I switched BBC on and looked at the news reports over what happened. My heart hurts for my country. For all the innocent people. For the teenagers/children who went to the concert not expecting anything more than just a fun night. The reports say that there are 22 confirmed dead and almost 60 people injured. I am in disbelief but at the same time it is almost “oh there has been a bombing incident, again”. It is scary that these events do not shock or surprise me anymore. Either I am numb to some of the BS in the world or I am just desensitised. However on the other hand I feel like bursting into tears at the drop of a hat. I have a child. This is her world. This is where she will grow up [if she is lucky]. How do I protect her from these things when they happen randomly? Like who knew that attending that concert may be the last thing they do? No one! I have a friend who lives nearby-ish. I am thankful she has a toddler same as me, was home and away from it. I can’t imagine what people must be going through today, those who have lost someone, those who’s friends/family are injured and those few who have missing people. My heart goes to them.
I still feel this way. A year has past and whilst I’ve not spent everyday thinking of what happened, it’s crossed my mind occasionally. How do I even begin to bring my daughter up in a world where a night at a concert could be her last. A concert thag aimed AT children/teenagers. It’s beyond belief.
The reason I think “this terror attack” got to my very soul is simple: it was aimed at children to cause a lot of impact. It wasn’t aimed at an over 18s sex club primarily for adults. No. It was aimed at a concert where a lot of the audience would be children and teenagers. I have a daughter. A few more years and she’s likely be begging me to go see some pop singer at a concert. Also, Manchester. I have friends there. Friends with children. It could’ve been one of them. That scares me. That it could’ve been someone I genuinely knew.
The toddler phase is draining my soul. Scarlett is brilliant in so many ways but she’s also a fucking stubborn cow. And the irony is, she’s just like me. So it’s my karma for being a cow when I was her age too. And we’ve had a lot of shouting (me), crying (also me, sometimes her) and frustration (both).
Today all I’ve done is avoid the news or facebook for any mention of the year anniversary. I felt on the verge of tears when it happened a year ago. I wasn’t sure how I’d be now. I was … okay. But when I got home and I was doing “mom routine” and my pain-in-the-ass toddler was being her defiant self and I found myself shouting at her, I stopped. I just realised, I’d choose being here, shouting at her, having something TO shout at her for, EVERYTIME. As opposed to those poor families of those who lost their lives. What are they doing today? Visiting their graves I expect. And those that were injured… they’re probably sat reliving it all over again in their heads. I am so thankful it wasn’t us but one day it could be. And for that reason, I try to enjoy my life as much as I can. Even when I don’t feel like it.
So I clutched my squirming toddler in my arms whilst watching In The Night Garden so I could selfishly smell her, take her all in and so I could cry a little. I cried for the those who were lost, those who were injured and for everything in between.
Ps. I never cry. I’m not a crier. But strangely I feel better for it.