After 22 people were killed and at least 50 injured in an apparent terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England — a location filled with kids, teens, and young adults — one new mum has an important message for her baby: "Go out . . . and do EVERYTHING."
In a powerful open letter to her little boy, blogger Mummy Mumbles wrote that in the wake of this tragic news, her heart is breaking for the victims and their families as well as for her child and his generation. "I fear that these incidents are only going to happen more and more as you get older and it makes me so sick to think I cannot protect you from the barbaric individuals who do things like this," she wrote.
As a mother, she worries that reports of these horrific incidents are going to make her boy think it's safer to just "stay in and not do anything" as he grows, but as someone who loves him "so much it hurts," she hopes that he does the exact opposite.
"Do everything you want to do.
Go everywhere you want to go.
See everyone you want to see.
Go to that party at the club, go to school and university, go travelling and get on that plane, ride on the underground and go to that sports match, go on that holiday and see those sights, go to that shopping centre go to that concert, go see that movie, go eat at that restaurant . . ."
Even if he thinks her advice is strange given the current political and social climate, there's an important reason for it.
"All your life, my job . . . is to protect you. Protect you from monsters. Most of those monsters, I can keep away from you, scare off, reassure you have gone away and won't come back.
But not these monsters.
These monsters do horrible things all over the world.
These monsters I cannot always protect you from.
And as a parent, that is the hardest thing in the world for me to come to terms with and admit to you.
But if I cannot fight these monsters for you, I'm sure as hell gonna teach you how to do that yourself.
By. Just. Living. Your. Life.
They don't want you to do that.
They don't win if you do that.
So do it.
Never be afraid to enjoy yourself and live your life to the fullest."
This mum admits to her little one that she can't guarantee that he won't come face to face with monsters as well as their horrors and destruction. "I will not always be there to protect you from the cowards in this world who [prey] on the innocent and defenseless, but I will teach you to find reassurance in the courage, hope and bravery you see. I will teach you to be brave yourself," she wrote. "We will teach you, our children, not to be afraid and to live harder, happier, and stronger than any of us ever did."
As her child grows, this is all he needs to know about the monsters who threaten his childhood and happiness.
"They cannot kill strength.
They cannot kill determination.
They cannot kill love."
She explains that his generation is going to be the strongest yet because they are going to have the most love to give as parents teach their children not be afraid of the monsters — no matter how scary they seem at first. Instead of being afraid, she wants her child to look for the "goodies" instead of the "baddies" and draw inspiration from those helping others at times of great tragedy.
"Look for the doctors, the nurses, paramedics, hospital staff, police, emergency services who are at the scene and working to save and protect people.
Look for the hotel staff, taxi drivers, bus drivers . . . all offering to help at no cost.
Look for the passers by who are looking after each other and hugging strangers.
Look for the parents and families who have lost their children to this tragedy, speaking out to show solidarity and unity instead of hatred and revenge.
Look for the strength.