I woke you up last night. I’m not even sorry.
I checked on you before I went to bed and I couldn’t help but take longer than usual to do that. I came into your room, sat on your bed and brushed the hair out of your face. I looked at your lashes on your cheeks and listened to you snuffle in your sleep. I watched your fingers twitch as you held onto your muslin and the rise and fall of your chest.
I couldn’t resist leaning down and giving you a kiss and tucking you in but as I did your eyes fluttered open and you mumbled something at me. I held your hand and said it was still sleepy time and just sat in the silence for a while listening to your breathing settling back down into a steady pace. You sounded content. You were safe. You were happy.
As I left the room I was fighting back the tears because I couldn’t get the image of that poor little Syrian boy on the beach out of my head. His family will never have the chance to do any of the things I just did because he and they didn’t make it over the channel on that boat packed with people fleeing their war ravaged country.
I wondered what kind of world we’ve brought you into. I wondered if the wars will ever end. I wondered if you’ll ever know peace in your time. I wondered if in your lifetime children would stop being the victims of the mistakes made by others before them.
I thought of that image of that little boy and I felt despair. I felt like so many of the problems in the world are too big to solve and I felt overwhelmed. I felt utterly useless.
Then the internet came to my rescue letting me know what I could do. I can’t save that boy, I can’t forge peace in Syria and I can’t find homes for the people displaced from their homes but there are things I can do.
What I can do though is make a donation to one of these organisations who are doing humanitarian work overseas –
I can also buy an item off of this Amazon Wishlist which has been set up to get items to people in need in Calais as part of the appeal from #helpcalais and #kentforcalais
I didn’t tell you all of this when I woke you up last night. You are too small and too innocent to know about the problems in the world you live in. I can only hope and dream that by the time you are grown humans would have started to treat each other with a greater level of decency and respect than we currently do. I hope that the example they have set in Munich on how to greet refugees will have spread to the rest of the world and we will be more understanding of those in need.
Mostly I hope you’ll never have to see the image of a little toddler caught up in a grown up war because I know I’ll never forget it. As a mark of respect to that little boy and his desperate family I’ll make sure I never forget him. He’ll always be a reminder of the need for compassion, kindness and understanding.
I’ll grieve for that little boy while I hold you tight. I’ll grieve for him while I watch you grow but I’ll also respect his memory by trying to do something to help in this time of crisis.