It’s a scary big old world out there that we live in, and I have found that since I have become a mom I have developed this fear. I am scared about who might do something to my child. What crazy groups may implement some god-awful plan that means I may be taken away from her in an instant or even worse, she from me. When I think about these things I get a fear building in the pit of my stomach that I just cannot make go away.
Every time I pop on the news or the radio I hear about a world I don’t really recognise anymore. I don’t remember all this violence when I was younger. Maybe I have rose tinted glasses, or maybe everything is much more documented now due to social media, but every night I hear of violence, death and destruction, like it is now becoming a social norm. Last night, Evie asked me what a killer was. I felt an instant lump in my throat as my heart broke that this word has entered her vocabulary at such a small age. I tried to explain it in the most age appropriate way, however I just simply shouldn’t have to.
I was never afraid of this world before I had Evie. I would wonder through the streets of Birmingham City Centre on my own at ease, without fear of anything happening to me. I would get the bus back from work at 17 at midnight through dodgy areas without batting an eyelid. Nothing really fazed me. However, since she has been born I have become much more aware of my own mortality. I used to get the train to Leicester each weekend to see Matt at university, however now I hate the idea of it. I went to Manchester in the summer and spent the whole time trying to convince myself that it would all be fine. I used to go to gigs every single month, at small little venues and big arenas, but I find myself shying away from seeing the bands I love because I am scared as to what may happen. The last gig I went to had such a heightened level of security that instead of feeling safer I felt panicky as to why they were there, what did they know that I didn’t.
I now have an absolute fear of going into the town centre, after we were caught up in a bomb scare nearly 2 years ago. Evie was still just small enough to be in a pushchair and we were walking along the shop fronts when we saw people running and the road was blocked off by a number of police vans. We were told to evacuate the centre, and it was hands down one of the worst things I have ever experienced. I remember having a horrific panic attack back in the car and it took me nearly a year before I went back in to the town centre. I had to persuade myself to go to the German Market at Christmas with her because I felt like the centre of town at Christmas was too much of a target, yet on the flip side I wanted to let Evie experience the magic of it all.
I am not fearful of a certain group of people. I work in a very multi cultural area, which is pretty much true for the most of Birmingham. Matt’s fathers family are Muslim. Our daughter is a beautiful mixture of culture and heritage. But I am worried about a growing trend that I see growing over social media, from those who want to create ranks and barriers within the city I grew up in. I hear from others that certain places are not safe for a white woman in her twenties, which is just absurd. The students I work alongside have told me about the racial hatred that is thrown at them. You see teenagers being beaten up because the music they enjoy is not what is deemed ‘cool’ or ‘popular’. People being followed in the streets and having vile terms thrown at them because of their perceived sexual orientation, confirmed or not.
No one is born fearful. No one is born full of venom and hatred. And no one brings a child into this world to see his or her life cut short at the hands of another.
I aim to raise my beautiful girl to be accepting of all others. To not be fearful but to be wise of her surrounding. I want her to be as carefree as I was whilst being careful. Its such a juxtaposition of terms but I hope to find some safe middle ground where I can watch her grow and experience life, but to do so safely. I’m sure that is all any mother wants for their child, whatever their age.
I want her to stay wild and free for a little while longer.
Until next time …