I have never been a ‘mumsy-mum’ – infact before I fell pregnant I was about as maternal as a rock. You will never hear me use the words ‘precious’ or ‘bubs’, polite mummy conversation at the checkout makes my teeth stand on end, and I don’t subject the world of reams of Facebook devotion. But having a baby has profoundly changed me, I love her in a way it’s difficult to explain on paper. It’s the most powerful thing I’ve ever experienced, it’s made everything look different from crossing the road to which type of detergent to buy. I am here to keep her safe,to keep her happy, to show her how wonderful life can be, to teach her to be a decent person. And to teach her that, along with the rest of her generation, she must play her part in ending the absolute madness that the world seems to be in the grip of these days.
Recently whilst browsing through the news I came across a short video of a baby in Aleppo, Syria. The poor little mite was only 3 months old, the same as Mollie at the time. She’d been buried under the rubble from a bomb and had been dug to safety by a man in white helmet. Chalk white with dust, her tiny body was completely limp and lifeless. There was a big commotion around her, and the man that had got her out was desperately hugging her, the despair clear to see as dazed tears soaked his face.
Videos like this always affect me deeply, but I couldn’t believe how much more keenly I felt those emotions as I observed this awful scene post-Mollie. As I watched the man pour every atom of his being into trying to revive this little soul, I felt like I was there. I too was staring at that tiny body,willing it, desperately willing it to move, to make a little sound, to hang on. It was my own voice fervently saying ‘come on, come on, breathe..’ to the screen, it was my own tears uncontrollably falling on to my lap, my own heart feeling like it was going to break. When she did make a sound, that pitiful, beautiful little wail I went to pieces along with the man in the video,just as if she was my own child that had been pulled back to life. And perhaps thats why, the images of this video have not left me since I watched it. Because I can imagine that that little baby was mine.
After the relief of seeing this child miraculously draw a breath in this horrific scene, my next immediate reaction was anger. But this was not the kind of anger that flairs up and goes away by lunchtime. I was filled with a deep burning rage, that seismically shifted something within me. For whatever the real reason this God-forsaken war is going on, oil,money, fanaticism, power, whatever it is, it is fucking with the purest form of love, of good and of innocence there is. This is of course not a revelation, but it touched me in a place it couldn’t before, because that part of me simply wasn’t there before I was a mum.
I don’t know what I can do to make this situation any better in my own small way. I’ve donated all that I’m able to, if I could adopt one of the kids that so desperately need to be taken out of that madness I would. It is something I would seriously look into if/when I’m in a more stable and financially settled situation. But the biggest thing that seeing those videos has done for me, is realise, REALLY realise how fucking lucky we are. I watched Mollie this Christmas with more presents than she could shake a stick at, and she’s not even old enough to know what they are. I am able to make sure that she is warm, fed, clean and safe.I spend hours of my days making her smile. I don’t have to worry that at any moment my house might be bombed and there would be not a thing I could do to protect her. And me and her are so so fortunate to be able to do that. We are so fortunate that we won the location lottery when we were born. It’s a right every single parent and child should have, and its the biggest fucking disgrace to the human race that in this day and age, just a few hours plane ride away, that that fundamental essence of life has been so grossly smashed to pieces by the powers that be.
Mollie at Christmas
After watching these videos I always cuddle Mollie a little bit harder, if I’m getting frazzled because she hasn’t slept through the night in weeks I remember that it’s lucky that’s the only reason I’m frazzled. If we can take anything from these awful windows into how some people are forced to live, its to be grateful. To make the most of every moment. To love harder. To do all that cheesy shit you see on the memes. Mollie and her like are the generation that will be able to stop this tragedy, but only if they are brought up with love, to know respect, and to realise just how lucky they are.